Head injuries suffered in an accident can lead to long-term pain, memory loss, and other serious complications. Suppose you or a loved one suffered a head injury in an accident that someone else caused. In that case, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can promptly investigate your accident circumstances, file a legal claim on your behalf, and work to maximize the financial compensation you receive for your losses.

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Accidents that May Lead to a Serious Head Injury

Various types of accidents can cause head injuries, with certain scenarios more commonly associated with this specific type of trauma. Some of the most common types of accidents that can lead to serious head injuries include:

  • Motor Vehicle AccidentsCar, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents often lead to head injuries due to the collision force or ejection from the vehicle. Collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects can result in head trauma, causing concussions, skull fractures, and more.
  • Workplace Accidents – Certain occupational settings carry a higher risk of head injuries. Construction sites, manufacturing facilities, or any workplace with heavy machinery can be environments where falling objects, machinery accidents, or slips can lead to head injuries.
  • Falls – Falls are a leading cause of head injuries, especially among the elderly and young children. Slip-and-fall accidents, falls from heights, or stumbling accidents may cause individuals to strike their heads on hard surfaces, leading to concussions, contusions, or other types of severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
  • Sports and Recreational Activities – Participation in sports and recreational activities poses a risk of head injuries. Contact sports, such as football or hockey, increase the likelihood of collisions that may cause concussions. Additionally, accidents during activities like cycling, skateboarding, or skiing can result in severe head trauma.
  • Pedestrian Accidents – Pedestrians are vulnerable to head injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Being struck by a car or involved in a traffic collision can lead to impactful head injuries, depending upon the collision force and the vehicle’s speed.
  • Recreational Accidents – Apart from sports, other recreational activities like horseback riding, rollerblading, or even playground incidents can result in head injuries, particularly if others lack proper safety gear or supervision.
  • Assaults – Intentional acts of violence, including physical assaults, can cause severe head injuries. Blows to the head with blunt objects or striking the head against a hard surface during an assault can also result in traumatic injuries. If the assault results from a third-party attack on someone else’s premises, such as at a bar or nightclub, the property owner may be liable for the resulting injuries and damages.

Suppose you suffered a head injury in one of these occurrences. In that case, an experienced personal injury lawyer can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer on your behalf and pursue the financial recovery you deserve.

Common Types of Head Injuries that Accident Victims Suffer

Traumatic Head Injury in a Car CrashTraumatic brain injuries can have varying symptoms and long-term effects. Some head trauma victims experience disorientation, sleep disturbances, and confusion for a few weeks or months. Others might suffer persistent migraines, memory loss, and cognitive difficulties for years or the rest of their lives.

Victims may experience changes in behavior, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. Severe head injuries can also result in profound and lasting consequences. Victims may enter a state of coma, experience seizures, or develop cognitive impairments that affect memory, speech, and motor function.

Suppose you or a person you care about suffered a head injury in a negligence-related accident. In that case, your lawyer can handle the legal steps of your personal injury case while you focus on getting the medical care you need.

What are the Legal Elements of a Head Injury Case?

A head injury claim or lawsuit involves several elements necessary to establish liability and seek compensation for damages. These elements are crucial for building a strong case:

  • Establishing Duty of Care – The injured accident victim (or plaintiff) must demonstrate that the at-fault party (or defendant) owed them a duty of care. In many personal injury cases, this duty is often implicit in situations like driving responsibly, maintaining safe premises, or adhering to safety regulations.
  • Establishing Breach of Duty – The next step is to show that the defendant breached their duty of care. In a head injury case, this may involve reckless driving, failure to maintain a safe environment, or other negligent actions that directly contributed to the head injury.
  • Causation – Establishing a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the head injury is crucial. Medical records, professional testimony, and other evidence may help to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were a substantial factor in causing the head injury.
  • Documenting Damages – Clearly outlining the damages incurred due to the head injury is essential. This includes medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost earnings, property damage, and other financial losses directly attributable to the injury.
  • Medical Records and Expert Testimony – Comprehensive medical records are central to head injury claims. Documentation of the initial diagnosis, treatment plans, and ongoing medical care is crucial. Testimonies from neurologists, neuropsychologists, or other specialists can provide insight into the nature and long-term effects of the head injury.
  • Effect on Daily Life – Detailing how the head injury has affected the plaintiff’s daily life is important. This includes the inability to perform routine tasks, changes in cognitive function, emotional distress, and any limitations on activities previously enjoyed.
  • Evidence of Fault – Contesting fault involves presenting evidence like accident reconstruction reports, which become essential. Witness statements or photographic documentation can help establish who was at fault for the accident leading to the head injury.
  • Insurance Documentation – If applicable, gather and present relevant insurance documentation. This includes policies covering the at-fault party, the accident victim’s insurance, and any other applicable policies that may contribute to compensation for damages.
  • Negotiations and Settlement Attempts – Before pursuing a lawsuit, attempts at negotiation and settlement may occur. This step involves presenting a compelling case to the defendant’s insurance company and seeking a fair and timely resolution without going to court.

Engaging the services of an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial. A skilled attorney can guide you through the legal process, assess the strength of your case, negotiate with the opposing party, and, if necessary, advocate for your rights in court.

By addressing these specific elements, you can structure a head injury claim or lawsuit to maximize your chances of success and secure appropriate compensation for your losses and suffering. Each element plays a distinct role in building a comprehensive case that withstands legal scrutiny.

Aggressively Negotiating with the Insurance Company after a Head Injury

Settlement negotiations with an insurance company following a head injury involve a complex and often delicate process. Here’s an overview of what typically happens during these negotiations:

  • Initial Claim Submission – A personal injury lawyer submits the accident victim’s claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company after the head injury. This initiates the settlement-negotiation process.
  • Investigation by the Insurance Company – The insurance company investigates to assess the validity of the accident victim’s claim. This step may involve reviewing accident reports, professional reports, medical records, eyewitness statements, and other pertinent documentation.
  • Evaluation of Liability – The insurance company determines the extent of liability on the part of their policyholder. If liability is clear, negotiations may proceed more smoothly. However, disputes over fault can sometimes complicate the process.
  • Medical Documentation and Evaluation – The insurance company adjuster then assesses the severity and effect of the head injury through medical records, professional opinions, and any relevant documentation. The adjuster considers this medical evidence to estimate the value of the personal injury claim.
  • Initial Settlement Offer – The insurance company presents an initial settlement offer to the injured party. This offer is often lower than the claimant may deserve and marks the starting point for ongoing negotiations.
  • Counteroffer and Negotiations – With guidance from their attorney, the injured party responds to the initial settlement offer with a counteroffer. Negotiations may go back and forth as both parties attempt to reach a mutually agreeable settlement amount.
  • Compromise and Agreement – Through negotiation, both parties work towards a compromise. The final settlement amount should account for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other damages resulting from the head injury. In other words, the settlement offer should make the accident victim “whole” again, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Release of Liability – Upon reaching an acceptable settlement, the injured accident victim typically signs a release, absolving the at-fault party and their insurance company from further liability related to the head injury. This marks the conclusion of the settlement process.
  • Payment – After the parties finalize their agreement, the insurance company disburses the agreed-upon compensation to the injured party, closing the case.

It’s important to note that not all head injury cases reach a settlement, and some may proceed to litigation if negotiations break down. Throughout this process, having legal representation can be instrumental in ensuring that the injured party’s rights remain protected and that they receive fair compensation for their injuries.

Recovering Compensation for a Head Injury

Monetary damages for head injuries suffered in an accident due to someone else’s negligence can encompass various categories, aiming to compensate the victim for their related physical, emotional, and financial losses. Recoverable damages may include compensation for all of the following:

  • Medical Expenses include the costs associated with immediate medical care, hospital stays, surgical procedures, medications, physical therapy, and ongoing medical treatments related to the head injury. These expenses cover all necessary medical interventions to treat and manage the injury.
  • Lost Income– If the head injury results in the accident victim’s inability to work, they may be eligible to receive compensation for lost income. This covers the income lost during the recovery period, including any missed workdays or reduced work hours directly attributable to the head injury.
  • Future Earnings – In cases where the head injury leads to long-term or permanent impairment, the accident victim may seek compensation for reducing future earning capacity. Estimating potential future earnings lost due to the lasting effects of the injury on the accident victim’s ability to work is part of this process.
  • Emotional Distress – Head injuries can lead to emotional trauma, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other psychological effects. Compensation for emotional distress seeks to address the mental and emotional toll of the head injury, acknowledging the effects on the accident victim’s overall well-being.
  • Pain and Suffering – Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, encompass the physical and emotional distress resulting from the head injury. This subjective category of compensation aims to address the intangible and often prolonged consequences of the head injury on the accident victim’s quality of life.
  • Loss of Consortium – If the head injury negatively affects the victim’s relationships, particularly in terms of companionship, affection, or intimacy, compensation for loss of consortium may be available. These damages also acknowledge the strain on personal relationships resulting from the head injury.

Punitive damages may be recoverable in cases involving egregious negligence or intentional misconduct leading to head injury. These damages aim to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior, serving as a form of punishment rather than direct compensation for the accident victim.

Understanding the various types of damages allows individuals to pursue a comprehensive claim, addressing economic and non-economic losses resulting from their head injury. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can play a crucial role in assessing the extent of your damages, advocating for fair compensation, supporting your recovery, and helping you rebuild your life after a traumatic incident.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Your Area Right Away

Ted Lorenz, Attorney for Personal Injury

Ted R. Lorenz, Personal injury Lawyer

Victims of head injuries only have two years from their accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation. Suppose you or someone you care about suffered a recent head injury. In that case, your lawyer can file a timely claim or lawsuit and work to maximize the financial compensation you ultimately recover for your injuries and losses.

Allow your injury attorney to begin working for you immediately. Contact a law firm near you for a free case evaluation today.