Saying you suffered a head injury in an accident is sort of like saying your nephew is an actor. He might be Will Smith, but he also might be an understudy in a local dinner theater production.
Head injuries to automobile occupants have been shown to be a major cause of death and permanent brain injury within the U.S. and internationally. Head injuries vary from headaches that resolve quickly to brain damage that destroys a life. The data on head injury verdicts does not leave a good impression of the settlement value of head injury cases:
- Head Lacerations and Contusions: $10,016
- Concussions: $22,638
- Skull Fractures: $100,000
- Cranial Nerve Damage: $160,095
- Head and Skull Injuries, Overall: $14,034
These may well be the most misleading statistics I have ever posted on this blog. Because these are median, not average verdict statistics. Almost one-fourth of skull fracture cases result in a verdict over $1 million (which includes skull fractures that cause no real injury – we have seen those). Yet the median is only $100,000. I don’t know what the average head injury verdict is – I can’t find any statistics – but I’ll bet you the average verdict in a case with a permanent head injury is over $1.5 million.
The Factors that Matter
I talk here about the factors that matter most in personal injury cases. In head injury cases in Maryland, the big variables are going to be
- Liability: If there is no real liability dispute, this is going to increase greatly the trial and settlement value of your claim.
- Venue: If your case is in Baltimore City or Prince George’s County, it is going to have high value than anywhere else in Maryland. That is not to say you cannot get an excellent result, for example, on the Eastern Shore where juries are tougher. But it does make the hill a bit steeper.
- Is the Injury Permanent?: This is a big variable. Juries take very seriously what will happen over the rest of the victim’s life. Past pain and suffering is important, but it does not parallel pain that will last forever in the eyes of the jury.
- Quality Plaintiffs: This matter so much more than even I realize sometimes. A jury has to believe the plaintiff is “worthy” and jurors take a lot of different paths in determining whether the victim is deserving. The biggest single ingredient in this intangible “worthy”: likability.
- Hatable Defendant: You don’t need a hateable defendant to get an excellent result. But it really does make it so much easier.
Getting a Lawyer for Your Head Injury Claim
We have handled scores of serious head injury cases. We know the science, the medicine, and how to put these claims in a position to win. If you have a head injury claim in Maryland, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online case review.
Articles of Interest
- Second-Impact Syndrome and a Small Subdural Hematoma: An Uncommon Catastrophic Result of Repetitive Head Injury with a Characteristic Imaging Appearance, J Neurotrauma 27:2557-1564 (2010) (trivial trauma after earlier head injury may sometimes lead to catastrophic brain swelling with even a small subdural hemorrhage).