Overcoming a severe injury is challenging, but recovery is even more difficult when the injury occurs to the brain. If the brain is even slightly impaired, performing the simplest of tasks often requires herculean effort.

Thus, for Detroit-area residents who suffer a traumatic brain injury, getting back to normal can be a lifelong process. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic injury is “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.”

TBI can dramatically impact the quality of a person’s life; they may require extensive therapy and live-in assistance. The victim is often unable to work and can longer support themselves or their family.

Fortunately, the law allows TBI victims to sue those responsible if their injury was a result of wrongdoing or negligence. A successful TBI lawsuit often means a considerable financial award for the plaintiff, and relief in an otherwise dire and tumultuous time.

Before filing a lawsuit, plaintiffs often want to know what their case might be worth. To determine how much damages a TBI victim is owed, the courts consider a few different factors.

Where do the courts look?

Monetary loss: The court will consider concrete losses that can be measured in dollars and cents. This includes medical debt, the cost of a live-in nurse, and loss of income.

Non-monetary loss: This includes more abstract losses like pain and suffering and loss of consortium (loss of companionship with one’s spouse). These damages are more difficult to prove and may require the testimony of an expert witness.

Punitive damages: These are meant to punish the defendant in cases involving particularly reprehensible conduct. The defendant’s conduct must usually rise to the level of “wanton” and “reckless”. Punitive damages equal an unusually large pay day for the plaintiff. Courts may be more likely to award punitive damages in TBI cases because of the severity of the injury.

Pursuing legal action isn’t suitable for everyone or every case. However, if a lawsuit is being considered, it’s important to contact a TBI personal injury lawyer right away. Many states impose a statute of limitations on personal injury cases, requiring lawsuits to be filed within two years of the accident.