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Proof of Damages in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland
You know how your life has changed since you suffered a traumatic brain injury (sometimes called TBI). You may have spent time in a coma or going through therapy. You may have lost your job and may be unable to find another one. You may not be able to enjoy the things you did before your brain injury. You may find even normal, everyday tasks to be overwhelming.
But to win a brain injury case, you may have to prove the damages caused by your injury. That is where the personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. can help. We have experience helping brain injury victims and know how to communicate your injury in a way that others can appreciate what it has done to your life. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about our experience and how we can put it to work for you.
Types of Damages
When we talk about damages, we are talking about the monetary compensation we are seeking for your injury. In general, there are a few major classes of damages that people claim in serious personal injury cases, like traumatic brain injury. Generally, compensation is awarded for some or all of the following categories:
- Past and future hospital and medical bills
- Personal care and support costs
- Past and future lost earnings. The cost of assistance to conduct daily life activities
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Interference with spousal relations
These are the aspects that the courts typically use to define the life-changing effects of your brain injury.
The damages you deserve for medical bills are in most cases more than just what you add up from your past care. Medical bills also relate to the future care you can expect to need on the basis of your brain injury. This includes physical therapy, speech therapy, and neuro-psychological therapy necessary to restore you to what is considered your best possible recovery. Prescriptions for medications to control the effects of your brain injury, such as seizures, tremors, or mood disorders are also part of your future medical bills.
In addition, it may include expected costs for mobility aids such as walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs.
Personal Care and Support
After your brain injury, you may be unable to care for yourself and require constant or near-constant help performing daily tasks. Whether you hire a person to perform this care or if it is performed by a family member, you are entitled to compensation for this ongoing drain on your family's resources.
Vocational costs are losses that you suffer to your job and earning ability prior to your brain injury. If you worked as an actuary earning $100,000 a year before your injury, and expected to work another twenty years before retiring, but now are officially disabled by your brain injury and can only earn $20,000 a year and may only work for ten years, you have lost $1.8 million in earning potential that can be included as part of the damages we seek in your case.
In addition, if finding any work at all requires vocational training, that training can be included in your vocational costs.
Diminished Quality of Life / Pain and Suffering
Before your brain injury, you looked forward to a long and full life full of time spent enjoying your favorite things: hobbies, friends, family, and more. Now, your ability to enjoy those things is significantly diminished. If you spent every vacation scuba diving, but now cannot even swim, the quality of your life is diminished. If you were looking forward to watching your son graduate from college, but you are now not expected to live long enough to see that happen, the quality of your life is diminished. Even if video games or movies were your favorite pastime but epilepsy now prevents you from enjoying them, your quality of life is diminished.
Pain and suffering are closely related to diminished quality of life. If you suffered or continue to suffer lingering pain as a result of your accident, this can be included in the damages we seek.
These last two categories of damages are "noneconomic damages," that is, damages that are not related to specific monetary amounts. In Maryland, noneconomic damages are limited in all cases of personal injury or wrongful death. In Virginia, the total award for brain damage related to medical malpractice is limited, but the limit includes both economic and noneconomic damages.
If you would like to learn more about what kinds of damages we might be able to seek in your brain injury case in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation.