Is a Personal Injury Claim for a Concussion Possible?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury
caused by a blow to the head or a sudden, violent shaking of the head. Many believe that concussions are not serious injuries because they happen frequently in sports. In fact, the object of boxing is to give the opponent a concussion causing him to lose consciousness or cognitive abilities for ten seconds. If a concussion were serious why would they allow the sport to continue?
The fact is a concussion can be very serious and a second concussion, following before the first has fully healed, can lead to death. Even a seemingly mild concussion, that showed no more symptoms than a mild headache, may be followed by post-concussion syndrome. (PCS) This is a manifestation of symptoms that show up days or weeks later and can last for an extended period of time. Sometimes symptoms may last for a year of more. Ten percent of concussion victims claim to have experienced post-concussion syndrome. Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are the same as those of a concussion but can also include:
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Changes in behavior and emotions
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Headaches of varying severity and location
Some people suffer a lot more from PCS than do others. Medical experts have opinions but no one really knows why.
A concussion, followed by PCS, can happen from playing a contact sport, a fall, a car or motorcycle accident, assault, running or walking into a low obstruction or being struck by an object. If the concussion was received by the negligence or aggression of another and post-concussion syndrome occurs, there may be grounds for filing a claim against the other party's insurance company. Or the other party, if no insurance exists and the defendant has the funds to pay. To be successful in a post-concussion syndrome case it has to be proven that the injury was the fault of the defendant, and at least one medical professional agrees that the symptoms exist and were caused as a result of the blow to the head.
Proving Your Case
Insurance companies will fight a personal injury claim for a concussion vehemently as they know post-concussion syndrome is difficult to prove. They will insist on your getting an opinion from a doctor that is retained by them. That physician will more than likely disagree with your doctor. It is very helpful to have two or more physicians in agreement for the benefit of your case. If the case should go to trial the jury will feel that the insurance company's attorney is biased, but a second expert witness on your side will reinforce that opinion.
The next challenge is to show that the concussion, followed by PCS is considered a serious bodily injury. How much pain was there? The amount of pain is immeasurable except by your word and the opinion of your doctors. Were you able to function normally or did you have to give up work? Were unable to drive, become impossible to live with or suffer in any other area that greatly diminished the quality of your life? How many medical bills did you have that were not covered by insurance? How many will you have in the future? How much of your income was lost due to the injury and how much will be lost in the future? There are many questions to answer to determine what your injury claim is worth.
A personal injury claim for a concussion, followed by post-concussion syndrome is a difficult one due to a lack of clarity. Unlike a broken nose which can be repaired for a fixed price and takes a given amount of time to heal, post-concussion syndrome has no gauge with which to measure it. It is all about opinion. That is why a skilled personal injury attorney, who has litigated these cases over and over again, is your best asset. The attorney will know exactly where the insurance company's threshold lies in regards to settlement and will press hard to raise that limit. If it means going to trial, he will have the resources to front the high cost of a court case including deposing witnesses and hiring experts to corroborate your doctor's findings.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has helped a myriad of clients in traumatic brain injury cases of all magnitudes. Their brain injury legal team has a proven track record of success. If you suffered a head injury of any kind through no fault of your own, get in touch with a skilled attorney today for a free evaluation of you case. Our lawyers are lawyers who care and want to see you win.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765