A severe blow to the head can result in serious injury and lifelong trauma. A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with severe consequences for victims. During your recovery, you might hear the term “mild” to describe your concussion. While medical staff might use this diagnostic terminology, there is nothing mild about a concussion.
You will have piling medical bills and ongoing medical treatment. If your injury was the cause of another person’s negligence, you should not have to suffer financial harm. However, you are unsure of what to do and where to turn. The good news is you have options.
You can file a legal claim against the negligent party and obtain compensation for your losses. However, because these injuries are so complex, it can be difficult to prove liability and get the settlement you deserve.
The best thing to do in this situation is to hire a traumatic brain injury lawyer with experience handling brain injury claims. Brain injuries are mysterious and varying injuries, and insurance companies often challenge these claims. An injury lawyer can build your case and stand up for your rights.
What is a concussion?
While cerebrospinal fluid protects the brain, it is not enough to prevent a traumatic brain injury. Your head is sensitive, and when you suffer a blow that causes your head to jolt sharply, your brain crashes against your skull. An example is during a car accident when there is a sudden deceleration, and the head moves abruptly. The brain will go in the opposite direction of the head, which causes bruising and other damage.
Many victims will lose consciousness. Symptoms of a concussion might immediately appear or creep up over the next hours or days. Some victims will suffer symptoms for a week, and others will face lifelong impairment. Concussions affect each victim differently.
When the brain hits a person’s skull during a car accident, there can be damage to the blood vessels and nerves.
While effects can vary widely, some symptoms you might suffer are:
- Ringing in the ears
- Trouble sleeping
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Memory loss
- Sensitivity to noise
You can suffer many other symptoms that are not on this list.
After a head injury, stay aware of your condition, as symptoms can delay appearing. It is best to err on the safe side and get a medical evaluation if you suffered head trauma or a violent jolt of your head in an accident.
When you see a doctor for your concussion, they will give it a rating. There are three grades that physicians will use. Do not think your concussion is not severe because you receive a lower rating, as this rating only considers immediate symptoms. Symptoms can worsen following a diagnosis.
The ratings are as follows:
- Grade 1 Mild: No loss of consciousness; symptoms might be short-term (but not always). Immediate symptoms include memory loss, confusion, headache, nausea, and dizziness. Most often result from sports accidents, minor car accidents, and at-home incidents.
- Grade 2 Moderate: Typically, temporary loss of consciousness and symptoms stay longer. Immediate symptoms are similar to grade 1 but will last longer.
- Grade 3 Severe: There is a loss of consciousness and sometimes coma, and symptoms stay for an extended time or are permanent. Symptoms include amnesia and problems with language and communication.
Once again, each concussion is different and does not fit neatly into a diagnostic chart. Always assume you have a severe injury when you receive a concussion diagnosis. Even the effects of a “mild” concussion can plague you much longer than you expect.
The grade of your concussion will affect your initial treatment plan, but it does not mean your injury is any less serious. It also does not mean you cannot get compensation for your medical needs and other losses. The scale applies to the initial impact and treatment, not the long-term condition.
Even if you hear you have a mild injury, always consult with a brain injury attorney about a possible case. Many concussion victims received compensation for their losses when someone else caused them.
You can have many long-term effects of a concussion, such as not processing the world around you like before. You might not speak or articulate your needs the same way you did before the accident. Even after the initial injury heals, there are many long-term symptoms you will need to monitor. In time, new symptoms can also develop, and many people experience a complication called post-concussion syndrome.
Post-concussion syndrome can substantially extend and worsen concussion symptoms. What your doctors once called a “mild” injury can become severe and overwhelming. If you have post-concussion syndrome, you can experience physical, cognitive, and behavioral effects and impairments for years, and you deserve compensation for all of this.
The right brain injury lawyer will know about the post-concussion syndrome and ensure you seek compensation for all your past and future losses.
How long is recovery from a concussion?
Victims of concussions and head trauma wonder how long it will take to recover from a concussion. The answer is complex since the injury will affect individuals in different ways. Depending on your symptoms, your recovery will vary. Some people are back to normal after a few weeks or months, while others are never the same again.
Reducing the cognitive load for maximum recovery is essential to your recovery. Seeking help with your legal situation can be beneficial. Even if you do everything right, you can still experience lingering effects that alter your life.
How do concussions occur?
Your brain controls the rest of your bodily functions, movements, thoughts, and communication. When the brain suffers an injury, it has devastating consequences for the victim. Many people believe it will take an exceptional circumstance to cause a concussion or TBI, but any blunt force to the head can cause extreme damage.
The CDC says that most concussions and TBIs result from:
- Workplace accidents due to third-party negligence
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective products
- Slip and falls or other premises accidents
- Traffic accidents
Many other incidents can cause brain injury. Always receive medical attention and care immediately after an accident. When there is a delay in treatment, it can make the condition worse and can also affect your legal claim.
The first step to filing a concussion claim is to prove the concussion resulting from the initial accident, and a prompt medical diagnosis is imperative to proving this. If you wait too long, insurance companies might allege you hit your head doing something in the wake of the accident, and your concussion did not stem from the accident.
Documentation is key to proving a concussion claim. The insurance company or defense attorney might try to have your medical documents reviewed by an independent physician. The physician will review your documents and find ways to lower the claim. Your attorney can challenge any independent medical findings that go against you.
You must seek compensation for your concussion to pay for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other losses. Most must take time off from work. You cannot return to everyday life the same way you had before. Monetary damage awards can help supplement these losses and ensure you can pay for all of the bills you have for medical treatment now and in the future.
When you call a lawyer after a concussion, you will have an advocate in your corner who will fight against the insurance company and its tactics to ensure you get a fair settlement for your claim. The insurance company will often not play fair and try to lower or deny your claim altogether.
Damages for a concussion injury
You can seek damages for a concussion by filing a personal injury claim against the party that caused your injury. This party and its insurance company should compensate you for all your concussion-related losses, which can be surprisingly extensive.
When you prove a concussion case, you can get damages for the following:
- Medical treatments
- Ongoing medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Other expenses like caregivers, medications, and home modifications
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of relationships or consortium
The biggest hurdle in these cases is that insurance companies regularly underestimate the impact of a concussion. Insurers conveniently categorize concussions as mild injuries, regardless of the effects you experienced. The adjuster will allege your injury was not that serious, so it doesn’t warrant the compensation you demand for your losses.
You need a TBI lawyer who knows how to handle traumatic brain injury claims and get results. The right attorney will know the potential effects of concussions and how to express your losses to the insurance company. Many concussion cases proceed to litigation because insurers refuse to make fair offers. If you have an experienced litigator handling your claim, the insurance adjuster will know the real threat of a lawsuit. This can often result in a fair settlement offer.
What determines your compensation for a concussion?
When determining compensation for any personal injury claim, settlement amounts will range from case to case because injuries affect victims differently. Even parties in the same accident can suffer different injuries.
Other factors in compensation determinations include:
- Injury severity and potential for permanence
- Future care and the ability to earn a living
- Age, earning capacity, household, and employment
- Insurance policy limits
- Lifestyle and hobbies
- Evidence to prove economic and non-economic damages
- The judge and jury
- Your lawyer
To win your concussion lawsuit, you need the right attorney on your team who can build a solid case and secure the compensation you need for your future losses. The right lawyer can look at every avenue of compensation and what will determine the amount you can receive.
Liability in concussion claims
Once you prove that the concussion resulted from an accident, the next step to getting compensation is proving liability. The person who was negligent and was the cause of the accident is the party who must pay for your damages. Suppose an aggressive driver makes a reckless action on the road, like cutting you off, which causes a crash. If the incident causes you injury, the aggressive driver will be the liable party. The more parties in the incident, the more complex liability can be.
Even when liability is clear, there are many tactics the other party can employ to lower your payment. Additionally, the insurance company for the liable party will try to shift the blame onto you and say you were the cause of the accident or try to minimize your injury.
When you have a traumatic brain injury lawyer, they will ensure the insurance company does not shift the blame. They will investigate to gather evidence of who the liable party is. With the right lawyer, the other party cannot deny you the justice you deserve.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit
When you suffer an injury due to the negligence of another party, you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation. Concussion lawsuits are challenging but not impossible.
You will need a brain injury lawyer to:
- Determine negligence
- Offer legal advice
- File paperwork
- Accident reconstruction
- Conduct an independent investigation
- Ensure you get medical care
- Negotiate with insurance companies
If you suffer a concussion or other brain injury, you need to contact a concussion injury lawyer near you for a case evaluation. Work with a lawyer with experience winning these cases and getting the maximum compensation for your claim.