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Can A Concussion or Head Injury Affect My Settlement Claim In California?

Updated: Sep 26

How Concussions Will Be Considered In A California Car Accident Settlement

There's a reason why you're advised to see a doctor after a car accident, even when you haven't sustained visible bruising or lacerations. Some cases of concussions don't present immediate symptoms, but they can have worrying effects in the long run.


That said, how big of a deal are concussions in personal injury cases?


Let's look at the critical factors relevant to car accidents, concussions, and settlements, as California car accident lawyers handle them.


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Why Concussions And Head Injuries Are A Huge Deal In California Car Accident Claims

A recent study shows that TBIs increase the risk of Parkinson's in later life. This includes concussions with little to no symptoms. This study affects how car accident and concussion settlements are handled. It implies that TBIs can have more lasting effects than previously observed.


Since car accident settlements are meant to compensate victims for their physical, emotional, and financial losses, an increased risk of Parkinson's disease might lead to more damages and losses in the future. A California personal injury lawyer would consider these when calculating your damages.

Damages for Concussion Related Injuries In California


The average settlement for concussions from car accidents in California is calculated through the following factors:


Compensatory Damages

Compensation awards will compensate the money you lost or the debt you incurred due to the accident if a judge finds that the defendant was at fault and caused your injuries. This is often equal to the cost of medical expenses, property repair expenditures, and lost wages.


You can easily show this if you preserve a copy of your bills and invoices. Even if you've already paid the expenses, compensation may be available to pay them. Your accident lawyer will provide these documents to a judge, who will assess their relevance to your accident and use them to calculate compensatory damages.


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Special conditions can raise damages, but they are more challenging to prove. For instance, pain and suffering and emotional distress are intangible damages with no set monetary price. Although establishing these is more difficult than submitting an invoice, they are worthwhile.


Top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles will present the potential damages (such as the increased risk of Parkinson's) in terms of concussion settlement value. They could find medical and economic experts to help you prove and calculate future damages.


Consult Personal Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles to help you build a solid case, collect evidence, and file necessary paperwork.

Punitive Damages


Punitive damages cannot be included in your complaint since they are only awarded when a judge deems them appropriate. Furthermore, neither you nor your Los Angeles car accident attorney can predict what they will be. A judge can utilize a variety of grounds to justify punitive damages, but the law doesn't provide a set formula.


A jury may conclude that the defendant behaved recklessly or knowingly while reaching a guilty verdict in a personal injury case. Driving when intoxicated, for example, is commonly considered reckless activity. When this happens, the judge will consider the facts of the case to determine how much punitive damages the offender should pay.


Punitive damages have two goals: to punish the offender for their negligence and help you get your life back to where it was before the accident. They'll consider a variety of economic and non-economic considerations, including:

  • Previous criminal behavior of the defendant

  • Your and the defendant's insurance policies

  • Yours and the defendant's earnings

  • Expenses for legal representation

  • The defendant's awareness of their guilt

  • If the defendant's intent was to injure others

If the compensatory damages aren't large enough or don't represent the severity of your disability or the accident, a judge can award punitive damages.


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