According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated four to five million people in the United States sustain concussions every year.
If you suffer a concussion in a traffic accident, what could be the consequences? Can you be compensated if someone else is responsible for causing your concussion?
WHAT IS THE PRECISE DEFINITION OF A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury usually caused by a blow or a jolt to the head. Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, nausea, blurred vision, difficulties with memory, and sleep disorders.
Some of the symptoms of a concussion may emerge immediately, while other symptoms may not appear until days later. Most of the people who suffer a concussion do not lose consciousness.
Although a lot of concussion victims recover and heal in a matter of weeks, if you have sustained a concussion, it is important to know that you may have to deal with some long-term consequences.
WHAT CAN BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CONCUSSION?
If you were injured by a careless driver or in some other accident scenario involving negligence, after your other injuries have healed, the effects of a concussion may continue to linger and impact your life.
A person’s memory, emotions, and reasoning may all be negatively affected by a concussion – and for an indefinite length of time. In the most severe cases, even a concussion victim’s language abilities can be severely impaired. Here are some specifics:
1. Both long-term and short-term memory, as well as someone’s capacity for reasoning and logic, can be negatively impacted by a concussion.
2. A concussion can result in a loss of sensation that affects vision, hearing, and balance.
3. The ability to read, write, and speak so that others can understand, as well as the ability to understand what others are saying or writing, can be impaired by a severe concussion.
4. Emotions are also almost always affected. A concussion can be the cause of anxiety, stress, depression, and sudden, irrational mood and personality changes.
HOW SERIOUS ARE CONCUSSIONS?
We tend to think of concussions as trivial injuries because we so often hear about athletes who suffer concussions coming right back for the very next game. But concussions are not trivial.
Even the National Football League now takes concussions seriously. Under the terms of a 2013 agreement, the NFL has contributed $765 million for medical assistance to more than 18,000 former players.
A number of those ex-football pros now suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of concussions sustained on the field. CTE is a long-term condition that can lead to dementia and has even apparently triggered several suicides.
WHAT ARE THE RESEARCHERS TELLING US ABOUT CONCUSSIONS?
Recent research conducted at the University of New Mexico by Dr. Andrew R. Mayer demonstrates that even a mild concussion can damage the brain in a way that remains visible on brain scans a number of months later.
If you’ve suffered even a mild concussion, you must be exceedingly cautious about avoiding any impact, jolt, or blow to the head. A second concussion can be far more serious after a first concussion.
Medical researchers now also insist that the risk for epilepsy increases substantially after someone sustains a concussion.
WHAT BECOMES THE PRIORITY WHEN SOMEONE SUFFERS A HEAD INJURY?
This cannot be said strongly enough: It is imperative to seek medical assistance immediately after sustaining any head injury in a vehicle collision or in any other type of accident.
Professional athletes experience most of their concussions on the playing field, but the average person is most likely to sustain a concussion in a traffic collision.
Concussions are not unusual in traffic accidents, even in low-speed collisions with little vehicle damage.
Anyone who is involved in a traffic crash must have medical attention immediately – even if you don’t believe that you are injured.
WHY IS MEDICAL ATTENTION NECESSARY IF YOU FEEL FINE?
Why is a medical exam imperative after an accident – even if you feel spectacular?
A medical exam is imperative after an accident because if a negligent driver injures you in the state of Indiana, you are entitled under Indiana law to full compensation for your injury-related costs and losses.
However, a brain injury may be difficult to recognize, and if symptoms develop later, you must be able to prove that you were injured in the traffic accident – because another driver was negligent – or else you can’t be compensated.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF NEGLIGENCE?
With your medical records and test results, and with the help of an experienced Evansville personal injury attorney, if you have sustained a concussion in this state because another driver was negligent, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation.
That compensation is meant to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and all related losses, costs, and damages.
If you’ve sustained a severe brain injury that will require multiple surgeries, lengthy rehabilitation, or permanent life-long care, you’ll need the maximum amount of compensation that’s available – and an attorney who knows what it takes to win that amount on your behalf.
Your personal injury attorney is a seasoned negotiator who routinely negotiates settlements on behalf of injured clients.
If your claim can’t be settled out of court – and that’s rare – your attorney will take your case to trial and ask jurors to hold the negligent party accountable for your injury.
HOW ELSE WILL AN ATTORNEY HELP YOU?
In a personal injury case, proving that the defendant was negligent is the key. With an attorney’s help, the victim must prove that the injury actually happened and that another party’s negligence was the cause.
If you have sustained a concussion in a traffic accident or any other type of accident in this state – because someone else was careless – do not speak to, listen to, or deal with an insurance company.
Refer the company to your attorney.
WHAT WILL SOME INSURERS DO IF YOU FILE AN INJURY CLAIM?
Most insurance companies operate professionally, but if you make an injury claim, some companies will try to coax you into accepting an insufficient settlement amount – and then signing away your right to further compensation or further legal action.
Don’t let that happen. A personal injury attorney will deal with the insurance company, protect your rights, and fight aggressively for the compensation and justice you need.
If you’ve suffered a concussion because of another person’s negligence, compensation is your right. Get the medical help you need, and then get the legal help you need – immediately.