Be Cautious When Settling Concussion Claims
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury usually caused by a blow to the head. Concussions are particularly common if you play a contact sport, such as football. Most people usually recover fully after a concussion. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.
There are three levels of severity:
Mild: There is no loss of consciousness. This type of injury results in temporary confusion and inability to think clearly, but symptoms usually do not last more than 15 or so minutes.
Moderate: There is no loss of consciousness. The injured person has amnesia of the event.
Severe: There is loss of consciousness. In the most serious cases, a coma results. The brain is damaged with cognitive, physical and behavioral problems.
Fortunately, most concussions are mild ones. But the brain is a soft organ that consists of neurons which form tracts. They carry messages all over the brain and control complex activities, including speech, personality, heart rate, breathing, and other vital processes. A blow to the brain damages neurons which disrupts these functions.
A severe concussion can cause life-altering problems. Symptoms can be initially delayed or misdiagnosed. Immediate medical attention and testing are essential to accurately diagnose the injury.
Signs of a Concussion
Concussions are fairly common but can be tricky to diagnose. Though you may have a visible cut or bruise on your head, you can’t actually see a concussion. Signs may not appear for days or weeks after the injury. Some symptoms last for just seconds; others may linger.
There are some common physical, mental, and emotional symptoms a person may display following a concussion. Common signs that a concussion or traumatic brain injury has occured include:
- Headache or pressure in the head
- Loss of memory of the event
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Dizziness (“seeing stars”)
- Communication difficulties
A few of the symptoms that tend to be delayed include:
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Concentration issues
- Increased irritability and/or aggressiveness
- Bouts of depression
- Difficulty controlling emotions
Young children and adolescents who suffer a concussion will likely suffer the same symptoms as well as:
- Weakness and easily tired
- Loss of balance
- Issue with walking
- Excessive crying
- Change in behavior, sleeping, and eating patterns
- Lack of interest in toys or hobbies
Regardless of how severe you believe the injury is, it is always in the best interest of the individual who has suffered a concussion or TBI to visit a doctor.
How Do You Prove the Concussion Case?
If you suffered the concussion injury as the result of an accident, you should be able to demand compensation for pain and suffering. You prove pain and suffering from your own testimony and from your doctor’s testimony. You need your doctor’s testimony to document that you in fact have suffered a concussion (and maybe post-concussion syndrome), that the concussion resulted from the accident, and that the symptoms that you have testified to come from the head injury, among other things.
The jury will want to hear from you as to exactly what your symptoms and complaints are, how long they have lasted, how disabling they are, and how generally they have affected your life. You will have to be able to explain all this to the jury at trial, and so you will want to work carefully with your lawyer to prepare your pain and suffering testimony.
There is a two-year time frame from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit but the sooner you speak to an attorney, the better your results will be. With a concussion, you should not attempt to settle the case by yourself with the other driver’s insurance company as it will under value and under pay your damages. You will then have to file a lawsuit on your own or hire an injury lawyer who will have to start from scratch.
What Are Legal Damages?
Claimants who receive money for a concussion settlement can receive special damages and general damages for their injuries and expenses.
1. Special Damages
- Past, present, and projected medical expenses and related healthcare costs
- Lost wages from being unable to work
- Property damages to cover car or truck repair costs, rental cars, towing, storage, and the loss of personal item
2. General Damages
- Mental or physical pain and suffering
- Shock and mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury and have questions about seeking legal action, call us now at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.