If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Every brain injury is different, so it’s essential to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine the specific damages you may be able to recover.
In general, there are different types of damages available for brain injury lawsuits, like compensatory damages, hedonic damages, and punitive damages. Learn more about what these damages entail and if you qualify.
Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate for your injuries, including all the costs associated with your medical treatment. They also cover all of the non-economic damages that you have suffered through:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Other losses related to your brain injury
Compensatory damages are often the largest part of a settlement or verdict because they can quickly add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
They may also be available to your family members if they have suffered any of the above losses due to the brain injury, including loss of consortium.
Hedonic damages or non-economic damages value your loss in terms of loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are hedonic, solatium, and loss of quality of life awards. This is determined by the severity and duration of your brain injury, which may include cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.
Some states have no limits on the amount you can seek for your loss of enjoyment of life, while others impose a cap so that, even if you develop a lifetime brain injury from the accident, it will not exceed a certain monetary figure. You should speak with local Lake Charles brain injury attorneys to see if you are in a state that has caps on hedonic damages.
If your brain injury is exceptionally severe and was caused by another person’s reckless or negligent actions, you may be able to seek punitive damages on top of compensatory damages.
These extra dollars are designed to punish the person at fault for their negligence or reckless behavior. In most cases, punitive damages are not available unless the person at fault committed a crime or assault or battery.
Economic damages are the costs associated with your medical treatment. Damages for medical expenses are only available if insurance or medical payment coverage covers your injury. If you don’t have medical coverage, you will only claim your out-of-pocket expenses.
They may include the costs of:
- Medical treatment to date
- Future medical treatment for your brain injury
- Physical therapy
If your brain injury has left you unable to work, then your lost wages and future earning potential may also be covered by economic damages. These costs are often what people refer to when they say a brain injury has “financially ruined” them or their family.
If you missed time from work to recover from your brain injury, you may be able to seek reimbursement for those lost wages by claiming special damages. These damages also cover any medical expenses paid on your behalf for your injury.
Also, suppose you had to pay for additional household assistance after your brain injury due to your reduced level of functioning. In that case, you may be able to seek special damages to recover these costs.
Future damages cover all of the costs associated with your brain injury until you die. These include:
- future medical care
- adaptive equipment
- assistive technology
- any other cost for your ongoing treatment or care on an annual basis
You should be aware that this sum is not necessarily limited to the rest of your lifetime – it simply covers your costs until you pass away.
Consult a Legal Expert
As you can see, compensatory damages for brain injuries vary and may include all of the above and more depending on the specifics of your case. It’s crucial to consult with a personal injury lawyer right away after your brain injury so they can help you determine what types of damages are available in your case.