What Kind of Compensation Can I Get For a Brain Injury in California?
Brain injuries might not be as visibly obvious as broken bones or a laceration, but they can be some of the most serious consequences of an accident in California. While broken bones and lacerations can heal over time, the consequences of a brain injury can be permanent and life-altering. Brain injuries can result from a wide range of potential accidents, including traffic collisions, slips and falls, and workplace incidents.
It is extremely important that you reach out to a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after suffering a brain injury in California. Although your first priority should be to get medical attention, the process of getting compensation is also important. Ideally, you should work with an injury attorney who has specific experience with head injuries. You may be unable to work as a result of your injury, and your quality of life could be considerably diminished. You deserve the opportunity to get compensated for these damages, especially if your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.
One of the most common questions for those who have suffered brain injuries involves the type of compensation they might receive. This depends on a number of different factors, such as the circumstances of the accident and the specific damages that might have been suffered. Below we will cover everything you need to know about how compensation for head injuries is determined, and how much you can expect to receive as a result of your injury.
Damage Caps in California
One important consideration in all personal injury cases is the presence of damage caps in California. These are legal limits to how much money you can receive in compensatory damages. Some states, like New York, have zero damage caps whatsoever. Other states, like California, have damage caps for specific types of injury claims. In the context of a brain injury, many injury claims will have no damage caps. This means that in the case of a car accident or a slip and fall on someone else’s property, there is theoretically no limit to how much money you might receive in the state of California.
The only exception is with cases involving medical malpractice. This is when healthcare providers injure patients due to reckless negligence. Head injuries may occur as a result of medical malpractice. For example, a nurse who is intoxicated might accidentally push a wheelchair-bound patient down a flight of stairs, causing them to suffer brain injuries. In a situation where brain injuries are suffered due to medical malpractice, California puts a $250,000 damage cap on non-economic damages suffered by a plaintiff. This might include pain and suffering or mental anguish.
Getting the Medical Treatment You Need
Getting medical treatment is absolutely essential after suffering a head injury. First of all, you need to take care of yourself and be responsible. Failing to get medical treatment could make the injury much worse than it needs to be. Secondly, you will not have the ability to claim damages if you cannot prove that you suffered a legitimate injury. When you receive medical treatment, there will be a written record of your injury. This, along with diagnostic images like X-rays or MRIs, forms an important aspect of the evidence you will need.
The overall amount of your compensation is largely a result of the exact cost of your medical bills and expenses. It is important that you keep track of these expenses during your medical treatment process, as you will need these receipts and invoices to receive adequate compensation later on.
Types of Damages for a Head Injury in California
There are many different types of damages that a plaintiff might incur as a result of a head brain injury. It is important to understand what these damages are if you want to accurately determine how much compensation you might receive as a result of your head injury:
- Special Damages: Also known as “economic damages,” these are damages that have a fixed dollar amount attached to them. Medical bills and expenses are examples of special expenses, as are missed wages. For example, you might have incurred thousands of dollars in medical costs, and you may have missed weeks of work as well.
- General Damages: Also known as “non-economic damages,” these are damages that do not have a fixed dollar value. The most common example is “pain and suffering,” which may be further subdivided into mental anguish, loss of purpose in life, loss of companionship, and other things of that nature. For example, your brain injury may have caused you to suffer serious migraines, the loss of your job (your purpose), and your wife might have left you as well after personality changes resulting from your brain injury.
How is a Settlement Calculated?
All personal injury settlements in California are generally calculated with the same basic formula, whether you have suffered a head injury, a fracture, or some form of disfigurement. With that said, every case is unique, and the amount of a settlement is extremely tricky to predict ahead of time. While special damages are typically calculated using a standard “multiplier” of your general damages, this formula can get complicated quickly. The best way to understand the amount of damages you might be entitled to in your case is to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have suffered a head injury as a result of an accident in California, time is of the essence. Act quickly, and you will have a much better chance of achieving a favorable outcome. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to convince the court that your injuries are serious and that you deserve compensation for your damages. If you are searching for a qualified, reliable personal injury attorney in San Francisco, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. With a wealth of experience in brain injuries, we can assist you in an efficient manner as you strive for a favorable legal outcome.