Approximately 17 percent of the 1.7 million head and brain injuries sustained in the U.S. each year are caused by motor vehicle accidents. If you sustained a head injury in a vehicle crash, you may be wondering about your legal recourse and ability to obtain compensation for the problems someone else has caused. Below, we address a few common questions about head and brain injury claims.
What is a Head Injury?
A head injury is an overarching term for trauma to the skull, scalp, face, or brain. Some of the different types of head injuries, according to the Columbia University Department of Neurology, include the following:
- Concussion: A traumatic brain injury that can range from mild to severe
- Skull fracture: A break in the skull bone.
There are several types of skull fractures:
- Linear: A break that does not move the bone out of place
- Depressed: A dent in the skull from trauma
- Diastatic: A break that occurs along the areas that fused together during childhood development
- Basilar: A fracture at the base of the skull
- Intracranial hematoma: A blood clot in or around the brain.
There are several types of hematomas that affect the head and brain:
- Epidural: A blood clot under the skull but on top of the brain’s “dura” covering
- Subdural: A blood clot under the skull and the brain’s dura, but not on the brain
- Contusion: A bruise on the brain
- Diffuse axonal injury: Damage to the connecting fibers in the brain during a shift of the brain inside the skull (as trauma occurs)
Head injuries are either closed or open. Closed head injuries do not break the skull. Open head injuries refer to instances where something penetrated the skull and brain.
A brain injury is any disruption to the normal activity of the brain. Head trauma or a violent whipping motion are the two main causes of brain injury.
Compensation for a Car Crash Resulting in a Head Injury
It’s important to seek professional medical help immediately after any vehicle crash, even if you do not have symptoms. A physician can perform tests that may find injuries and problems you may not have noticed yet. Then, appropriate treatment can begin and give you the best chance of recovering.
After you have obtained medical care, our experienced attorneys can explain the claims process. We can discuss what happened and take the best course of action. An important part of our discussion will be the unique facts of your case, which will determine the compensation you might receive. Some of these factors include:
- The severity of your head and/or traumatic brain injury.
- How your injury affects your ability to do daily activities.
- Your treating physician’s diagnosis and medical prediction for recovery, treatment, and possible disability from employment.
- How long your impairments will last or if they are permanent.
- Whether the crash led you to suffer from other injuries or emotional distress.
- Medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses related to the crash and your injury.
- The effect your injuries have and will have on your relationships and spouse.
Where your attorney files your lawsuit can also affect the value of your claim. Verdicts and case value will vary dramatically from one county to another. Your law firm should find the best county to file a claim and keep it there, even when the insurance company tries to fight it.
How Much is a Head Injury Case Worth?
Many prospective clients ask us how much compensation they might receive for a lawsuit involving a head injury and/or traumatic brain injury. The factors above will help determine the possible payout.
Below are some of our past cases involving clients with head and brain injuries.
$3.8 Million Binding Arbitration Award
This was the largest ever arbitration award reported in Bradford County at the time of recovery. Ostroff Injury Law filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman whose vehicle struck the side of a tractor trailer on Route 6 at nighttime. This was a challenging case, as our client broadsided the truck at full speed and had no recollection of the crash. Our client sustained complex fractures to her face and a brain injury. (Bradford County lawsuit, Towanda client)
$3.5 Million Settlement
A child was struck by a drunk driver while she was riding a bike near her home. She suffered fractures to her face, ribs, clavicle and a mild traumatic brain injury. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) referred the family to Ostroff Injury Law. The claim’s value increased substantially, because the firm won right to file lawsuit in Montgomery County. (Dauphin County client, case mediated by Montgomery County trial judge)
$3 Million Jury Verdict + Delay Damages, Post-verdict Interest
Our client was a passenger in a Greyhound bus that slammed at high speed into the rear of a tractor trailer on I-80. The client sustained a right tibia fracture, a broken left foot, facial fractures, a neck fracture and a diffuse mild brain injury. Ostroff Injury Law sued Greyhound Bus Lines and its driver. The $3 million verdict included a $500,000 punitive damage portion to punish Greyhound for its failure to adequately manage fatigue among its drivers. (Luzerne County client)
$1,350,000 Litigation Settlement
Ostroff Injury Law’s client sustained a mild traumatic brain injury in a high-speed highway crash in rural Pennsylvania. (Philadelphia lawsuit)
$675,000 Litigation Settlement
Ostroff Injury Law reached this settlement following extensive litigation for a client with limited tort insurance whose car was struck in the rear by a tractor trailer on Route 81. The client sustained a head injury causing headaches, visual and speech disturbances, and dizziness that required management with medication. (Hallstead client, Susquehanna County lawsuit)
Getting Legal Help After Suffering a Head Injury
A head and brain injury can change a person’s life. Aside from the medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens, effects from the injury may never fully go away. Speaking with an experienced lawyer will not change what happened, but it can be the first step toward recovering for related bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Call Ostroff Injury Law for a free, no-obligation case review. Even if you have limited tort insurance coverage and heard you cannot file a claim, we want to speak with you. Our firm may be able to find an exception so limited tort does not apply to you.
Ostroff Injury Law has helped more than 25,000 Pennsylvania crash victims over the past 25+ years. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients across the state, including those who were initially told they would not win. Contact us if you suffered head injuries in a vehicle collision. A Pennsylvania car crash lawyer from our team will explain how we can help.