How Can the Severity of a TBI Affect the Compensation I May Receive?

How Can the Severity of a TBI Affect the Compensation I May Receive?

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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most catastrophic and debilitating injuries a person can endure. In many cases, they can cause irreversible damage to the brain, affecting a person’s cognitive, emotional, and physical function. Often, TBI victims require extensive medical care, a rehabilitation period, and, in the worst cases, assistance for the rest of their life. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. That said, the amount of compensation you receive will depend largely on the severity of your TBI and how it affects your capacity to work, enjoy life, and perform daily tasks. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Connecticut brain injury lawyer from Casper & de Toledo to learn more.

How are TBIs classified?

Some healthcare providers classify TBIs into three categories based on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which measures a person’s level of consciousness after a head injury. The GCS assigns a score from 3 to 15 based on a person’s eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. The three categories, as well as their corresponding descriptions, are as follows:

  • Mild TBI (GCS score of 13 to 15): A person with a mild TBI may experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, memory loss, or mood changes. These symptoms may last for a few days or weeks, but usually resolve with time and proper treatment. A mild TBI may not require hospitalization or surgery, but it may still have long-term effects on a person’s cognitive function or mental health.
  • Moderate TBI (GCS score of 9 to 12): A person with a moderate TBI may experience more severe and persistent symptoms than a mild TBI, such as loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes, post-traumatic amnesia for more than 24 hours, or focal neurological deficits such as weakness or numbness in a limb. A moderate TBI may require hospitalization and surgery to remove blood clots or relieve pressure on the brain. A person with a moderate TBI may have permanent impairments in their cognitive, emotional, physical, or behavioral functions that require ongoing therapy and support.
  • Severe TBI (GCS score of 8 or less): A person with a severe TBI may experience coma, vegetative state, or death. A severe TBI may cause extensive damage to the brain tissue and structures, resulting in irreversible impairments or disabilities. A person with a severe TBI may need lifelong medical care and assistance with basic activities such as eating, dressing, or bathing.

The GCS is a really crude system. The original intent of the GCS was to provide a quick way that emergency and hospital personnel could convey a patient’s condition. It was not intended to be an accurate basis for classification of an injury. Bear in mind that using the GCS, a patient could be deceased and still received a 3 on the GCS. There are other systems for classification of a TBI. Recently, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine published a modified approach for diagnosing a mild TBI. You can locate the current iteration of the paper here: Silverberg ND, Iverson GL; ACRM Brain Injury Special Interest Group Mild TBI Task Force and the ACRM Mild TBI Definition Expert Consensus Group, ACRM Brain Injury Special Interest Group Mild TBI Task Force members ….The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Diagnostic Criteria for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 May 19:S0003-9993(23)00297-6. While the Special Interest Group that adopted the new criteria includes luminaries in the field of traumatic brain injury, these recommendations are not irrevocable or sufficiently prescient to cover discoveries about brain injury to cover scientific discoveries yet to be made. Science is always a work in progress – particularly when it comes to the brain.

How does the severity of a TBI affect the compensation I may receive?

The severity of your TBI will affect the amount and type of compensation you may receive for your injury claim. Generally speaking, the more severe your TBI is, the more compensation you may be entitled to, provided that there is sufficient insurance or other assets to cover the damage. Just some of the factors that may influence the amount of compensation you may receive for your TBI are as follows:

  • The extent and duration of your symptoms and impairments
  • The impact of your injury on your personal and professional life
  • The cost and necessity of your past and future medical care and treatment
  • The availability and credibility of evidence and witnesses to support your claim
  • The degree of fault and liability of the defendant
  • The skill and experience of your attorney

Casper & de Toledo has decades of experience representing individuals who’ve sustained traumatic brain injuries as a result of the negligence of others, and we are here to put that experience to work for you in your case as well. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with our dedicated personal injury law firm.