Is a personal injury claim for a concussion possible?
HOW TO MAKE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM FOR A CONSUSSION
The attorneys are Warrior regularly handle traumatic brain injury cases and lawsuits involving serious injury. You can absolutely make a personal injury claim for a concussion. Even cases of mild brain injury are regularly handled by our personal injury attorneys. We have handled hundreds of personal injury lawsuits and know how to protect your rights as well.
A concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury produced by a head impact or a rapid, severe head shaking. Because concussions occur regularly in sports, many people assume they aren’t significant ailments. The fact is, even a mild traumatic brain injury has the potential to cause lasting effects on a person’s life. Regardless of how serious or minimal you believe the head injury to be, you should absolutely seek medical treatment to find out from the experts.
In reality, the goal of boxing is to inflict a concussion on the opponent, which causes him to lose consciousness or cognitive abilities for 10 seconds. Why would they allow the sport to continue if a concussion was serious?
A concussion may be very dangerous, and a second concussion that occurs before the first has completely recovered can result in death. The post-concussion syndrome may develop after even a relatively minor concussion with no more symptoms than a moderate headache. (PCS)
This is a set of symptoms that appear days or weeks later and may linger for months or even years. Symptoms might continue up to a year in certain cases. After a concussion, 10% of people claim to have suffered from post-concussion syndrome.
In a personal injury claim, it all starts with a free consultation. When you involved in a car accident and suffering a head injury or suffered a concussion, you need a personal injury attorney who will sit down with you and take the time to explain your options so you know how to make the best decision moving forward.
SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
The symptoms of post- concussion syndrome are similar to those of a concussion, but they may additionally include:
- Dizziness Fatigue
- Insomnia or excessive napping Anxiety
- Changes in behavior and emotions Sensitivity to light and/or noise.
Always seek medical treatment. Most concussions need specialized treatment from medical experts. Also, having the medical treatment records helps prove the seriousness of the injury to the insurance company in the form of medical evidence. Some individuals are more affected by PCS than others. Medical specialists have differing viewpoints, but no one understands why.
Playing contact sports, falling, being in a car or motorcycle accident, assault, running or walking into a low obstacle, or being hit by an item may all cause a concussion, which PCS follows. Suppose you suffer a concussion due to someone else’s carelessness or aggressiveness and develop post- concussion syndrome. In that case, you may be able to file a claim against the other party’s insurance carrier.
Alternatively, if there is no insurance and the defendant has the financial means to pay, the other party. To win a post-concussion syndrome lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant caused the concussion injury and that at least one medical specialist believes that the symptoms exist and were caused by the hit to the head.
Whether you were at fault or not, receiving a concussion in a car accident may be a painful experience.
Feelings of helplessness or impotence, even if you weren’t at fault, are frequent — and reasonable, particularly if you were rear-ended at a red light or were unable to avoid an accident caused by another motorist.
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) sufferers sometimes have to deal with insurance companies that may not have their best interests in mind, in addition to the stress of an accident and concussion symptoms that may last months or years.
Property damage, medical bills, and other damages from the collision should, in principle, be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. However, they may try to dismiss your claim or otherwise dodge these duties in several ways. These concerns are difficult to cope with in any situation, much alone when you suffer a brain injury!
ARE CONCUSSIONS A COMMON RESULT OF CAR ACCIDENTS?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) databases, one out of every 61 car passengers in tow-away car accidents has a moderate traumatic brain injury (usually a concussion). However, there are reasons to believe that figure is low. According to research, almost half of concussions are overlooked in emergency rooms, implying that the real rate of concussions following a car collision is closer to one in 26.
Even though they were having chronic symptoms connected to their brain injuries, over 90% of patients with concussions didn’t realize they had one, according to one peer-reviewed research.
A second 2014 research indicated that the great majority of participants diagnosed with mild TBI caused by motor car crashes had various symptoms that lasted the full year and sought treatment from several doctors.
Symptoms of a car collision include:
- Sleep disruptions
- Fatigue Dizziness
- Cognitive impairment
- Forgetfulness or memory loss
- Vision issues and light sensitivity
- Hearing problems
- Neck discomfort
- Mid-back pain
- Low-back pain
- Head injuries
- Lingering symptoms
IS IT POSSIBLE TO FILE A LAWSUIT FOR POST-CONCUSSION SYNDROME?
You may file a traumatic brain injury lawsuit for post-concussion syndrome. When the guilty party’s insurance company fails to provide the assistance they need, people often seek guidance from a personal injury law firm. This might include property damage, medical care for personal injuries sustained in the collision, and even rental car reimbursement.
LEGAL TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Even fundamental legal phrases that arise after a personal injury might seem a foreign language to the common individual. Here is a handful you’ll probably come across:
When two parties agree not to go to trial, this is a settlement. They’re claimed to have reached an out-of-court settlement, which implies a sum was negotiated, and both parties legally agreed it was sufficient.
A lien is a legal document that gives a creditor the right to collect payment for a debt from the debtor’s personal property (including a charge for a service provided). A lien is sometimes utilized voluntarily in personal injury settlements to guarantee that a healthcare provider or other service provider gets part of the settlement money in the future, allowing the patient to obtain treatment without paying upfront.
Any conversation leading up to an agreement outside of court is referred to as negotiation. In the instance of a car accident settlement, it refers to the discussion between two parties to achieve a precise settlement figure.
When negotiations fail, such as when an injured party refuses to accept an insurance company’s offer or when an insurance company denies the validity of a claim, the plaintiff (accident victim) can take the defendant (insurance company) to court, where they can try to prove they have a right to a specific amount of compensation for the damages they’ve suffered.
The entire amount of money paid out due to a settlement or a lawsuit for loss, injury, or injury. Personal injury, property damage, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other factors may be included in damages calculations. A jury may determine damages in court
proceedings if the plaintiff requests a judge’s ruling (known as a bench trial).
WHEN FILING A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM, KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
Every personal injury case is unique, but the following is a typical scenario.
Because of the stress and excitement, the car collision, police contact, and emergency medical care might all be a blur.
It’s essential to be careful with what you say after the accident since certain words made with good intentions — such as “It wasn’t really their fault” or even “I’m sorry” — might be taken out of context later on, particularly when statements are made on the record (to police, for instance).
It’s important to be courteous, but try to say as little as possible since you’re most certainly in shock and could say something you’ll regret later.
Try to write down everything that happened (both during and after the accident) as quickly as possible, since your memory is at its finest while events are still fresh in your mind. Also, be sure to request and gather any paperwork (such as police reports and citations, papers from the hospital, and a copy of the claims from both insurance companies). Keep track of events and papers with the support of a family member or trusted friend if you’re unhappy or injured seriously.
Even if you’re unsure of the degree of any potential injuries, it’s typically a good idea to go to the emergency room or emergency department immediately after an accident. You’ll be able to get an initial therapy and assessment this way.
However, as we discussed previously in this piece, emergency rooms seem to overlook more than half of concussions, and their primary goal isn’t to help with long-term therapy — it’s largely to make sure you’re not gravely injured.
So, in addition to keeping up with your ever-growing collection of records, you’ll want to arrange visits with your primary care physician and any additional providers as required (for example, a physical therapist if you have neck discomfort).
The other driver’s insurance company should contact you at some time. According to Metler, this may happen anywhere from an hour to many months after the event, and there’s no way of knowing when it will happen.
Regardless, you should exercise extra caution when dealing with insurance company employees since they may try to exploit specific remarks to reduce or even reject your claim (more on this below).
You may share very basic personal information (such as your address and date of birth) with them, as well as basic facts regarding the accident and any basic data from your document file.
HERE ARE SOME WARNING SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
Inquiring about your thoughts on anything relating to the accident. It’s preferable to stick to the facts.
Obtaining pre-accident medical records or other medical information (this is a complex matter and risky without an attorney).
Delaying or simply refusing to assist you in obtaining a replacement rental car (this might seem relatively minor, but it can reflect a lack of helpfulness overall).
Advising you to get a second opinion from a doctor they’ve picked. You stand to gain little or nothing by this, and it may negatively influence your claim.
These are just a handful of the numerous options available. It’s also conceivable that you won’t have to deal with such concerns, but being cautious while dealing with the other driver’s insurance company is prudent.
After you’ve made contact with the insurance provider, you may expect one of the following outcomes: You may finally achieve a settlement figure that you feel is reasonable based on the accident’s damages via discussion.
You may be dissatisfied with how the insurance company is negotiating due to red flags or other issues. The insurance company may respond with a low offer or even dismiss your injury claim.
Whether to visit a lawyer is a personal choice, although most personal injury attorneys provide free case reviews. Getting an opinion from a reliable and trustworthy lawyer may bring a piece of mind and ensure you don’t settle for less than you deserve, regardless of where you are in the process. Furthermore, most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis, which means you don’t owe them any money upfront, and it’s in their financial interest to secure you the greatest possible settlement.
While not everyone needs an attorney to negotiate a car accident settlement, Jeff Metler believes that having an experienced lawyer on your side who is prepared to go to court if necessary may make all the difference in the negotiating process since insurance companies will know you mean business. Lawyers may also assist you in determining how to pay for medical treatment and other expenses, such as via the discussion of liens.
You’ll certainly need an attorney if you decide to prosecute (suit) because the settlement offer is too low or your claim was refused.
We’ll go through one of the most typical blunders in the following section, which may drastically limit the amount of your settlement compensation.
UNSOLICITED ‘FAST CASH’ SETTLEMENTS AND NEGOTIATING BEFORE TREATMENT
Negotiating a settlement sum before your medical treatment is completed, according to Metler, may result in you earning “pennies on the dollar” compared to what you might receive if you waited.
The explanation is simple: any discussion of future expenses is just guesswork without receipts for medical bills. You’re unlikely to come out ahead since insurance firms have greater expertise in this area and want to pay as little as possible.
Unsolicited contact with an authorized settlement value so you may go ahead and be paid is a shadier approach that certain insurance firms may utilize. They’re aiming to catch you off guard, possibly in an emotional time, before you know how high your medical costs are or what you might earn by negotiating or contesting a settlement.
While quick cash may seem to be a good thing, this dubious method is geared to benefit the insurance company rather than you. Instead, it’s typically best to stick it out, finish the therapy, and then bargain (or sue) if needed.
Here are some of the ways insurance companies try to deny claims.
When you’re hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company (or the other driver directly, but uninsured motorists seldom have enough money to pay you).
The scenario is so obvious that the insurance company is unlikely to contest your claim in certain circumstances. They’ll often try to refuse your claim in one or more of the following ways:
By claiming the accident was your fault or wasn’t truly the fault of the motorist they cover.
By stating that no injuries were sustained as a result of the collision.
By claiming that something other than the accident caused some or all of your injuries or associated medical issues.
The rejection might sound preposterous at times – Metler says he’s seen insurance companies say things like “the car is scarcely injured, thus it’s just not conceivable the driver was wounded,” which is nonsensical. The human body is more readily injured than an car! They may also rely on popular misunderstandings regarding concussions, such as the myth that “you can’t have a concussion until you lose consciousness.”
If your claim is refused, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible, regardless of the reason. What Is the Average Settlement for a Concussion in a Car Accident?
According to Insurance Services Office (ISO) Inc., the average liability for motor accident personal injury claims is $18,417.
The actual settlement amount paid by injured motorists is lower since this liability average includes the insurance company’s claim expenses.
According to Metler, “average” concussion injury insurance claims vary from zero to a million dollars.
Costs vary from case to case, which is why post-concussion syndrome compensation amounts vary so greatly. Medical expenses are typically the most important component in determining personal injury damages, so if you have major injuries, your payout will be greater. If you have minor injuries, they will be smaller.
The greatest thing you can do is keep track of prices and receipts, record everything, and be careful when interacting with the insurance provider to prevent problems.
To be on the safe side, contact a lawyer early on or employ one if necessary at any stage throughout the process. In any case, no one will know the exact amount until you’ve gathered all of the invoices and other charges related to the accident.
Some attorneys use marketing tricks like online personal injury settlement calculators to entice prospective clients. The fact is that determining damages adequately before therapy is completed is impossible, and most trustworthy lawyers will only do so during an in-person session.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PROVE POST-CONCUSSION SYNDROME?
If your insurance company attempts to dismiss your claim by claiming you don’t have post- concussive syndrome, deposition or court testimony from your doctor is the best method to show them that they are incorrect.
Did the patient have a concussion, and was it followed by post-concussion syndrome? Our clinic can do cutting-edge NCI brain scans to show that you have post-concussion syndrome.
Neuropsychological testing findings are also used (as do other medical professionals familiar with the post-concussion syndrome).
WAS THE CAR COLLISION TO BLAME FOR THE CONCUSSION AND ITS SYMPTOMS?
This may be verified by medical documents obtained shortly after your injury, or it may be helpful if individuals who know you can explain how you changed after the event.
WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS FOR THE PATIENT?
What is the likelihood that their symptoms will improve with time and treatment?
WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR THE PATIENT TO RECOVER
This comprises a treatment plan as well as the fees connected with it.
The first two aspects must show that post-concussion syndrome was caused by accident, while the latter two must be proven to get a reasonable payout.
Keep in mind that many doctors, much alone the general public, are unfamiliar with post- concussion syndrome and how to identify it. Over half of concussions go undiagnosed in emergency departments (partly because CT scans and normal MRI don’t always identify post- concussion syndrome), and nine out of ten persons with symptoms aren’t even aware they have one.
When an insurance company informs you that you don’t have symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, it might seem like an uphill struggle, but having a skilled medical team and an attorney on your side can help square the score.
You may also utilize the peer-reviewed scientific articles listed below in the Resources section to negotiate with the insurance company or share them with your attorney.
DEMONSTRATING YOUR CASE
Insurance companies would oppose a concussion-related personal injury claim aggressively since the post-concussion syndrome is difficult to establish. They will require that you seek advice from a doctor they have recruited. That doctor will very certainly disagree with yours. For the sake of your case, having two or more doctors in the agreement is quite beneficial. If the matter goes to trial, the jury will believe that the insurance company’s lawyer is prejudiced, but a second expert witness on your side will bolster that belief.
The second step demonstrates that the concussion, followed by PCS, is a significant physical injury. What was the extent of the discomfort? Except for your word and the judgment of your physicians, the quantity of suffering is unquantifiable. Were you able to go about your business as usual, or did you have to stop working?
Were you unable to drive, became difficult to live with, or suffered in any other way that significantly lowered your quality of life? How many of your medical expenses were not covered by insurance? How many do you intend to have in the future?
How much of your income have you lost due to the injury, and how much more will you lose in the future? There are a lot of questions to complete to figure out how much your injury claim is worth.
Due to a lack of clarity, a personal injury claim for a concussion followed by post-concussion syndrome is challenging. Unlike a broken nose, which can be mended for a certain price and heals in a set length of time, the post-concussion syndrome has no standard against which it can be measured. It all boils down to personal preference. That is why an experienced personal injury attorney who has successfully battled similar matters in the past is your most valuable asset.
The attorney will know the insurance company’s settlement threshold precisely and work tirelessly to increase it. If going to trial is necessary, he will have the financial money to cover the expensive costs of a court battle, such as deposing witnesses and employing specialists to back up your doctor’s conclusions.
WARRIOR CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS, HAS REPRESENTED A WIDE RANGE OF CLIENTS IN TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CASES.
Their legal team for brain injuries has an established track record of success. If you have suffered a head injury due to no fault of your own, contact a knowledgeable attorney now for a free case examination.