Although some head injuries are more severe than others, there is no such thing as a minor head injury. Such is the case with concussions. Essentially, a concussion is a brain bruise that happens when, due to trauma, a person’s brain moves around inside their skull and strikes the side of their skull.
Depending upon its severity, a concussion may disrupt the brain’s neurons and axons, which send messages between the brain and other parts of the body. As a result of this disruption, a person may suffer both short and long-term complications from their concussion. While some concussion sufferers may only experience headaches for a short period, others may have extensive memory loss and other damages.
If you sustained a concussion injury in a recent car crash or premises accident, you should contact experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your accident and injuries and help you pursue the monetary compensation you deserve to recover for your losses.
To help you recover the monetary damages you need, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit in civil court. Your lawyer can then assist you with every step of the process and help you maximize the monetary recovery you deserve for your concussion or other head injuries.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
Concussions and Their Symptoms
While all concussions are serious injuries, some result in longer-term symptoms than others. The specific symptoms that a concussion sufferer will experience depend upon the type of accident that occurs, the amount of force involved, and other accident-specific circumstances. Another critical factor is whether or not an object penetrated the accident victim’s head, causing injury.
Some common short-term symptoms associated with a concussion include nausea, dizziness, frequent headaches or migraines, and short-term memory loss.
Longer-term concussion symptoms might include:
- Lengthy or permanent memory loss.
- Permanent cognitive disabilities.
- Post-concussive migraine syndrome.
- A complete inability to function.
In some circumstances, a long-term concussion injury can leave an accident victim in a coma or permanent vegetative state. In those situations, the accident victim might require around-the-clock care at a nursing home or extended living facility.
The effects of a concussion can linger and affect your life in many costly ways. You might need ongoing medical monitoring, rehabilitation, and more. You might not go back to work or school, setting you back in your life’s path. If you or someone you love experienced any of these concussion symptoms in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, you should immediately take prompt legal action.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer early on in the process is necessary because accident items only have a limited time to file their claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages. Your lawyer can help you take the necessary legal actions right away to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your head injury.
How Do Concussions Happen in the First Place?
Concussions are prevalent in motor vehicle crashes and premises accidents. In many situations, car wrecks result from driver error and negligence. For example, a driver might fail to pay attention to the road or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). Alternatively, a car wreck may occur when a driver violates one or more traffic laws, such as by speeding, tailgating another vehicle, or failing to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate time.
Sometimes, the force of a car collision may cause the accident victim’s head to strike something in their vehicle, like the headrest, window, or steering wheel, causing a traumatic head or brain injury. Concussions and other head injuries are prevalent in rear-end crashes, where the accident victim’s body may move forward and backward abruptly, causing their head to strike something in the vehicle. Head injuries like concussions may also happen in head-on crashes, especially where the involved vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
In addition to car accidents, concussions, and other head injuries may result from premises accidents, especially slip-and-falls. Many of these accidents happen when property owners fail to properly repair or correct defects and other hazardous conditions on their property, such as snow and ice, spills on the floor, and defective carpeting or flooring materials. When a property visitor slips on the ground and strikes their head with significant force, they may suffer a concussion.
If you suffered a concussion or other head injury in a motor vehicle crash or premises accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you with every aspect of your case.
- First, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim with the insurance company for the responsible driver or property owner.
- Next, your lawyer can help you negotiate favorable settlement compensation from the insurance company adjuster or pursue litigation in the court system if the adjuster fails to offer you the monetary damages you deserve for your head injury and related losses.
What Compensation May I Recover for a Concussion Injury?
A concussion injury can significantly affect every aspect of a person’s life. After many head injuries, accident victims cannot work for a significant amount of time. They may also experience painful symptoms and experience a diminished quality of life. Fortunately, all of these losses are compensable via a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
First, head injury victims may be eligible to recover compensation for their lost earnings if they cannot work after their accident. To prove their eligibility for lost income compensation, an accident victims must ordinarily produce documentation from their employer that shows the dates they missed from work, their hourly or weekly earnings, and the total amount of compensation that they lost due to their head injury.
Sometimes, the sheer pain of a head injury is enough to keep an accident victim out of work for a long time. In other instances, the accident victim might need to take time off work to attend various medical appointments or to undergo surgery or other medical procedure.
In addition, some head injury victims suffer mental impairments that prevent them from working at the same job or in the same line of work. In that instance, the accident victim may need to switch careers and take a hefty pay cut. These accident victims may be eligible to file a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition to tangible economic damages, concussion injury victims may be eligible to pursue monetary recovery for their intangible losses.
Those losses may include compensation for:
- Mental distress
- Permanent cognitive impairments
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life stemming from their head injury
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover the total monetary damages you deserve through settlement or litigation processes.
What Are the Elements of a Head Injury Claim?
To recover monetary damages in a head injury claim or lawsuit, the accident victim must satisfy the legal elements of their personal injury case. If they cannot meet these elements, such as through witness testimony and/or expert testimony in court, they might not recover monetary compensation for their injury.
First, the accident victim must show that the responsible party owed them a duty of care they subsequently violated. For example, in the context of a motor vehicle crash, the other driver might have violated their duty of care by drinking and driving, speeding, or failing to yield the right-of-way at the proper time.
Next, the accident victim must prove the causation element of their personal injury claim. Specifically, they must show that the other person’s negligent actions or inactions were both the foreseeable and actual cause of their accident.
Finally, the accident victim must demonstrate that they suffered a head injury or other injury as a direct result of the accident. To prove this causal relationship from a medical perspective, the accident victim or their lawyer may need to retain a treating healthcare provider to serve as a medical expert in the case. The expert must be willing to state, in person or in writing—and to a reasonable degree of medical probability that the accident directly caused the head injury.
Medical testimony is often necessary in head injury cases because insurance companies frequently allege that head injuries are the result of a prior accident or ongoing medical condition rather than the subject accident. However, a medical expert who advocates in your case can prove otherwise based on their knowledge and experience.
A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you prove the legal components of your head injury case and work to recover fair compensation on your behalf.
How Do I Set About Pursuing the Monetary Damages I Need?
To recover the monetary compensation you deserve for a concussion injury, your lawyer will need to file a personal injury claim on your behalf. In most accident scenarios, your lawyer can file this claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
However, if you suffered your head injury in a motor vehicle wreck where the at-fault party fled the accident scene or did not have insurance coverage, you may need to file a first-party claim with your insurance company, assuming you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Alternatively, you can turn to the Alberta Motor Vehicle Accident Claims (MVAC) Program for monetary compensation. This program allows for up to $200,000 in economic damages for accident victims who lack insurance coverage in a motor vehicle accident.
The claims-filing process starts when a personal injury lawyer gathers medical documentation, lost income records, police reports, incident reports, and photographs regarding the incident and assembles them into a settlement demand package. The lawyer will then send these documents to the insurance company and a settlement demand letter for the adjuster to review. If the adjuster accepts fault for the accident, they might make an initial settlement offer.
A good personal injury settlement offer should compensate an accident victim for their head injury and other related losses. In many cases, first-time offers by insurance company adjusters are far below the actual value of the case. Therefore, your lawyer will likely need to negotiate with the adjuster numerous times, for days or weeks, for the adjuster to meaningfully increase their offer. If that does not happen, your lawyer can always turn to the courts and litigate your case through the system.
A head injury lawyer in your area can help you decide whether you should accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or consider litigating your case in court.
Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Your Area Today
You are not alone if you suffered a concussion or other head injury in an accident that resulted from negligence. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case is one of the most important steps you can take. Sometimes one might think their case is straightforward and there isn’t a need to hire a lawyer. Thinking this is a mistake because insurance companies will do everything they can to not give you the compensation you deserve. After all, they are for-profit businesses.
Accident victims only have two years from their accident date to seek monetary compensation for a head injury, and less time in many instances. The personal injury statute of limitations imposes this time limit, with very few exceptions.
If an accident victim files their lawsuit after the two-year deadline expires, they can no longer recover monetary damages for their head injury or other accident-related losses. Therefore, contact a skilled traumatic brain injury lawyer in your area immediately after your accident.
If the statute of limitations is about to run out in your head injury case, your traumatic brain injury lawyer can promptly file a lawsuit and begin settlement negotiations with the insurance company. If litigation becomes necessary, your lawyer can represent you at your trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding and aggressively advocate for all of your legal interests. Your personal injury lawyer’s in Edmonton top priority will be to get you the maximum monetary damages you deserve for your concussion injury.