Why Do I Need a Lawyer if I Just Suffered a Concussion?

A concussion occurs when the force of a collision or impact causes an accident victim’s brain to strike the side of their skull, resulting in bruising to the brain. Sometimes, this movement can disrupt or sever the brain’s neurons and axons that serve as its “internal wiring system” throughout the body. Concussions often come with both short and long-term symptoms; some may be permanent.

Suppose you or someone you love suffered a concussion due to another person’s negligent or wrongful act. In that case, you must obtain prompt medical treatment and consult with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate and evaluate your case and review your legal options. They can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or pursue aggressive litigation on your behalf in the state court system. Your attorney can then pursue the monetary recovery you need to become whole again.

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Types of Accidents that May Cause a Concussion Injury

Sports-related Concussion InjuryAccidents caused by someone else’s negligence can lead to various types of concussions. One common scenario is motor vehicle accidents, where collisions may cause the accident victim’s head to forcefully strike the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows. Even whiplash, a rapid back-and-forth movement of the head, can contribute to concussions. Pedestrians and cyclists involved in accidents with negligent drivers are also at risk – especially if they do not wear helmets.

Slip and fall incidents are other significant contributors to concussions. Property owners must maintain safe premises, and negligence in addressing hazards like wet floors, uneven surfaces, or inadequate signage can lead to slips and falls. When individuals fall and hit their heads on hard surfaces due to such negligence, concussions become a potential outcome.

Sports-related incidents can also result in concussions when others neglect proper safety measures. Whether it’s in contact sports like football or non-contact activities like cycling, lack of supervision – or reckless behavior by coaches or teammates – may lead to concussions and other serious head injuries.

Workplace accidents are not exempt from causing concussions either. Negligence in providing proper safety equipment and training or maintaining a hazard-free environment can result in employees suffering head injuries, including concussions.

Medical malpractice is yet another avenue where negligence can lead to concussions. Improper medical procedures, inadequate supervision during surgeries, or failure to diagnose and treat head injuries promptly can all contribute to severe consequences.

In all of these instances, the negligent party may be legally responsible for the victim’s injuries, including the concussion. If you recently suffered a concussion, your personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation for your related medical expenses, lost income, and similar losses resulting from the negligence of others.

How to Prove Negligence in an Accident Case that Brings about a Concussion

Proving negligence in an accident case that results in a concussion involve establishing key elements of proof. Specifically, the accident victim must demonstrate that the responsible party failed to act reasonably under the circumstances. The legal elements of proof in a negligence case include:

  • Duty of Care – The first step is establishing that the at-fault party (or defendant) owed a duty of care to the injured party. For example, drivers must drive safely in a car accident, adhering to traffic laws and regulations. This duty extends to other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers.
  • Breach of Duty – After establishing the legal duty of care, the accident victim must establish that the defendant breached this duty through negligent actions or omissions. This may involve reckless driving, failure to maintain a property in a safe condition, or inadequate supervision in the case of sports or recreational activities.
  • Causation – The injured party must further establish a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the resulting concussion. In other words, the defendant’s negligent actions must have been a substantial factor in causing the head injury. Medical evidence and professional testimony can be crucial in establishing this causal relationship.
  • Foreseeability – Proving negligence often involves demonstrating that the harm suffered was foreseeable based upon the defendant’s actions. If a reasonable person can have anticipated that the defendant’s negligence might lead to a concussion, it strengthens the negligence case.
  • Damages – To pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the injured victim must show that they suffered actual damages. In the context of a concussion, this includes medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other relevant damages. Medical records, bills, and professional testimony may be necessary to substantiate the extent of the accident victim’s injuries and associated costs.
  • Witness Testimony and Documentation – Eyewitness accounts, photographs, surveillance footage, and other documentation can be critical in establishing the facts of the case. Gathering evidence promptly after the accident can strengthen the personal injury claim.

Proving negligence in an accident case leading to a concussion requires a comprehensive and well-documented approach. Seeking legal counsel is advisable to navigate the complexities of personal injury law and build a strong case based on these key elements.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You in Your Head Injury Case?

Engaging a lawyer to represent you in a negligence case involving a concussion is essential for several reasons. From navigating legal complexities to maximizing compensation, a skilled attorney is crucial in securing the best possible outcome for your case.

  • Legal Experience – Personal injury law can be intricate, with nuances that may be challenging for an individual to navigate alone. A lawyer specializing in personal injury cases, particularly those involving negligence and concussions, possesses the legal experience to interpret and apply relevant laws, regulations, and precedents to your case.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering – A lawyer has the resources and experience to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident. They can gather critical evidence, such as medical records, eyewitness accounts, professional testimony, and other documentation, strengthening the foundation of your case.
  • Case ValuationDetermining the true value of your case requires a comprehensive understanding of various factors, including medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and potential long-term effects of a concussion. A skilled attorney can accurately assess the value of your damages, ensuring that you pursue fair compensation.
  • Settlement Negotiation Skills – Insurance companies often employ seasoned adjusters and legal teams to minimize payouts. A lawyer with negotiation skills can level the playing field. They understand the tactics that insurers routinely use and can effectively advocate on your behalf, working to secure a settlement that reflects the true extent of your injuries and losses.
  • Courtroom Experience – If settlement negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, your case may proceed to trial. A lawyer experienced in courtroom proceedings is crucial when presenting a compelling case before a judge and jury. Their familiarity with court processes, rules of evidence, and litigation strategies enhances your chances of success in the courtroom.
  • Statute of Limitations Compliance – Each jurisdiction has a statute of limitations – or a time limit where an injured accident victim must initiate legal action. Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe can jeopardize your case. A lawyer ensures compliance with these deadlines, preserving your right to pursue and recover compensation for your injuries.
  • Emotional Support – Dealing with the aftermath of a concussion can be emotionally challenging. A lawyer can provide valuable support, guidance, reassurance, and a steady hand throughout the legal process. This support is particularly crucial when dealing with the stress and uncertainties associated with a negligence case.

Having a skilled personal injury lawyer to represent you in a negligence case involving a concussion is vital for navigating legal complexities, building a strong case, and ensuring fair compensation. Their experience, negotiation skills, and commitment to your well-being significantly enhance your chances of a successful outcome.

Negotiating with the Insurance Company in a TBI Case

Negotiating with the Insurance CompanyNegotiating with an insurance company adjuster after a concussion accident can be a challenging process, but it’s crucial to ensure fair compensation for your injuries and associated damages. Throughout the process, a personal injury lawyer can provide guidance on your legal rights, assess the strength of your case, and aid you in negotiating a fair settlement. Here are some steps and considerations to keep in mind during this negotiation process:

  • Seek Ongoing Medical Attention and Document Everything – Promptly seek medical attention for your concussion and keep detailed records of all medical treatments, including diagnoses, prescriptions, and recommended follow-up care. This documentation will serve as crucial evidence in establishing the extent of your injuries.
  • Gather Evidence – Collect evidence related to the accident, including photographs of the scene, witness statements, police reports, and other relevant documentation. This evidence can strengthen your case and support your version of events.
  • Contact the Insurance Company – Your attorney can report the accident to the appropriate insurance company immediately and provide a clear and concise account of the incident.
  • Quantify Damages – In a settlement demand letter to the insurance company, your lawyer can clearly outline the damages you seek compensation for, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other relevant costs. Having a well-documented list will strengthen your negotiation position.
  • Be Prepared for Low Initial Settlement Offers from the Insurance Company – Insurance companies may provide initial settlement offers. However, it’s common for these offers to be lower than what you may be entitled to recover for your injuries. Your attorney can aggressively negotiate with the settlement adjuster on your behalf by highlighting the strengths of your case and downplaying any weaknesses.
  • Stay Persistent – Negotiations with insurance companies can also be extremely time-consuming. Your lawyer may continue settlement negotiations for as long as is necessary to obtain a favorable offer.
  • Keep All Communications in Writing – Document all written communication with the insurance company. This includes emails, letters, and any other written correspondence. This creates a record of the negotiation process that may be valuable if legal action (i.e., litigation in the court system) becomes necessary.

Remember, the goal is to reach a fair and just settlement that adequately compensates you for the effects of the concussion accident. Patience, persistence, and a clear understanding of your rights will contribute to a more successful negotiation process in your case.

Recoverable Damages Following a Concussion Accident

In a negligence case involving a concussion, victims may be eligible to obtain various damages as compensation for their losses. Key types of recoverable monetary damages include compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses – Victims can seek compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of their concussion. This includes hospital bills, physician fees, medication costs, physical therapy, and other essential medical services for recovery.
  • Pain and Suffering – Non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life are subjective but critical components of a negligence claim. These damages aim to compensate for the emotional and psychological toll the concussion has taken on the victim.
  • Lost Income– If the concussion results in the victim’s inability to work, they may be entitled to recover lost income. This encompasses income lost during recovery, including both past and anticipated earnings.
  • Property Damage – In cases where negligence resulted in damage to personal property, such as a vehicle in a car accident, victims can seek compensation for repair or replacement costs.
  • Loss of Consortium – In cases where the injury has negatively affected the victim’s relationship with their spouse, loss of consortium damages may be available. This includes the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy.
  • Future Medical Expenses – If the concussion leads to ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, or the need for future surgeries, victims may be entitled to compensation for anticipated future medical expenses.
  • Diminished Earning Capacity – If the concussion results in a long-term or permanent decrease in the victim’s ability to earn income, they may seek damages for diminished earning capacity. This accounts for the effect on their future earning potential.

It’s important to note that the specific types and amounts of damages recoverable can vary based upon the jurisdiction and the particulars of each case. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is crucial to accurately assess the damages applicable to your situation and navigate the legal process to seek fair compensation.

Talk with a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Ted Lorenz, Attorney for Traumatic Brain Injury

Ted R. Lorenz, TBI Lawyer

If you or a person you love suffered a concussion in a recent accident that resulted from negligence, a local personal injury attorney can help. Your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or pursue litigation in court at a trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.