Settlement for Car Accident Head Injuries
Car accident injuries to the head are among the most severe. In every collision, at any speed, drivers and passengers might get a head injury.
The injuries vary from simple scrapes and bruises to catastrophic brain damage to the face and scalp.
In the United States, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of mortality and disability. TBI is responsible for 30% of all deaths in car accidents.
For those aged 15 to 44, brain injuries caused by car accidents are the main cause of hospitalization.
Minor brain injuries may be recovered in a few days in some car accident victims. Others may not be so fortunate, and they may suffer life-altering brain damage or even death.
If you or a loved one has suffered brain injuries in a car accident, you need to know how to prevent insurance company blunders and maximize your reimbursement.
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HEAD INJURIES IN CAR ACCIDENTS
Even with today’s safety technologies, a human skull is still susceptible to harm in an car collision. A collision’s force may shove a person’s head against side windows and the car structure. The impact may cause the head to sway wildly from side to side and front to rear.
In the car, flying debris may collide with the head, eyes, and scalp. Drivers and passengers may be thrown from the car, falling head-first on the pavement if they are not wearing seatbelts.
FRACTURES OF THE SKULL
An open head injury occurs when the power of the blow is high enough to pierce the soft tissue of the scalp and enter the skull. The skull may fracture as a result of this. Skull fractures can result in a variety of shapes and sizes:
In-car accidents, linear skull fractures are the most prevalent. The skull cracks, but not to the point where the soft tissue of the brain is exposed.
When shattered parts of the skull bone are forced into the brain cavity by the force of impact, depressed skull fractures develop. Bone fragments have the potential to pierce and harm brain tissue.
Diastatic skull fractures occur when the bone plates of the skull separate after they have fused as we grow from children to adults. The components must be reattached, which necessitates surgery.
At the base of the skull, basilar skull fractures develop. Treatment is determined by the extent of damage to underlying tissues such as the brain and spinal cord.
Internal bleeding may occur due to blunt force trauma to the head, which is common in car accidents. Internal bleeding can occur with or without a skull fracture.
Intracranial Hematoma is the medical name for brain haemorrhage (ICH). The words “intra” and “cranial” indicate “within” and “skull,” respectively.
Intracranial hematomas are divided into two categories:
Blood clots develop within the skull, but the clot forms on top of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain, resulting in an epidural hematoma.
Blood clots grow within the skull inside the cerebrospinal fluid, causing subdural hematomas. The blood does not enter the brain’s soft tissue at first. As the bleeding worsens, it takes up more and more room in the brain, crowding it out and causing damage.
Subdural hematomas may rapidly grow and cause significant damage to the brain. The term “acute” refers to a subdural hematoma that is rapidly expanding. A life-threatening subdural hematoma is a medical emergency.
The retina is a thin layer of sensitive tissue that lines the interior of your eye. The optic nerve transmits information from the retina to the brain.
Trauma to the head or face in a car collision might “detach” or pull a piece of the retina away from its natural position in your eye.
A detached retina may cause irreversible visual loss if not addressed quickly.
A detached retina needs immediate medical attention. If you are experiencing symptoms, get medical attention right once. Make careful to inform the doctor how you collided with your head.
A detached retina may cause a sudden or steady rise in the number of “floaters” in your field of vision, such as flashes of light or a curtain or veil in your vision.
CAR COLLISIONS AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Car collisions are traumatic situations. Even low-speed crashes cause drivers and passengers to feel the force of contact. Acute jolts and hard force may also cause head injuries.
A closed head injury is one in which the skull is neither penetrated nor opened. Internal injuries, on the other hand, are the cause of the problems. A brain concussion is the most frequent closed head injury.
Concussions of the brain are more than a minor annoyance. Thanks to breakthroughs in medical knowledge, we now know that even “minor” concussions should not be handled lightly.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s specialists:
The impact of the damage on brain function is described using the categories “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe.” Minor brain damage is nonetheless a severe injury that needs immediate medical treatment and an accurate diagnosis.
Concussions are life-threatening injuries
The brain is encased and protected by the skull. Cerebrospinal fluid is a shock absorber that protects the brain when it hits the inside of the skull. The cerebrospinal fluid moves, and the brain contacts the skull when the impact is significant enough, resulting in a concussion.
Concussions are a form of traumatic brain damage that may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the severity of the incident.
The majority of individuals recover completely from their first mild concussion. Concussions may, unfortunately, result in life-threatening consequences.
A concussion may have various short- and long-term consequences, including changes in thinking, sensation, language, and emotions. Memory issues, communication challenges, personality changes, depression, and early-onset dementia are all possible outcomes of these alterations.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Following a car accident, you should get medical treatment as soon as possible. This will benefit both your health and your insurance claim. After a car accident, always seek a comprehensive medical examination. Even if you aren’t sent to the hospital right after the accident, you should still be assessed the next day.
If your primary care physician is unavailable, go to the closest emergency room or urgent care facility. Inform them that you were in a car accident and detail how you were knocked about or struck your head.
It’s a tremendous error to refuse care at the scene or wait a few days to see how you feel. The insurance company will seize the opportunity to reject your claim by claiming that the collision did not cause your injuries.
Don’t be deterred by a negative response. If your insurance company has refused your claim for a head injury, speak with an expert personal injury lawyer about your case.
Some signs of brain damage may develop immediately after a car accident, while others may take days or weeks to appear. You might be suffering from life-threatening brain damage and be completely unaware of it.
Even a little concussion will have an effect on your brain cells for a while. In the days and weeks after the collision, brain fractures, oedema, and bleeding may cause considerable damage.
Keep an eye out for traumatic brain injury signs and symptoms (TBI). As needed, contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention.
Mild traumatic brain injuries may involve the following:
- Sleep difficulties
- No loss of consciousness, but feeling bewildered or “out of it.”
- Loss of memory
- Mood swings
- Sight, smell, or hearing issues
- Depression or anxiety
Symptoms of more severe traumatic brain injuries include the ones listed above, as well as the following warning signs:
- Consciousness loss for several minutes or longer
- Intractable headaches
- Consistent vomiting or nausea
- Clear fluid draining from the eyes or ears (cerebrospinal fluid)
- Dilated or unequal pupils (the black center of the eye)
- Inability to wake up
MAXIMIZING COMPENSATION FOR HEAD INJURIES
When you suffer brain injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to full compensation from the at-fault motorist. Unless you reside in a no-fault insurance jurisdiction, you must begin to seek reasonable compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
You must first notify the insurance company and the other motorist that you want to make an injury claim.
The insurance provider will provide you with a claim number to acknowledge your claim. In the future, you’ll refer to that claim number in all communications. One of the company’s claims adjusters will be assigned to the claim.
Evidence of loss is required in all personal injury claims. You must establish that the at-fault driver’s carelessness was the immediate and proximate (legally permissible) cause of the collision and your subsequent head injury to seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
Everyone has a legal duty of care (responsibility) to drive safely. This involves keeping an eye out for other drivers, respecting traffic regulations, and driving safely in general. A motorist who speeds runs a red light or texts while driving, for example, is being negligent.
If an car accident occurs due to carelessness and someone is wounded, the irresponsible driver is liable for paying the injured person.
It isn’t enough to file a personal injury claim. Although it may seem to you that the other motorist was to blame for the collision, the insurance company will not accept your word for it. You must back up your allegation with evidence. Evidence is required for proof.
Successful claims are based on solid evidence.
Successful insurance claims are based on strong proof of the insured driver’s participation in the accident. Specifically, you’ll have to demonstrate:
The insured driver was negligent, which means they did something improper or did not drive responsibly. The crash was caused by the driver’s carelessness.
Your head injuries were caused by the crash.
THE ACCIDENT SCENE PROVIDES CRUCIAL EVIDENCE
911 Call: When you’re in an car accident, phone 911 to alert the authorities and request assistance. Inform the dispatcher that you are hurt and where you may be found.
If anybody else is harmed or confined, the dispatcher will want to know. Inform the dispatcher if there are any overturned automobiles, fires, fallen power lines, or other hazards on the site.
Accident victims who have suffered a head injury should strive to remain silent until aid comes. It’s vital to get proof, but it’s not worth risking your harm. An action that increases your injuries might hinder your insurance claim unless you’re saving a life.
When the paramedics come, tell them everything about your symptoms and trust them to care for you. Shock and panic may obscure the signs and symptoms of a head injury. Do not object if the paramedics want to take you to the hospital. They are well aware that brain injuries are harmful.
If someone can assist in gathering evidence, they should attempt to take photographs and speak with possible witnesses.
Take as many images and videos of the accident site as you can using a smartphone camera or other device. Take images of the automobiles, skid marks, road signs that have been destroyed, and the vegetation.
Take photos of any open alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia, and inform the investigating officer if the other motorist seems to be impaired by drugs or alcohol.
STATEMENTS OF WITNESSES
Although no one is compelled to communicate with you, you may attempt to speak with anybody who saw the accident. Witness testimony may be quite useful in determining who is to blame for the accident.
Did the witness, for example, see the driver talking on his phone? Have you ever run a red light? Perhaps the witness overheard the other motorist admitting responsibility, such as “I didn’t see the car coming,” “My brakes aren’t very good,” or other words implying carelessness.
Don’t panic if you can’t collect evidence quickly after the collision, according to the police report. When attempting to show the other driver’s irresponsibility, police records are likely the finest proof. Insurance companies have faith in the investigative officer’s integrity and impartiality.
Diagrams of the scene, names and contact information for the drivers, passenger identities, citations issued, and the officer’s judgement of blame will all be included in the police collision report.
GATHER EVIDENCE UNTIL YOUR CLAIM IS RESOLVED
In a brain injury case, medical records are vital. Your head ailment must be linked to the accident in the doctor’s records. Obtain copies of your medical records and invoices from the ambulance service, the hospital, and any specialists or therapists you visited throughout your injury treatment and rehabilitation.
Receipts for any out-of-pocket costs, such as prescriptions and assistance equipment, are also required. For visits to the doctor or treatment, keep track of your mileage and parking expenses.
WAGES THAT HAVE BEEN LOST
Obtain a statement from your employer describing your missed pay, as well as any vacation or sick time that you may have utilized.
Make a list of everything you remember about the accident and its aftermath. Keep meticulous records of your daily challenges with your brain injury, including treatments, limits, sleeping habits, and emotional condition. Your daily notebook will bolster your case for compensation for pain and suffering.
WHEN CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU GET MORE MONEY
You probably cannot negotiate a fair settlement without an attorney if you and your doctor are satisfied you merely sustained a slight brain concussion with no long-term damage. The problem is you don’t know whether you are getting a great settlement since you have nothing to compare it to.
All of your medical costs, out-of-pocket expenditures, and lost income should be included in your injury compensation. If you’re filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier, double the amount by one or two to account for pain and suffering.
Suppose you or a loved one has suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, or there’s a chance of delayed symptoms. In that case, you’ll need the help of an attorney to achieve anything close to a reasonable settlement.
Severe head injuries cost a lot of money. Insurance companies are well aware of the psychological and financial consequences of traumatic brain injuries. Don’t be deceived by a claims adjuster who acts sympathetically.
Insurance companies are known for giving claimants who aren’t represented by a personal injury attorney lesser payments. They know you won’t be able to fight back since you won’t have the energy or legal knowledge to do so.
There’s much too much at risk to trust the insurance adjuster with your family’s financial destiny. There is no cost or commitment to learn more about what a professional personal injury attorney can accomplish for you.