Have you ever wondered what a car accident case that causes a brain injury might be worth? Well, the reality is that the value of car accident / brain injury cases can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, such as how much insurance coverage is available (this is huge because very often the coverage caps the potential recovery), who caused the accident (or whether both parties contributed), and the extent of the brain injury. Some brain injuries result in relatively mild symptoms, while others can be so bad that they leave the victim in a vegetative state. In the sample case results below, you can see that the plaintiff had sustained a previous brain injury (actually more than one), but she was still awarded over 7 million dollars. (I did not handle this case; this is merely a sample verdict reported from a car accident / brain injury case from another state.) There are many other reported cases where victims receive either nothing (zero verdict) or very little. Assuming a brain injury / car accident case gets to a jury, which often requires the judge to deny dispositive motions, then the question really comes down to what the jury thinks. The other reality is that the overwhelming majority of cases settle before trial, so the question then is what both parties think the jury will award. I am an Orlando car accident attorney who can help you maximize your chances for success by careful interaction with you throughout your case in the form of highly personalized service. Call me now to discuss how this approach could help you.
Sample Verdict From Car Accident Case That Led To A Brain Injury
HEADLINE: Auto/truck Accident – Interstate – Brain Injury
TOPIC: Motor Vehicle
DATE: July 22, 2008
PUBLICATION DATE: March 12, 2011
CASE SUMMARY: Plaintiff suffered from a prior brain injury when she was involved in this truck/SUV accident and sustained another brain injury. She sought damages for new debilitating brain injuries, while defendant maintained that plaintiff’s condition was not substantially different after this accident. The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $7,953,000, plus interest from the date of the accident.
Plaintiff Lynn Zoll was 46 years old when she sustained a brain injury in 1987 when she fell on a patch of ice. She rehabilitated and progressed with her disability despite two other rear-end accidents within three years of the subject collision. During that time, plaintiff became a spokesperson for brain injury survivors. She had also obtained a business license two months prior to this accident intending to do voice over work.
In 2003, plaintiff was a passenger in a Jeep on her way to a brain injury conference when a tractor-trailer truck rear-ended her vehicle on I-295 in Hanover County. The Jeep rolled three times. Plaintiff and her driver had to be cut out of the Jeep and were transported by air to a Richmond hospital. Plaintiff sustained a fractured knee, body bruising and another closed head injury. Defendant vehicle was owned by Werner Enterprises, Inc. and operated by one of its employees.
Plaintiff alleged that defendant’s driver was 100% responsible for this accident and claimed she sustained permanent new brain injuries as a result. Brain scans taken in 1993 and 2000 were provided as evidence of the additional injuries, which included speech impairments, headaches, dizziness, memory loss concentration and balance difficulties, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Plaintiff alleged that she made significant progress following the 1987 accident and that the subject accident caused permanent debilitating brain injuries such that she was unable to pursue employment and would required life care. She presented lay witnesses who described her deterioration after the crash. Treaters substantiated those claims and argued that a person who had suffered one brain injury was more likely to have greater damage from a second injury than someone who had never been brain damaged.
Defendant conceded liability several days prior to trial, but disputed causation and the extent of damages. Defendant argued that plaintiff was significantly impaired by her first brain injury and there was no substantial deterioration arising from the second one.
Plaintiff was a 65 year old female who was unemployed.
Brain injury, fractured knee and soft tissue body bruising. Plaintiff’s primary injury was to her brain. She was the victim of a prior brain injury in 1987, but contended that this new permanent brain injury caused speech impairment (aphasia), stuttering, inability to communicate thoughts, headaches, dizziness, memory loss, concentration difficulties, balance problems, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Plaintiff alleged she was unable to pursue voice over work. She claimed $288,000 in past medicals, $4,000,000 in future care, plus damages for pain and suffering.
$7,953,000 plus interest from the date of the accident for a total verdict of $10,222,667.
If You Have Suffered A Brain Injury During An Accident, Marshal As Much Evidence As Possible
Oftentimes the most important potential damages available after a car accident that results in a brain injury (or any other injury) are developed after the accident happens. These damages are not automatic or guaranteed, and they are vastly different in each and every case. Just as an example, let’s say in the sample case above that the victim went to a hospital ER after the accident, and was released without careful brain scans (very possible and indeed in my observation seems almost likely). Then let’s say that she went to a follow up visit with another MD who failed to recognize that her various new symptoms, including headaches, memory loss, dizziness, concentration difficulties, balance problems, fatigue, anxiety and depression, were all related to a new, worsened brain injury. It would be critical in that situation to have an attorney listening to the client explain all of their various symptoms and making sure that the clients were following up as needed with various health care providers. Or let’s say the client didn’t have health care insurance. The auto insurance company typically will not pay for needed treatment before it happens. So an attorney can explore other options to try and get the plaintiff treated. These are just a couple of many examples of the ways in which a closely involved injury attorney can increase the potential damages in your case. If a person were not in close contact with their Orlando car accident attorney while treatment options were being explored, then some conditions that could lead to substantial damages could easily be overlooked. But careful monitoring can help in many other important ways.