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What does your head injury cost?

In any accident incident head injuries are considered the most dangerous. This is mainly because what may seem like a simple headache could actually be a brain bleed or traumatic brain injury. As a result, when an injured individual suffers head injuries this adds to the compensation that they claim for in a personal injury claim. This article will discuss factors determining the value of a head injury in a personal injury claim.

Head injuries can be as simple as a headache but can range from a concussion to a kind of traumatic brain injury, resulting in memory loss and/or behavioral change. In a car accident in Anchorage personal injury case where the plaintiff has suffered some form of head injury, they need to consider how much to accept to settle the case. That being said, it is important to note the two basic types of losses associated with head injury cases; these are special damages and general damages.

 

Special damages are also referred to as economic damages; these are out-of-pocket expenses that come as a result of the injury. Some special damages examples are:

  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Past and future medical treatment costs
  • In wrongful death cases, it includes funeral and burial expenses
  • The cost of replacing or repairing property that was damaged

General damages are also known as non-economic losses; these are losses that are difficult to put a dollar figure on. Examples of general damages include the following:

  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium and/or companionship
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

There are a number of factors that directly influence the value of a head injury settlement. Some factors in this regard include the following:

  • Liability - when fault for the accident is clear then the settlement value is likely to be higher. However, where fault is disputed the defendant is likely to be reluctant to sit down with a fair settlement offer.
  • More than one defendant - in instances where there are multiple defendants in a case various insurance companies represent them. The issue that is likely to arise is how much each one should pay as compensation.
  • Jurisdiction of the case - it must be noted that different areas have a bearing on the characteristics of a court. Some are more conservative as they tend to give lower damages awards in comparison to largely populated and/or urban communities.
  • Keeping damages to a minimum - this is appropriate when it is reasonable to do so. For example, in instances whereby the plaintiff chose not to seek medical treatment after the accident, as such their injuries are more difficult to treat. It is likely that the insurance company may reduce the value of the settlement to show the plaintiff’s failure to seek medical attention promptly.
  • The plaintiff’s characteristics - these are key in determining the settlement value. Some elements of the plaintiff’s characteristics that are taken into consideration are the age, previous medical history, occupation as well as plaintiff likability. 
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