Important Legal Disclaimer: These dollar values are from past results and do not guarantee or suggest that your matter will have a similar outcome. The facts and circumstances that led to your injury are likely different, and an attorney can provide specific guidance only after engaging in a fact-intensive analysis. Furthermore, a jury will ultimately decide the worth of your personal injury case.
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a brain injury caused by physical force. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 27,300 severe or fatal cases were reported in Oklahoma from 2004 to 2009. That means an average of about 4,550 Oklahomans sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. Sadly, many of these people become victims of wrongful death, while those who survive often suffer from debilitating mental and physical impairments that change every aspect of their daily lives.
Many cases of TBI are caused by preventable human error. The CDC ranks car accidents, slip and fall accidents, assaults, and object strikes among the leading causes of TBI nationwide, while gunshot wounds are a common cause in Oklahoma. If your loved one’s TBI resulted from another person’s careless or negligent actions, your family may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, financial losses, and pain and suffering.
What’s the Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict?
An injury victim can recover compensation in two ways: through a settlement or a verdict.
A settlement is an out-of-court agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant – or, to be more specific, almost always the insurance company for the defendant. Both sides agree to a certain dollar amount as compensation before a trial occurs. The settlement may occur well before the scheduled trial date or within days of the time the trial is supposed to take place. The defendant or the plaintiff may initiate a settlement offer, at which point the other party can deny the settlement, accept the settlement as-is, or propose a counteroffer with a different figure. A large percentage of personal injury lawsuits end in a settlement.
A verdict is not a mutual agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant. It is an outside decision made by a third party, the jury, which must determine whether the plaintiff or the defendant was primarily at fault for the accident that caused the plaintiff’s brain injury.
Are There Different Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case?
When a plaintiff wins a personal injury lawsuit, he or she is awarded damages or compensation. However, several kinds of compensation may be awarded, depending on the circumstances of the case. Compensation is divided into four broad categories:
Economic Damages refer to calculable, quantifiable damages, such as medical bills and lost income. The victim can also be compensated for projected future income and medical bills losses if his or her injury is disabling.
Non-Economic damages cannot be objectively measured, such as emotional distress, the pain and suffering experienced by the victim, and loss of companionship in cases where the victim was married.
Compensatory Damages are meant solely to compensate the plaintiff. Compensatory damages can encompass both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Punitive Damages – This is compensation meant to punish the defendant and deter others from repeating the same conduct in the future. Therefore, punitive damages are awarded only in cases where the defendant’s conduct was extremely egregious and unacceptable. Punitive damages are not awarded as often as compensatory damages but tend to be higher in value.
Like many states, Oklahoma imposes damages caps on the maximum punitive damages an injury victim may recover. However, the figure at which punitive damages are capped depends on the circumstances of the lawsuit, with the different possibilities outlined below:
- If the defendant was “guilty of reckless disregard for the rights of others,” punitive damages are capped at $100,000.
- If the defendant “acted intentionally and with malice,” punitive damages are capped at $500,000.
- If the defendant “acted intentionally and with malice and engaged in conduct life-threatening to humans,” punitive damages can be awarded in any amount.
These caps are provided by state law under O.S. § 23-9.1.
Dollar Awards for Plaintiffs in TBI Lawsuits
With the above disclaimer in mind, we’ve compiled some nationwide TBI verdicts and settlements to help give plaintiffs and their loved ones a better idea of the sorts of figures these types of lawsuits may result in.
- $21.5 million verdict awarded to an Illinois man who struck his head on the sliding glass door of a cruise ship.
- $17.88 million verdict awarded to an Oklahoma man who fell from a golf cart.
- A $17 million verdict was awarded to a California cyclist hit by a car.
- $14.25 million settlement awarded to a Pennsylvania woman whose car was struck in a truck accident.
- $12.2 million verdict awarded to a California pedestrian who was hit by a car.
- $9.6 million settlement awarded to a California resident who sustained a traumatic brain injury after being struck by a dolly that detached from a delivery truck.
- A $7.5 million verdict was awarded to a Virginia woman injured in a car accident in 1996.
- $7.3 million verdict awarded to an Illinois child who suffered a brain injury in a bus accident.
- $5.6 million settlement awarded to a California child who fell from a defective cruise ship stairwell.
- A $3.3 million verdict was awarded to a Louisiana pedestrian hit by a car.
- A $3 million settlement was awarded to a Virginia man injured in a racetrack crash at Langley Speedway.
- $1.8 million settlement awarded to an Oklahoma victim of medical malpractice.
- $1.125 million settlement awarded to a Tennessee man who was hit by a truck that ran a red light.
- $610,000 verdict to a Pennsylvania woman in a collision with another vehicle.
- $600,000 settlement to an Illinois passenger who suffered a moderate TBI after the driver fell asleep and crashed the vehicle.
- $575,000 settlement awarded to a Kansas driver who was struck by a driver distracted by their cell phone.
Contact Us Today
If one of your loved ones suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automotive accident, slip and fall accident, or because of medical malpractice, your family could be entitled to significant compensation. To start discussing your case in a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call the personal injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 605-2426 today.