How Much Is a Head Injury Claim Worth?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | May 21, 2024
How Much Is a Head Injury Claim Worth?

Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can result in serious complications, some of which may be lifelong. Head trauma and TBIs frequently happen in motor vehicle accidents, especially those that occur at high speeds where a vehicle occupant strikes their head on an interior vehicle component, like the steering wheel or headrest.

If you or a person you love suffered a head injury in a recent motor vehicle accident, you need to obtain the legal help that you need right away. A knowledgeable head injury lawyer in St. Louis can determine your legal options and handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on recovering from your injury.

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Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents That Can Lead to Head Injuries

Accidents resulting from someone else’s negligence, whether involving cars, trucks, or motorcycles, can lead to devastating head injuries. One common way these injuries occur is from the impact of the head striking something within the vehicle or the ground.

In a car accident, the sudden force of impact can cause occupants to be thrown around inside the vehicle, leading to their heads colliding with the dashboard, steering wheel, window, or other hard surfaces. Even with seat belts and airbags, the violent motion of a collision can still result in significant head trauma. For example, if a vehicle rear-ends the vehicle in front at high speed, an occupant’s head may snap backward and forward upon impact, resulting in whiplash and potentially causing the person’s head to strike the steering wheel or windshield.

head injury lawyer in St. Louis

Similarly, in truck accidents, the sheer size and weight of the vehicles involved can increase the force of impact. If a truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are at risk of their heads striking various surfaces within the vehicle. In addition, if the truck rolls over or jackknifes, there is a high likelihood of objects within the truck’s cabin becoming projectiles, further increasing the risk of head injuries for the occupants.

Motorcycle accidents present a unique set of risks due to the lack of protective barriers around riders. In a collision, riders often fall from their bikes and may hit the ground or other objects with great force. Without the protection of a vehicle frame, airbags, or seat belts, the risk of head injuries is significantly higher. Even if riders are wearing helmets, the force of impact can still cause concussions, skull fractures, or traumatic brain injuries.

The consequences of these head injuries can be severe and long-lasting, affecting cognitive function, motor skills, and emotional well-being. Victims may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care to recover from their injuries. In some cases, head injuries can result in permanent disabilities or even fatalities, leaving families to cope with the loss.

Medical Treatment That May Be Necessary for Head Injuries

Head injuries resulting from car accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents often require a range of medical treatments to address the specific injuries and their complications. The type of treatment needed depends on the severity and nature of the head injury sustained.

In cases of mild head injuries, such as concussions, rest and observation may be sufficient. However, close monitoring is essential to ensure that symptoms do not worsen and that the individual does not develop complications such as post-concussion syndrome. This may involve frequent neurological assessments and cognitive testing to track recovery progress.

For more severe head injuries, immediate medical interventions are often necessary to stabilize the patient and prevent further damage. This may include procedures to control bleeding, such as surgery to repair skull fractures or remove hematomas (collections of blood) from the brain. In cases of intracranial pressure (ICP) elevation, medications or procedures like a ventriculostomy may be required to reduce pressure and prevent secondary brain injury.

In some instances, individuals may need rehabilitation therapy to recover from head injuries and regain lost skills or abilities. This may involve physical therapy to address mobility issues, occupational therapy to improve daily functioning, or speech therapy to address communication and cognitive deficits.

For individuals who experience ongoing symptoms or complications from their head injuries, long-term management may be necessary. This may involve medications to control symptoms such as headaches, seizures, or mood disturbances. In addition, counseling or psychotherapy may be beneficial for addressing psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that often accompany traumatic head injuries.

Furthermore, severe or catastrophic head injuries that result in permanent disabilities may require ongoing medical care and support services. This may include assistance with activities of daily living, specialized medical equipment, and home modifications to accommodate the individual’s needs.

Important Evidence in Head Injury Cases

Medical Treatment

Proving a head injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident often relies on gathering and presenting key evidence to support the claim. Several types of evidence are crucial in demonstrating the severity and effects of the injury. These include the following:

  • Medical Records — Detailed medical records documenting the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of the head injury are essential. This includes records from emergency room visits, hospitalizations, diagnostic tests (such as CT scans or MRIs), and consultations with specialists.
  • Witness Statements — Eyewitness accounts from individuals who observed the accident or its aftermath can provide valuable insight into the circumstances surrounding the head injury. Witness statements may corroborate the injured party’s version of events and help establish liability.
  • Police Reports — Official police reports filed at the scene of the accident can contain important information, including descriptions of the accident, statements from involved parties, and any citations or charges issued. These reports can help establish the cause of the accident and who was at fault.
  • Photographic Evidence — Photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries sustained can serve as powerful visual evidence. These images can help illustrate the severity of the collision and the resulting effects on the injured party.
  • Expert Testimony — Testimony from medical experts, such as neurologists or neuropsychologists, can provide professional opinions on the nature and extent of the head injury. Experts can analyze medical records, diagnostic tests, and the injured party’s symptoms to offer insights into the injury’s effects and long-term prognosis.
  • Employment Records — Documentation of any missed work or changes in employment status due to the head injury can demonstrate the injury’s repercussions on the injured party’s ability to work and earn a living. This may include records of sick leave, disability claims, or vocational assessments.
  • Personal Journals or Diaries — Written accounts by the injured party detailing their symptoms, pain levels, and daily challenges can provide valuable firsthand evidence of the injury’s effects on their daily life and functioning.
  • Financial Records — Documentation of medical expenses, including bills for hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, therapy sessions, and assistive devices, can quantify the financial effects of the head injury and support claims for compensation.

By compiling and presenting this evidence effectively, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can strengthen the injured victim’s claims for compensation, ensuring their rights in all legal proceedings.

Factors That May Affect the Value of a Head Injury Claim

Several factors can influence the value of a head injury claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident, and each affects the amount of compensation the accident victim may recover. These factors include the severity of the injury, the extent of medical treatment required, the effect on the victim’s life, and the presence of any contributing factors or pre-existing conditions.

  • Severity of Injury — The severity of the head injury is a primary factor in determining the value of a claim. More severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or skull fractures, typically result in higher compensation due to the significant effect on the victim’s health and well-being.
  • Extent of Medical Treatment — The extent of medical treatment required to address the head injury also plays a crucial role. Expenses related to emergency room visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation therapy, and ongoing medical care can all contribute to the overall value of the claim.
  • Effects of the Injury on the Victim’s Life — The effects of the head injury on the victim’s life and ability to function are another important consideration. Factors such as physical limitations, cognitive impairments, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life can increase the value of the claim by accounting for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages.
  • Contributing Factors — Contributing factors, such as negligence or misconduct on the part of the at-fault party, may also affect the value of the claim. For example, if the accident was the result of drunk driving or reckless behavior, the victim may be entitled to punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
Head Injury Claim

Types of damages that an accident victim may recover for their head injury include:

  • Medical Expenses — Compensation for past and future medical expenses related to the head injury, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, surgeries, medications, therapy, and assistive devices.
  • Lost Income — Reimbursement for income lost due to time missed from work while recovering from the head injury, as well as compensation for diminished earning capacity if the injury prevents the victim from returning to their previous occupation or earning potential.
  • Pain and Suffering — Compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress head injury caused and its effects on the victim’s life and well-being.
  • Loss of Consortium — Damages awarded to the victim’s spouse or family members for the loss of companionship, support, and services resulting from the head injury.
  • Punitive Damages — Additional damages awarded to punish the at-fault party for egregious conduct and deter similar behavior in the future.

By considering these factors and seeking appropriate legal guidance, accident victims can pursue fair compensation for their head injuries and the resulting damages.

Taking a Head Injury Case to ADR or Trial

When considering how to resolve a head injury case resulting from a motor vehicle accident, individuals have several options, including alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like mediation or arbitration, as well as taking the case to trial. Each approach has its advantages and considerations, and the decision ultimately depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the preferences of the parties involved.

Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps facilitate communication and negotiation between the parties. During mediation, the parties have the opportunity to discuss their interests, concerns, and proposed resolutions in a collaborative and confidential setting. The mediator does not make decisions or impose settlements but instead assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation is often favored for its informality, flexibility, and potential to preserve relationships between the parties.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a more formal process in which a neutral arbitrator, or panel of arbitrators, hears evidence and arguments from both sides and renders a binding decision. Unlike mediation, arbitration resembles a mini-trial, with formal procedures, rules of evidence, and the opportunity for each party to present their case. Arbitration offers a faster and less expensive alternative to traditional litigation, and the parties have more control over the process and outcome compared to going to trial.

Taking a head injury case to trial involves presenting evidence and arguments before a judge and/or jury, who will ultimately decide the outcome of the case. Trials are typically more time-consuming and expensive than ADR proceedings, but they offer the opportunity for a thorough examination of the evidence and the chance to obtain a legally enforceable judgment. Trials may be necessary when the parties cannot reach a settlement through negotiation or ADR or when the case involves complex legal issues or significant damages.

In deciding whether to pursue mediation, arbitration, or trial, parties should consider factors such as the strength of their case, the willingness of the other party to negotiate, the costs and time involved, and the potential risks and benefits of each option. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help individuals evaluate their options and make informed decisions about the best course of action for resolving their head injury case.

Head Injury Lawyer in St. Louis , A.J. Bruning
A.J. Bruning, Head Injury Lawyer St. Louis

Contact an Experienced Head Injury Lawyer Right Away

If you or someone you love suffered a head injury in a motor vehicle accident resulting from someone else's negligence, you should consult with an attorney right away about your legal options. Your attorney can take the necessary steps on your behalf, pursue settlement compensation for your injury, or litigate your case in the court system to an efficient resolution.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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