Individuals who sustain concussions in accidents or incidents for which they are not responsible can pursue compensation from the liable parties. Whether through a legal action or an insurance claim, those affected by concussions can seek financial recovery for their physical, emotional, and financial hardships.
A seasoned Philadelphia brain injury attorney is ready to oversee the claim, ensuring that the victim obtains the highest possible amount of compensation available.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a sudden blow or jolt to the head or a forceful shaking of the head and body. This impact can lead to a disturbance in brain function.
Always take concussions seriously.
Common symptoms of a concussion include headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and changes in mood or behavior. Symptoms may not always immediately manifest and can develop over time.
In some cases, concussions may require medical attention and a period of rest to allow the brain to heal. Seek medical advice if you suspect you or someone else sustained a concussion, especially if symptoms include loss of consciousness, persistent confusion, repeated vomiting, or other concerning signs.
Repeated concussions can have long-term effects on brain health, so manage and monitor them properly, particularly in high-risk activities like contact sports or certain occupations.
How Serious Are Concussions?
The gravity of concussions often goes underestimated, with some recalling a time when youngsters were advised to simply shake off or continue playing after experiencing one. Back then, benign terms like seeing stars or getting your bell rung often downplayed the seriousness of the situation.
However, do not take concussions lightly. They constitute a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
These injuries can lead to profound and enduring disruptions in a person's life, affecting both their cognitive and physical abilities, potentially causing:
- Brain fog
- Difficulty in logical reasoning and decision-making
- Memory lapses
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Persistent fatigue
- Heightened sensitivity to light and sound
- Mood swings, irritability, and depression
- Compromised balance and depth perception
- Diminished motor skills
Addressing and recuperating from a concussion can incur substantial financial costs. Individuals dealing with the aftermath of a concussion may experience missed work or school days, leading to a potential drop in performance, which can have significant implications on their income and financial stability.
They may also require extensive and expensive medical treatments and therapies to return to their pre-concussion state. Some may never return to that state.
In addition, medical research indicates that concussions may heighten the risk of developing serious, degenerative brain conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Parkinson's, and dementia.
Multiple concussions experienced by athletes in contact sports, soldiers exposed to concussive blasts, and children affected by domestic violence may amplify this risk. However, even a single concussion can be a significant contributing factor.
In essence, there is nothing minor or mild about a concussion. Its substantial impact on one's life deserves the utmost seriousness, attention, and compensation in personal injury claims.
Establishing Liability in Concussion Injury Claims
Liability, in legal terms, pertains to the legal obligation for an injury or harm inflicted upon another individual. In concussion injury claims, this responsibility typically rests upon the person or entity whose negligent or deliberate actions led to the concussion.
Individuals who, through their unreasonably dangerous decisions, actions, or inaction, have caused your concussion may be liable for damages. Additionally, other parties might have a legal responsibility to answer for the at-fault party's actions and may also share liability.
You can hold multiple individuals, businesses, or entities accountable for your losses. Pursuing multiple liable parties can significantly increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation.
The specific party or parties responsible for providing monetary damages in cases of concussion largely depend on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
In concussion injury claims, liability can fall upon:
- Motorists responsible for motor vehicle accidents due to their negligence or wrongful actions
- Sports coaches and related organizations
- Educational institutions, such as schools and universities
- Property owners
- Manufacturers of faulty equipment
For instance, here are a few scenarios of potentially liable parties:
- A negligent driver who caused the motor vehicle accident resulting in your concussion.
- The owner or occupant of commercial, residential, or public property where your fall led to a concussion.
- The assailant in an incident where you sustained a head injury from a punch.
- A coach or educational institution that failed to implement adequate safety measures to prevent athletes from sustaining head injuries.
- The manufacturer of a faulty helmet that failed to provide adequate protection when you fell from your bike and hit your head.
These are just a few examples. The most reliable way to ascertain who may owe you compensation for a concussion is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you reach out for a free case evaluation, the better the chance of identifying multiple parties potentially liable for your situation.
Several key factors come into play when determining liability in concussion injury claims:
- Duty of Care: This involves assessing whether the person or entity took adequate measures to safeguard you from harm. For instance, a coach has the duty to furnish athletes with proper equipment and training for their safety.a
- Breach of Duty: This examines whether the person or entity failed to fulfill their duty of care. For example, a coach who neglects to provide appropriate equipment or training may have breached their duty of care.
- Causation: This aspect investigates whether the breach of duty directly led to your concussion. For instance, if you sustained a concussion due to inadequate equipment, you must show the lack of a helmet caused or contributed to your injury.
- Damages: This considers the extent of the harm you suffered from the concussion. Damages can include medical expenses, lost earnings, and the pain and suffering you experienced.
It's worth noting that multiple parties can share liability. For instance, if a school fails to provide adequate equipment and a coach neglects concussion protocols, you may hold both parties responsible for any resulting concussion symptoms.
Determining liability in concussion injury claims necessitates a comprehensive examination of the injury's circumstances. If you suffered a concussion due to someone else's negligence or intentional actions, call a personal injury attorney promptly. They can skillfully navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for the damages you incurred.
Understanding Your Damages
The primary reason to pursue an injury claim or lawsuit after suffering a concussion is to seek compensation. These compensations, known as damages, involve a range of accident-related expenses and losses. Most head injury victims seek financial recovery for:
This category covers existing and anticipated medical costs, including:
- Doctor's visits
- Emergency care
- Surgical procedures
- Rehabilitative therapies (e.g., physical therapy)
- Prescription medications
- Medical and assistive devices
- Home health aides for assistance
- Home modifications, like constructing a wheelchair ramp
Lost Wages and Income
Compensation for income you already lost due to the accident and potential future income loss, accounting for recovery time and necessary medical appointments.
Loss of Future Earnings
In severe cases, where returning to work or performing your previous job becomes impossible, seek compensation for expected lifetime earnings. In this way, you can provide for your future.
You may seek reimbursement for any personal property that sustained damage or was lost in the accident. This may include your vehicle, valuable items like jewelry, or even modes of transportation like bicycles.
Pain and Suffering
Given the potential for the severe effects of brain injuries, pursue recovery for pain and suffering, mental distress, and the loss of life's enjoyment, particularly if certain activities are no longer possible.
Loss of Consortium
Suppose the head injury significantly impacted your marriage or intimate relationships. In that case, you can pursue damages on your spouse's behalf.
Additionally, you may deserve other damages. When you consult an experienced brain injury attorney, they'll seek compensation for all reasonable expenses and losses associated with your case. Their representation will include building a comprehensive claim that reflects the full extent of your damages.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Some concussion victims can also pursue punitive damages in brain injury cases. These damages might apply when the at-fault party behaved in a particularly egregious or wanton manner when causing the injury. For instance, a driver who caused an accident after drinking or taking drugs may face punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Punitive damages punish defendants and to deter similar conduct, but they aren't available to all personal injury concussion clients. Only judges and juries can award punitive damages, so you won't receive this compensation if your concussion claim settles out of court.
Seeking Compensation for a Concussion: Your Right to Recovery
Even if you were diagnosed with a concussion without any loss of consciousness or lasting effects, you may still pursue financial restitution. Don't let attempts from the insurance company convince you otherwise. Insurance companies like to downplay any injuries they can, and concussions are one of the top on their list.
Your entitlement extends to compensation for your financial losses, such as medical expenditures and incidental costs (such as transportation to medical appointments or necessary aids). You may also recover more in pain and suffering than your financial losses.
However, if you reside in a no-fault insurance state and your head injury arises from a car accident, you must initiate a compensation claim with your insurance provider through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
Passengers who sustained injuries should file their claim under the policy of the driver of the vehicle they were in. PIP settlements generally don't include compensation for pain and suffering.
Can You Afford a Concussion Injury Attorney?
Don't let financial concerns deter you from seeking legal counsel for your concussion case. The majority of personal injury law firms extend complimentary case evaluations for concussion victims and their families. You'll never pay for the time spent with a legal professional during a consultation, even if you ultimately choose not to pursue legal action.
Attorneys specializing in concussion cases routinely operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they don't require upfront payments or bill clients based on hourly rates. Instead, they receive a percentage of any compensation they secure on your behalf as their fee. Essentially, you only incur fees if they succeed in obtaining results for you.
Personal injury lawyers adopt this approach because they recognize the potential financial strain a concussion can impose. They aim to make their services accessible to anyone in need, and contingency fee arrangements facilitate precisely that. This ensures that legal assistance is within reach, regardless of your financial situation.
If you recently suffered a concussion at the hands of another party, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced brain injury lawyer today.