Taking a closer look at brain injury lawsuits: Part 2

In our last post, we discussed a premises liability lawsuit brought by a former high school basketball player against the local school district. The player alleges that he slipped on vomit that school officials failed to properly clean up from the basketball court.

Compensatory damages in a brain injury lawsuit can be difficult to quantify, in part because the duration of the symptoms might be difficult to predict. In fact, even the diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury has some variables, as the pace of recovery may be difficult for doctors to predict. 

As background, a compensatory damages request should include not only costs already incurred, but also those that are likely to be incurred in the future. For example, an injured plaintiff may have already incurred lost wages, and a doctor may predict that the plaintiff will be unable to reenter the workforce for a specified amount of time. That estimate may also be included in the compensatory damages calculation.

The same approach applies to future estimates of medical expenses, in addition to existing medical costs. Compensatory damages in a TBI lawsuit may also seek compensation for pain and suffering, as well as loss of enjoyment caused by reduced mobility or other factors resulting from the injury.

In this case, the injured student’s mother filled out a public liability claim form around seven months after the accident, listing the student’s ongoing injuries. Those symptoms include impaired vision, constant headaches, and the need for frequent physical therapy sessions. Notably, the student’s academic work also dramatically declines after the accident, to the point where the student was placed on an educational plan for students with disabilities. With the help of an experienced personal injury, the student might obtain some compensation that will provide him with the financial means to seek appropriate treatments.

Source: Oregon Live, “High schooler slips in vomit on basketball court, now brain damaged, $1.3m suit says,” Aimee Green, Oct. 3, 2016

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