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April 19, 2024 | Brain Injury

Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury in New York

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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are not just medical conditions; they are profound, life-altering events that irrevocably change the lives of individuals and their families. These injuries go beyond physical harm, impacting cognitive functions, emotional well-being, and social interactions. TBIs are a significant public health concern in New York State alone.

The steady rate of death from TBIs—hovering between 10.6 and 11.8 per 100,000 residents—indicates both the severity and persistence of this issue within The Empire State.

In these complicated legal scenarios, it's best to speak with experienced New York City brain injury attorneys who deeply understand TBI-related cases. With such expertise, individuals impacted by head injuries and their loved ones can more effectively make their way through the judicial system and seek the fairness they rightfully deserve.

Average TBI settlements in New York

Average settlements for traumatic brain injuries in NY range from $100,000 to several million dollars.

While many traumatic brain injury cases may result in settlements in the low six-figure range, there are instances where verdicts and settlements reach seven or even eight figures, particularly in cases involving severe injuries with clear liability.

For instance, in a recent case where a pedestrian suffered a severe TBI after being struck by a speeding vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk, the settlement reached $1.5 million. The payout accounted for medical expenses, ongoing rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, reflecting the significant impact of the injury on the victim's life.

On the other hand, in a case where liability was disputed due to conflicting witness testimonies and unclear evidence, the compensation was significantly lower, totaling $150,000. Despite the severity of the TBI, the lack of clear liability led to a reduced brain injury settlement amount, highlighting the importance of establishing fault in such cases.

These examples show the variability of injury victims' settlements in New York and the critical role that factors such as liability, severity of injury, and evidence play in determining the outcome of a case.

Victims of TBI should seek legal representation from experienced personal injury lawyers who can assess the specifics of their cases, advocate on their behalf, and pursue fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Hear from a client of ours, Ms Baptiste:

"I just wanna say shoutout and thank you to Mr. Paul Ajlouny and his wonderful helpful amazing team. Everyone was spectacular from day 1 to the very end. I will always recommend these beautiful people to anyone in need of help, and justice."

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Factors that influence TBI settlement amounts in New York

Settlement amounts in these specific cases can vary significantly based on several factors unique to each case: 

Severity

More severe injuries typically result in higher settlements due to increased medical costs, long-term care needs, and loss of income. Severe brain injuries may lead to permanent disabilities, requiring ongoing medical treatment and assistance with daily activities, thus significantly impacting the victim's quality of life.

Liability/Comparative negligence

Clear evidence demonstrating the defendant's negligence or responsibility for the injury strengthens the victim's case and can lead to higher compensation amounts.

Conversely, if the victim shares some responsibility for the accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault. If you are found to have contributed to the accident in any way, your compensation may be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault.

For TBI victims, this shows the importance of establishing the defendant's majority liability. By demonstrating that the other party bears the primary responsibility for the accident and subsequent injury, you can maximize your chances of securing a fair settlement amount that fully accounts for your damages.

Insurance coverage

The types and limits of insurance coverage available, both for the victim and the at-fault party, significantly impact settlement outcomes. Adequate insurance coverage can ensure that victims receive the right amount of compensation for their injuries and losses, covering medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, any wages lost, and pain and suffering.

New York State governs that a minimum of $50,000 is held for auto insurance through personal injury protection (PIP) to cover injuries resulting from a single accident.

Victim's coverage

  • The victim's health insurance coverage can mitigate immediate healthcare expenses related to the TBI, potentially reducing the amount sought in the settlement.
  • If the TBI results in long-term disability preventing the victim from working, disability insurance benefits can supplement lost income and impact the final amount.
  • If available, PIP coverage can compensate for medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault, potentially affecting the settlement negotiation process.

At-fault party's coverage

  • In cases involving motor vehicle accidents, the at-fault party's auto insurance coverage, including liability coverage, medical payments coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, can influence the this amount.
  • If the TBI occurs on someone's property, their homeowner's or renter's insurance coverage may compensate for liability, medical expenses, and other damages.
  • Businesses and entities may carry general liability insurance, which could cover damages resulting from accidents occurring on their premises.

Location

These amounts can vary by location within New York due to differences in local court systems, jury attitudes, and legal practices. Urban areas like New York City may see higher amounts due to higher living costs and more favorable jury verdicts, while rural areas may have lower settlement averages. 

Additional reading: what happens when you reject an insurance settlement

What damages can be recovered in New York

Compensation for the following damages can be sought:

  • Medical Care: Covering hospital stays, surgeries, doctor appointments, medication, rehabilitation, and all necessary treatments for recovery.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for days missed at work, decreased earning capacity, and future income losses if returning to previous work is not possible.
  • Pain and Suffering: For the physical discomfort, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life experienced due to the injury.
  • Loss of Consortium: Damages for the victim's family for the loss of companionship and the strain on family relationships.
  • Punitive Damages (if applicable): Awarded in cases of extreme negligence, serving as both punishment and deterrent for future misconduct.

Should you accept the settlement offer?

When considering an insurance offer for your TBI case, a thorough evaluation is essential to ensure fair compensation for your injuries and future needs. Here's a detailed guide on assessing a settlement:

  1. Project potential future medical expenses, including ongoing treatments, rehabilitation, and specialized care required for your TBI. Ensure the offer adequately covers these anticipated costs to avoid financial hardship.
  2. Evaluate the associated costs with long-term care and assistance your TBI requires. Consider expenses for home care, nursing services, and adaptive equipment. Ensure the payout provides adequate compensation for these ongoing needs.
  3. Reflect on how your TBI has affected your quality of life, including physical limitations and emotional distress. The settlement offer should fairly compensate you for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional anguish stemming from your injury.
  4. Consult a knowledgeable traumatic brain injury lawyer to review the offer. A legal expert can assess its fairness, identify any shortcomings, and advocate for your best interests. They can negotiate for a higher payout if needed and guide you through the legal process.

Hear from Ricardo, who took us on to fight his case:

"From the first day I spoke to Paul I knew I could trust him, and he did not disappoint me. His staff who were always kind and professional kept me informed with my case, or Paul would call me himself to update me. I didn't think I would win, but Paul assured we could and he kept his promise I am proud that I chose his firm."

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General information on traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries encompass a spectrum of brain injuries caused by a sudden trauma that causes damage to the brain. This trauma can result from an object penetrating the skull and entering brain tissue or when a forceful impact causes the brain to move within the skull, leading to bruising, tearing, or swelling. 

These injuries can vary widely in severity and presentation, with distinct types manifesting different symptoms and requiring varying levels of medical intervention.

Types of TBIs

TBIs range from mild, causing temporary confusion or headaches, to catastrophic injuries, leading to prolonged unconsciousness or amnesia. 

  • Concussion: Resulting from sudden movement or impact to the head, concussions entail temporary disruption of brain function. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, confusion, and sensitivity to light or noise. Repeated concussions can have long-term consequences.
  • Contusion: Brain bruises caused by direct impact to the head, contusions lead to bleeding and swelling of brain tissue. Depending on the contusion's size and location, symptoms range from headaches and nausea to severe neurological deficits. Treatment may involve monitoring and surgical intervention.
  • Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): When the brain's white matter fibers are stretched or torn due to rapid head movement, DAI damages brain structures, causing cognitive and motor impairments. Associated with severe trauma, rehabilitation is often extensive.
  • Penetrating injury: Vary in severity and result from an object penetrating the skull and damaging brain tissue. Immediate medical attention, including surgical intervention, is required to remove foreign objects and repair damaged tissue.
  • Coup-contrecoup injury: Common in accidents involving brain injury at two points - impact site and opposite side due to rebound forces. They cause widespread brain damage and neurological deficits, requiring specialized rehabilitation for cognitive and motor deficits.

Causes of TBI

TBIs often result from incidents that involve a sudden impact or jolt to the head. Common causes include:

These events disrupt the normal function of the brain, leading to temporary or permanent cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.

TBI effects

These injuries can have a wide range of physical, cognitive, emotional, and financial effects on individuals:

  1. Depending on the severity, TBIs may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and impaired coordination. Severe cases can lead to paralysis, sensory loss, or other disabilities.
  2. Head injuries can impair memory, concentration, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities. Speech, language, and comprehension may also be affected.
  3. TBIs can cause emotional disturbances, including depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and impulsivity. 
  4. Brain injuries often result in significant financial burdens, including medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages due to inability to work, and ongoing care needs.

Why hiring a lawyer is crucial for your TBI settlement in New York

Navigating TBI settlements in New York without legal representation can be daunting and may result in less than fair compensation. Our experienced attorneys in such cases adeptly handle intricate legal procedures, advocate during negotiations with insurance firms, and safeguard victims' entitlement to equitable compensation.

But our involvement goes beyond the courtroom; we provide a comprehensive evaluation of all damages to maximize the settlement.

In a recent case, a pedestrian hit by a negligent driver received an insufficient initial insurance settlement. Upon securing legal representation, the case was reassessed, resulting in a substantially increased settlement covering extensive medical costs and ongoing care.

With legal expertise, victims can optimize their settlement outcomes and uphold their rights throughout the legal process.

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Seek expert legal advice for your TBI claim

We recognize that every case is unique, and approach each situation with care and attention to detail. By working closely with you, we will develop a personalized legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances, advocating fiercely on your behalf every step of the way.

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, don't face the legal process alone. Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys brings years of experience in handling TBI cases, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Contact Ajlouny Injury Law at +1-800-535-5029 today to schedule a free consultation.

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