average settlement for traumatic brain injury

Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury: Factors Influencing Settlements

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 10 minutes

Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury: Factors Influencing Settlements

Have you sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was not your fault?  If so, you could be entitled to sue for substantial compensation to cover your losses.  Traumatic brain injuries can be serious and life-altering — it’s critical that you push forward and secure the justice you deserve.

Determining an average settlement amount for traumatic brain injuries can be challenging, as each case differs significantly. Factors such as severity, medical expenses, and long-term impact need to be considered. Seeking legal guidance is crucial to negotiate for a fair settlement value and not settle for less than deserved.

We understand that legal disputes can be confusing and overwhelming, especially for first-time plaintiffs who are just trying to recover from their injuries and return to their normal lives before the accident.  Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a personal injury lawyer in our network for a free legal consultation — they’ll help you understand the issues at-play in your case, and give you guidance on your strategic options.

That being said, if you’d like to learn more about traumatic brain injury litigation and settlements, read on!

How much money can you get from a traumatic brain injury?

As with any other personal injury claim, a traumatic brain injury settlement may involve a range of damages. These damages reflect the various losses that you have sustained as a consequence of the injury. Claimable losses may include:

Factors influencing brain injury settlements include both economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

This can seem a bit overwhelming, so let’s break it down.

Suppose that you’ve suffered a TBI in a car accident. You’re forced to take a year off of work to recover.

Given that your yearly salary is $100,000, that’s potentially $100,000 in claimable wage loss. Further, your doctors don’t believe that you will be able to focus at work for more than 30 hours a week. That is likely to dampen your growth potential in your career role, and with the aid of career experts, you calculate that your lifetime earning capacity diminishment is worth $500,000. Your medical expenses (medical bills for diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, surgery, rehabilitation, etc.) add up to $150,000. Your car was totaled in the accident, and that was worth $30,000. The pain and suffering involved is significant. Expert testimony pins it at about $200,000.

Even mild traumatic brain injuries can have significant financial impacts due to ongoing medical care and therapy.

Add all of that up, and you’ve got $980,000 in compensatory damages. Of course, the defendant is likely to counter, and the court may disagree with your request — but it’s a solid starting point for the factual scenario we’ve come up with here.

The importance of working with an experienced attorney to obtain a fair settlement for traumatic brain injury cannot be overstated.

Is a traumatic brain injury a permanent disability?

Not all traumatic brain injuries lead to permanent disabilities. However, catastrophic injuries, such as severe TBIs, can have life-lasting implications. Though TBIs tend to be quite a bit more serious than other bodily injuries, some TBIs are recoverable — that being said, it will require patience, time, expert medical care, and continuous rehabilitation effort. For your damages claim, these efforts and costs are losses that must be calculated into your overall total compensation amount.

That being said, some TBIs do result in permanent disability. In that case, the functional issues they cause must be calculated as lifelong losses — this can skyrocket your damages claim, as even minor losses (stretched out over a long period of time) do add up to significant amounts.

Bear in mind that a TBI permanent disability will be monitored by the defendant (or the government, if you are submitting a formal disability claim with the Social Security Administration). They will check to see if you are recovering, and if your disability is actually permanent.

Why do most injuries end in settlement?

It is true that most injury lawsuits (including traumatic brain injury lawsuits) end in a settlement agreement. In fact, industry observers estimate that as much as 95 percent of disputes end in settlement. Brain injury cases often end in settlement due to the complexities and uncertainties of litigation.


The answer is quite simple. Lawsuits are uncertain, resource-demanding, and challenging to litigate. Even if you have a strong and persuasive legal argument, as well as substantial supportive evidence, there’s no “guarantee” that you’ll win or lose your case, or that you’ll be awarded the full amount of damages that you’re seeking. Personal injury lawsuits can help ease financial burdens and provide compensation for economic and non-economic damages.

Given these uncertainties, both parties tend to prefer to resolve the dispute through a negotiated settlement before trial litigation begins. That way, they can exercise some control over the process.

How does settlement negotiation work in an injury case?

From a strategy perspective, a favorable settlement is reached when you (the injured plaintiff) can show that you are “likely” to obtain the damages you’re requesting if the case were to hypothetically move forward to trial.

It is crucial to understand the role of the insurance company in negotiating settlements for traumatic brain injury cases. Insurance companies often consider various factors, including long-term care and medical needs, when calculating settlement offers. They may also caution against accepting early settlement offers without proper evaluation.

So, for example, suppose that you sustain a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, and you sue the defendant for damages of $100,000.  Over the course of settlement negotiations, you introduce a great deal of evidence and a persuasive legal argument.  Given these initial discussions, you and the defendant mostly agree: that you’d have a 70% chance of securing the compensation you seek if you were to move ahead to trial.  That means that a settlement amount of roughly $70,000 (with some room for further negotiation) would be a “fair” compromise. Negotiating a fair traumatic brain injury settlement is essential to cover lost wages and future earnings.

Thus, to improve your chances of getting a favorable settlement, your attorney’s job is to put forth a strong and persuasive case on your behalf — one that convinces the defendant that you will win should the case proceed to trial.

You don’t have unlimited time to bring a lawsuit

Every claim has a “statute of limitations” period that applies.  This imposes a strict deadline by which you have to formally file your claims with the court.  If you fail to do so, then the court will automatically dismiss your claims — they will consider your claims abandoned/relinquished and you will be unable to recover compensation through normal legal processes.

For example, in California, there is a two-year statute of limitations deadline for negligence-based injury claims.  This deadline runs from the date of injury.  If you bring your claim three years after the date of injury, then the courts will automatically dismiss said claims on the basis that they were relinquished or abandoned.

Given the serious consequences of a delay (i.e., being unable to sue for compensation), it’s important that you move forward before it’s too late.  Consult an attorney for assistance.  It is their legal duty to handle your claims in a timely manner, so you can rest easy knowing that they will navigate the litigation process without excessive delay.

That being said, if you’ve delayed too long, there may be exceptions that could apply to your claims and give you some extra time.  The Delayed Discovery Rule, for example, lets you “suspend” the statute of limitations period until you’ve actually discovered the injury.  If you had an internal injury that doesn’t show symptoms until years down the line, then you might not reasonably discover its existence until later.  That would give you several years of additional time on your statute of limitations.

Why work with an attorney?

Generally speaking, by working with an attorney, you’re more likely to secure a greater level of compensation (than if you moved forward on your own) — that’s because you don’t have the experience and training that a qualified attorney has. An untrained plaintiff won’t be familiar with the procedures that they have to abide by, nor will they understand various strategic aspects of the lawsuit. Mistakes are common. Most of all, they are likely to have a “blindspot” when it comes to their case.

In fact, this biased and problematic strategic “blindspot” is well understood by experienced attorneys, and it’s why even qualified attorneys hire other attorneys to represent them in various lawsuits. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can advise on available insurance coverage and negotiate settlement sums to ensure fair compensation.

Personal injury lawyers are more than just courtroom litigators. They’re comprehensive advocates who assist at every phase of the dispute. Experienced personal injury lawyers can and will handle the following responsibilities:

  • Identifying, gathering, and preserving relevant evidence
  • Investigating the accident scene
  • Communicating on your behalf with opposing counsel, law enforcement, insurance carriers, insurance adjusters, and others
  • Working with experts to develop supportive testimony
  • Building a persuasive legal argument
  • Negotiating a potential settlement with opposing counsel
  • Navigating court hearings and other processes
  • Pushing forward to trial if a fair settlement is not possible
  • Securing the payout after it has been awarded
  • And more

It is crucial to understand the full extent of injuries and future treatment needs when determining the worth of a traumatic brain injury case.

If you’ve been in an accident that caused you to suffer traumatic brain injuries, then you could be entitled to sue for compensation. Depending on how severe your injuries and losses are, the damages could be substantial. Traumatic brain injury settlements can vary significantly, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, based on the severity of the injury and its impact on the victim’s life. Factors influencing settlement amounts include lifestyle changes, job impact, and other physical disabilities resulting from the accident. Suing for a traumatic brain injury isn’t always a straightforward process, however — you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who understands how to navigate the process effectively and maximize your total compensation.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with a personal injury attorney in our network. During this initial consultation, you’ll be able to discuss your case in detail and get advice on how best to proceed with your case. That being said, you’re under no obligation to move forward with an attorney in our network if you decide against it — even after you’ve spoken to them in a free consultation. So there’s really no downside to picking up the phone and calling in to talk about your case.

We look forward to assisting you.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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