Having the deep misfortune of being in a semi-truck accident can have serious consequences when it comes to the brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other common truck accident injuries could have a long-lasting impact on your quality of life.
You may find you’re not interested in hobbies you once enjoyed or that you can no longer handle the stress of your job. Making up for these losses is key to giving you peace of mind during recovery. Luckily, GJEL Accident Attorneys can help.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when the brain is subjected to a sudden, violent force that causes it to move inside the skull. This movement can cause damage to the brain tissue, leading to a range of symptoms and impairments.
Semi-truck accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents on the road due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicle. When a semi-truck collides with another vehicle, the force of the impact can cause a TBI.
Symptoms of a TBI can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and changes in behavior or personality. In severe cases, a TBI can cause coma, paralysis, or even death.
Treatment for a TBI can vary depending on the severity of the injury. In mild cases, rest and observation may be sufficient. Surgery, medication, and rehabilitation may be necessary in more severe cases. Rehabilitation might involve physical, occupational, and speech therapy to help the patient regain cognitive and motor function.
How Can I Recover Compensation?
The recovery process for a TBI can be long and difficult, with the need for ongoing medical care and support. It can also be expensive, as medical bills quickly add up. Suppose the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company caused your TBI. In that case, California law allows the injured person to pursue legal action against them to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Truck drivers are responsible for following safety regulations and ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained. Drivers should also be trained to recognize and avoid potential hazards on the road.
When you file a truck accident lawsuit or claim, you essentially allege that the truck driver or company failed to act responsibly, that you suffered loss or harm because of that failure, and that you are due just compensation for the resultant loss or harm.
The next step is to contact an attorney. An attorney will guide you through the extensive litigation or insurance claims process. The appropriate next step depends entirely on the case’s unique facts and whether the insurance company or other party responds to your claim.
In either case, an attorney will likely negotiate a settlement with the other party to ensure you receive an amount commensurate with your case.
What Damages Can I Recover?
In personal injury cases, California law allows an accident victim to recover “compensatory damages,” or money a negligent party pays to compensate you for losses. The goal of these damages is to make the injured person whole again.
Compensatory damages are distinguishable from punitive damages, which are intended to punish the other party and deter others from similar bad behavior in the future.
In California personal injury cases, compensatory damages fall into two basic categories:
- Economic damages, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages; and
- Noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Noneconomic damages are difficult to prove because they are intangible, and there generally isn’t a quantifiable amount associated with them. However, an attorney can help gather evidence and help you understand what’s necessary to support your claim for noneconomic damages.
For example, an injured party can testify to the frequency and intensity of the pain they experienced. Additionally, a doctor, family or friend can testify about what they witnessed regarding the injured party’s pain. Proof of treatment for pain and suffering is incredibly helpful in front of a jury or during settlement negotiations.
On the other hand, economic damages, like medical bills, are easier to show as long as the amounts claimed are reasonable. For example, an injured person must show that the amount charged for treatment was reasonable, that the treatment itself was necessary, and that the treatment was for the injury caused by the defendant. The injured person can prove this with adequate documentation of the medical bills and expert witness testimony.
Understanding how an insurance company or court might calculate compensatory damages is challenging, so it’s best to ask an experienced attorney for guidance on your case’s potential damages.
Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury
Determining the settlement value for any personal injury case involves analyzing potential damages. Every TBI case is unique, and the settlement amount can vary greatly depending on the severity of the TBI, the degree of liability, and the damages. Given the vast differences from case to case, the “average” settlement for a TBI after a semi-truck accident ranges from thousands to millions of dollars. This vast range isn’t very helpful, so what you need to do to get an idea of what your case is worth is to talk to an experienced attorney.
In cases where the TBI is severe and the victim has significant physical and cognitive impairments, the settlement amount may be higher to cover the long-term care and rehabilitation needed. Additionally, if the truck driver or company was found to act with a willful and conscious disregard for the safety of others, then it might make sense to pursue punitive damages.
Keep in mind insurance policies do not cover awards for punitive damages. If you have a punitive damage claim, you need to ensure the other party has ample funds to pay an award of punitive damages.
There is no one-size-fits-all settlement for a particular medical condition, so it’s important to contact an attorney who can help calculate your losses. An attorney will give you a general idea of what your claim is worth, help negotiate a settlement with the other party, or represent you in court if necessary.
The Attorneys at GJEL Are Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
The lawyers at GJEL Accident Attorneys are top-rated California personal injury attorneys with a 99% success rate. We were named one of the top California Personal Injury law firms by Best Lawyer and have helped accident victims for over 40 years. Let our law offices help hold the wrongdoers accountable with no upfront cost to you. Contact one of our California-based locations today!
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