If you are suffering from a head injury due to an accident that was not your fault, you may be considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. You can be compensated, whether your injury was mild or severe, but there are several factors to take into account when predicting a settlement. Read on for more information about how damages for head injuries are calculated.

1.  Head injuries can be complicated. Medically speaking, your injury can range from a mild concussion to major brain damage. With a lot of seemingly mild injuries, the full impact on your brain cannot be determined until much later, when cognitive issues, memory problems and emotional conditions arise. It's important to document your injury treatments and the resulting impact on your everyday life. Head injuries can affect your loved ones as well, and it's important to know that you are entitled to compensation for their loss of your companionship, referred to as loss of consortium.

2.  Insurance companies use mathematical formulas to determine how much to offer you for a settlement for pain and suffering. The numbers are based on the dollar amount of your medical payments multiplied by the severity of your injury. Severity is determined by not only your medical records and diagnosis, but by how the injury has affected your life, your ability to work and your family. 

3.  Additional factors that influence the settlement offer include:

  • Liability, which really means fault, and sometimes full fault does not lie with one party, but is shared. For example, the other party may allege that you would have had time to brake and possibly avoid a red-light-runner if you had not been speeding through the intersection.
  • The plaintiff's characteristics. Your age, occupation, prior medical issues and even your personality, demeanor and behavior can all be factors in your settlement amount.
  • The location that the accident occurred influences amounts, since adjusters use recent local awards to help them determine offers.

4.  Mitigating deductions include behavior from the plaintiff that could reduce a settlement offer such as:

  • Failing to seek medical care in a timely manner after an accident.
  • Breaking a law while involved in the accident, such as being unlicensed or not wearing a seat belt.
  • Not following medical treatment orders properly.

You should know that the calculations and resulting offers are meant to be starting points for negotiations. The skills of a personal injury attorney are vital to help you to properly evaluate settlement offers and to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your head injury.