Car Accident Brain Injury Claims & Settlements in Texas
December 28, 2023
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about car accident brain injury claims and settlements in Texas.
Here is an outline:
- Key Takeaways:
- TBI Auto Accident Statistics
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Definition
- Common Symptoms of Brain Injury
- Calculating Damages in TBI Settlements
- Legal Considerations in TBI Settlements
- Gathering Evidence
- Establishing Liability
- Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
- Demonstrating the Impact
- Experienced Legal Guidance
- Evidence to Support Your Traumatic Brain Injury Case
- Case Studies: Brain Injury Compensation in Texas
- Jury Verdict in Magana v. Byrd
- Jury Verdict in Elrod v. Siegert Water Wells Inc.
- Jury Verdict in Porter v. Herrera
- Factors Influencing Brain Injury Settlement Amounts
- Types of Damages in Brain Injury Settlements
- Importance of Legal Representation in Brain Injury Cases
- Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs
- What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
- What are the long-term effects of TBIs?
- How can I recognize the signs of a traumatic brain injury?
- How are damages assessed in traumatic brain injury settlements?
- What legal considerations should I be aware of in TBI settlements?
- What evidence is needed to support a traumatic brain injury case?
- What is the average settlement amount for traumatic brain injury cases in Texas?
- What factors influence brain injury settlement amounts?
- Can punitive damages be awarded in brain injury cases?
- Car accidents are one of the leading causes of hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries in the U.S.
- TBIs can have long-lasting effects on victims, impacting memory, motor skills, and mood.
- Victims of traumatic brain injuries may be entitled to substantial compensation.
- An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine a fair settlement for a brain injury claim.
TBI Auto Accident Statistics
These injuries can have a lasting impact on the lives of victims, resulting in memory loss, impaired motor skills, and mood swings. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI in a Texas auto accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.
Calculating a fair settlement for a brain injury claim can be challenging, as it requires a comprehensive assessment of various factors. This is where having a brain injury attorney in your corner becomes invaluable. By working with an experienced car accident attorney, you can ensure a fair and just compensation for your TBI claim.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Definition
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) encompass a range of head injuries caused by blunt force trauma or penetrative wounds to the head. These injuries can vary in severity, ranging from mild concussions to severe trauma. Even mild TBIs can have significant long-term consequences that can greatly impact a person’s life.
Common Symptoms of Brain Injury
Long-term symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury, the area of the brain affected, and individual factors. However, some common long-term symptoms and effects of TBI include:
- Cognitive Impairments:
- Memory problems, particularly with short-term memory.
- Difficulty concentrating and paying attention.
- Problems with executive functions, such as planning, organizing, and problem-solving.
- Slowed processing speed.
- Physical Symptoms:
- Persistent headaches or migraines.
- Dizziness and balance problems.
- Fatigue and increased need for sleep.
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or a bad taste in the mouth.
- Seizures, which can occur in severe cases.
- Emotional and Behavioral Changes:
- Mood swings and emotional instability.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Irritability and anger issues.
- Personality changes.
- Difficulty with social interactions.
- Sleep Disturbances:
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping.
- Sleeping more than usual.
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea.
- Communication Difficulties:
- Difficulty finding words (aphasia).
- Problems with understanding speech.
- Difficulty with reading and writing.
- Motor Deficits:
- Weakness or paralysis in limbs.
- Poor coordination and motor skills.
- Tremors or muscle spasticity.
- Chronic Pain:
- Chronic pain in muscles and joints.
- Sensitivity to light and sound.
- Psychological Effects:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Increased risk of developing mental health disorders.
- Changes in self-esteem and self-identity.
The following table provides some of the common symptoms of a brain injury:
|Judgment and decision making
|Lack of initiation
|Slower processing speed
It’s important to note that the presence and severity of these symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Some individuals may experience only a few mild symptoms, while others may have more severe and persistent issues.
Continue reading to learn more about assessing damages in TBI settlements and the legal considerations involved in seeking fair compensation for brain injuries.
Calculating Damages in TBI Settlements
Calculating a fair settlement for a traumatic brain injury requires a comprehensive assessment of various factors. When determining the amount of compensation for a brain injury, several key considerations come into play:
- Medical expenses and treatment costs: Documenting all medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing therapies, is crucial for calculating the financial impact of the injury.
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity: A brain injury can significantly impact a victim’s ability to work. Lost wages, future earning potential, and the need for vocational rehabilitation should be evaluated.
- Pain and suffering: Quantifying the physical and emotional pain endured by the victim is a challenging process. Expert opinions and medical documentation are essential in determining the appropriate compensation.
Additionally, traumatic brain injuries often require extensive medical care, rehabilitation services, and specialized treatments. These necessary interventions can result in a significant financial burden.
In order to assess the damages accurately, experts must consider:
- Cost of future medical care: Long-term medical expenses, including follow-up appointments, rehabilitation sessions, assistive devices, and medication, need to be accounted for.
- Future treatment needs: Estimating the future costs of therapies, surgeries, and potential complications is critical in ensuring the victim’s ongoing care is adequately compensated.
Furthermore, determining the lost earning capacity due to a brain injury and quantifying the intangible aspects of pain and suffering are intricate processes that require expertise. An experienced personal injury attorney specialized in brain injury lawsuits can navigate these complexities to ensure victims receive a fair settlement.
|Medical expenses and treatment costs
|Accumulated medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, necessary surgeries, and ongoing therapies
|Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
|Current and future lost wages, decreased ability to work, vocational rehabilitation needs
|Pain and suffering
|Physical and emotional pain endured, impact on daily life and relationships
|Cost of ongoing medical care
|Long-term medical expenses, follow-up appointments, rehabilitation sessions, medication
|Future treatment needs
|Estimated costs of future therapies, surgeries, and potential complications
Assessing damages in traumatic brain injury settlements requires a thorough evaluation of these factors to ensure victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Legal Considerations in TBI Settlements
Navigating the legal landscape of traumatic brain injury settlements requires a deep understanding of personal injury law. When pursuing compensation for a traumatic brain injury, there are several important legal considerations to keep in mind.
One of the crucial aspects of building a strong brain injury case is gathering sufficient evidence. This includes medical records, accident reports, witness testimonies, and any other relevant documentation. The evidence should be comprehensive and clearly establish the link between the accident and the brain injury.
Determining who is responsible for the brain injury is essential for a successful settlement. This involves identifying the party or parties at fault and demonstrating their negligence or misconduct. In some cases, liability may be shared among multiple parties, such as the driver of a vehicle and the manufacturer of a faulty safety device.
Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
Insurance companies will often try to minimize their financial liability in brain injury cases. It is important to be cautious when dealing with insurance adjusters and to consult with a brain injury lawyer before providing any formal statements or accepting settlement offers. An experienced lawyer can help protect your rights and negotiate fair compensation on your behalf.
Demonstrating the Impact
Proving the full extent of the brain injury and its impact on the victim’s life is crucial for obtaining fair compensation. This may involve presenting medical reports, expert testimonies, and other supporting evidence that clearly demonstrate the physical, cognitive, and emotional effects of the injury. A brain injury lawyer can help gather the necessary evidence and build a compelling case.
Experienced Legal Guidance
Given the complexity of brain injury cases, having experienced legal guidance is essential. A personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance throughout the settlement process. They have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the legal obstacles and advocate for the victim’s rights.
|Key Legal Considerations in TBI Settlements
|Gathering Sufficient Evidence
|Establishing Liability for the Brain Injury
|Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
|Demonstrating the Impact of the Brain Injury
|Seeking Experienced Legal Guidance
Evidence to Support Your Traumatic Brain Injury Case
Building a strong case for a traumatic brain injury requires a solid foundation of supporting evidence. This evidence plays a crucial role in establishing the extent of the injury and securing fair compensation for victims.
When presenting your case, it is important to include the following types of evidence:
- Medical Documentation: Detailed medical records, including diagnoses, treatment plans, and progress reports, provide essential evidence of the brain injury. These records should highlight the severity of the injury and its impact on the victim’s daily life.
- Symptom Journals: Keeping a journal of the daily experiences and challenges resulting from traumatic brain injury symptoms can provide valuable documentation. This journal should include details about pain levels, cognitive difficulties, emotional fluctuations, and any other significant effects of the injury.
- Witness Testimonies: Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident or have observed the impact of the brain injury on your life can strengthen your case. Their testimonies can provide additional perspective and support the claims made about the severity and consequences of the injury.
- Comprehensive Medical Records: In addition to general medical documentation, gathering specialized records from neurologists, neuropsychologists, and other relevant experts can further substantiate the extent of the brain injury. These records may provide objective assessments, test results, and expert opinions.
- Objective Evaluations: Obtaining independent evaluations from medical experts or specialists can help validate the seriousness of the brain injury. These evaluations may include cognitive tests, psychological assessments, and functional capacity evaluations.
Gathering and presenting this evidence is essential to support your traumatic brain injury case and strengthen your chances of securing a favorable settlement. It is important to work closely with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through this process and help ensure that your case is backed by compelling evidence.
|Detailed records of diagnoses and treatment plans from healthcare providers.
|Personal accounts of daily experiences and challenges resulting from brain injury symptoms.
|Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident or observed the impact of the brain injury.
|Comprehensive Medical Records
|Specialized records from neurologists, neuropsychologists, and other experts.
|Independent assessments and tests conducted by medical professionals.
Case Studies: Brain Injury Compensation in Texas
When it comes to brain injury settlements in Texas, there is no average settlement amount. Each case is unique, and numerous factors come into play when determining the settlement amount.
That said, insurance defense lawyers monitor jury verdicts in similar cases, particularly TBI cases, to inform their settlement offers. Higher verdicts in TBI claims means higher settlement amounts. The opposite is true too.
Here are real-life examples of settlements and verdicts in cases where the plaintiff sustained a brain or head injury in a car or truck accident:
Jury Verdict in Magana v. Byrd
- Parties Involved:
- Plaintiff and counter-defendant Daniel S. Magana, a draftsman.
- Defendant and counter-plaintiff, Edyth D. Byrd, a bus driver.
- Accident Details:
- Location: Intersection of Beltline Road and Houston School Road, in Lancaster, Texas.
- Magana in a pickup truck, Byrd in a sedan.
- Collision during a left turn by Byrd.
- Magana: Neck and back injuries.
- Byrd: Neck injuries and traumatic brain injury.
- Case Claims:
- Magana sued Byrd for negligence.
- Byrd counterclaimed, also citing negligence.
- Dispute over who had the green light.
- Evidence and Testimony:
- Magana treated with a chiropractor and pain management doctor.
- Byrd treated with a chiropractor, received steroid injections, and consulted a neurologist.
- Byrd’s ongoing symptoms included severe headaches and cognitive problems.
- Byrd’s counsel noted Magana’s history of accidents.
- Questioned the necessity of Magana’s medical treatments.
- Jury Verdict and Damages Awarded to Byrd:
- Past medical expenses: $25,429.00.
- Future medical expenses: $75,000.00.
- Past physical pain and suffering: $7,500.00.
- Future physical pain and suffering: $5,000.00.
- Past mental anguish: $2,500.00.
- Property damage and related expenses: $30,915.94.
- Total Award: $146,344.94.
- Citation: Magana v. Byrd, No. DC-18-18617, in the 160th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas (Judge Aiesha Redmond).
Here is the Charge of the Court that the jury filled out at the end of trial:
Jury Verdict in Elrod v. Siegert Water Wells Inc.
- Parties Involved:
- Plaintiff: Ruby Elrod, 69, retiree.
- Defendants: J. Santos Lopez Mendoza and Siegert Water Wells Inc.
- Accident Details:
- Date: Dec. 17, 2018.
- Location: Highway 21, Bryan.
- Elrod’s SUV hit Mendoza’s pickup during a left turn.
- Injuries and Treatment:
- Elrod suffered multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury.
- She had surgeries on her wrist, elbow, and knee.
- Treated for post-concussion syndrome and PTSD.
- Case Claims and Defense:
- Elrod sued for negligence.
- Mendoza admitted to not watching traffic.
- Defense noted Elrod’s prior mental health issues.
- Jury Verdict and Damages Awarded:
- Past medical expenses: $150,000.
- Future medical expenses: $85,000.
- Past physical impairment: $150,000.
- Future physical impairment: $5,000.
- Past disfigurement: $2,500.
- Future mental anguish: $5,000.
- Past physical pain and suffering: $175,000.
- Future physical pain and suffering: $25,000.
- Past mental anguish: $35,000.
- Total Award: $632,500.
- Citation: Ruby Elrod v. Siegert Water Wells Inc. and J. Santos Lopez Mendoza, No. 19-00008-CV-85, in the 85th Judicial District Court of Brazos County, Texas (Judge: Kyle Hawthorne) (November 16, 2020).
Jury Verdict in Porter v. Herrera
- Parties Involved:
- Plaintiff: Jane Porter, 62, nanny and pet-sitter.
- Defendants: Jose Herrera and Performance Food Group Inc.
- Accident Details:
- Date: April 23, 2015.
- Location: Northwest Freeway, Jersey Village.
- Porter’s car rear-ended by Herrera’s 18-wheeler.
- Injuries and Treatment:
- Porter suffered a concussion, diffuse axonal brain injury, and other injuries.
- Symptoms included memory and cognitive issues, PTSD, and chronic pain.
- Underwent various treatments but could not complete all due to driving anxiety.
- Case Claims and Defense:
- Porter sued for Herrera’s negligence.
- Defense acknowledged liability but disputed the extent of damages.
- Jury Verdict and Damages Awarded:
- Future medical costs: $460,000.
- Past physical impairment: $250,000.
- Future physical impairment: $150,000.
- Past physical pain and mental anguish: $350,000.
- Future physical pain and mental anguish: $350,000.
- Total Award: $1.56 million.
- Porter v. Herrera, No. 2016-40459, 334th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (Judge: Steven Kirkland) (May 22, 2019).
Here is the Charge of the Court with the jury’s verdict:
Factors Influencing Brain Injury Settlement Amounts
When determining the settlement amount for a brain injury lawsuit, several factors come into play. These factors can significantly impact the compensation received by the victim. Understanding these factors is crucial for victims seeking fair brain injury compensation.
Severity of the Injury
The severity of the brain injury is a key determinant in settlement amounts. More severe injuries often result in higher compensation due to the increased impact on the victim’s life and potential long-term care requirements.
The victim’s characteristics, such as age, profession, and overall health, can also influence the settlement amount. The impact of the brain injury on the victim’s ability to work and their future earning potential may be taken into consideration when calculating compensation.
Damages, including past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of earning capacity, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life, can significantly affect brain injury settlement amounts.
At-Fault Party’s Financial Position
The financial position of the at-fault party can also play a role in determining the settlement amount. If the responsible party has substantial assets or insurance coverage, it may increase the likelihood of securing higher compensation.
It’s important to note that each brain injury case is unique, and settlement amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in brain injury cases can help victims understand their legal rights and present a strong case for fair compensation.
Consulting with a personal injury attorney with experience in brain injury cases can help victims understand their legal rights and present a strong case for fair compensation. They can navigate the complexities of the legal process and negotiate on behalf of the victim to ensure a favorable outcome.
Types of Damages in Brain Injury Settlements
When it comes to brain injury settlements, damages play a significant role in compensating victims for losses that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms.
Individuals bringing brain injury claims in Texas after car accidents and truck wrecks may recover damages for past and future:
- medical expenses,
- pain and suffering,
- scarring or physical disfigurement,
- lost wages,
- loss of earning capacity, and
- loss of enjoyment of life.
Importance of Legal Representation in Brain Injury Cases
Given the complexity of brain injury cases, seeking professional legal representation is vital. An experienced brain injury attorney in Texas can assess the specific details of your case, gather evidence, calculate damages, and navigate the legal process on your behalf.
Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs
What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
Traumatic brain injuries encompass a range of head injuries caused by blunt force trauma or penetrative wounds to the head.
What are the long-term effects of TBIs?
Long-term effects of TBIs can include, among other things, memory loss, impaired motor skills, and mood swings.
How can I recognize the signs of a traumatic brain injury?
Symptoms of TBIs can include headaches, nausea, confusion, memory problems, and irritability.
How are damages assessed in traumatic brain injury settlements?
Damages in TBI settlements are assessed based on factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What legal considerations should I be aware of in TBI settlements?
It is important to work with a brain injury lawyer to navigate the legal process and ensure fair compensation.
What evidence is needed to support a traumatic brain injury case?
Medical documentation, symptom journals, and witness testimonies are important pieces of evidence in TBI cases.
What is the average settlement amount for traumatic brain injury cases in Texas?
There is no average settlement amount as each case is unique and depends on various factors.
What factors influence brain injury settlement amounts?
Factors such as the severity of the injury, the victim’s characteristics, and damages play a role in determining settlement amounts.
Can punitive damages be awarded in brain injury cases?
Punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant acted with gross negligence or malice.