How are Concussion Injury Settlements Determined in Arkansas?
Sports, auto accidents, and workplace accidents are all common causes of concussions. In many accidents, your injuries might have been avoidable. If you or your child suffered an accidental concussion, you could be entitled to sue the responsible parties. Knowing how much your case may be worth – and whether to accept a settlement offer or take your case to court – may require the knowledge of an experienced Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer.
Fayetteville, Arkansas brain injury lawyer Ken Kieklak has helped thousands of clients with their personal injury cases. Put that experience to work on your Arkansas brain injury case today by scheduling a free consultation with our brain injury attorney.
Calculating Brain Injury Amounts
Usually, the amount of money you could potentially win in a personal injury case is proportional to how bad your injuries were. Injuries are usually considered more severe when they cause you more pain, have more expensive medical bills, and impact your life in big ways. Concussions and other brain injuries can vary widely in their severity and impact on your life.
A concussion is sometimes called mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). “Traumatic brain injury” (TBI) is a very severe injury to the brain itself. The skull offers good protection for the brain, but sometimes the force of an injury can penetrate the skull. Other injuries occur when a strong blow to the head causes the brain to bounce off the inside of the skull without causing the skull too much damage.
The side effects of TBI often involve loss of motor function, changes in personality, mood swings, loss of senses, nausea, confusion, and memory problems. These may be so severe that people are unable to recover, requiring daily medical care. Concussions are a more mild version of this same injury. This means the symptoms may include similar issues like confusion, nausea, mood problems, and other physical effects. However, the effects of a concussion are often temporary.
The cost of a concussion can still be great. The medical expenses behind a concussion injury may require testing and imaging to rule out brain bleeds and worse injuries. Recovering from a concussion often means some inability to return to work or school, inability to drive, and other interruptions to your daily life. Lost wages and additional expenses for travel or child care could be added to your potential damages.
Many injuries also entitle you to considerable sums for your pain and suffering. Concussions and brain injuries may cause intense physical pain and discomfort, and mental suffering. Arkansas has no legal limits or “caps” on these damages, and juries may award as much as they see fit. This can often mean pain and suffering damages are the highest part of a lawsuit.
Should I Settle my Concussion Case Out-of-Court?
While settling a case may save time and court costs, it may not be the best decision for your case. Always talk to an attorney about what your specific case may be worth, and what damages you might be entitled to. If you take your case to court, any damages for medical expenses, lost wages (both past and future, if you are unable to return to work), and pain and suffering damages might be available. You could also be entitled to extra “punitive” damages to penalize the responsible parties if they acted especially badly. Settling may limit these damages.
In a settlement, you are only entitled to the damages that the responsible parties accept. That means that they may be willing to reimburse your expenses, but might not be willing to pay you any extra money. Reimbursing medical expenses and lost wages is standard for many settlements with insurance or responsible parties, but pain and suffering damages may be low or left out. Without a court to decide “punitive damages,” the other side will never agree to pay any extra as a penalty against themselves.
In a trial, the jury determines the total money you could win. This means that a group of neutral, third parties ultimately puts a price tag on your case. Your lawyer can ask for a certain amount, and the jury may be willing to award the entire amount you ask for. In a settlement, your lawyer may be forced to give up certain demands in order to come to a good price with the other side. This could mean giving up damages like pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Arkansas Brain Injury Attorney
Talk to an attorney today to understand what your case may be worth. Never take an initial settlement offer without first talking to an attorney, because it may be too low to cover your needs. Accepting a settlement usually blocks you from taking your case to court, so always consult an attorney on whether to settle or fight the battle in court.
Fayetteville personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak offers free consultations to help new clients understand their case. Call (479) 316-0438 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer.
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