Can I Sue for a Concussion?
March 9, 2022 / Personal Injury
You’ve received a blow to the head that resulted in an injury and left you with medical bills you didn’t expect to deal with. Now you’re asking, “Can I sue for a concussion?” The answer to the question is yes, you can sue for damages provided you can show proof of injury and that the blow to your head was the result of negligence, even if the concussion was mild.
A concussion is caused by a blow to the head that results in your head being whipped to one side in a sudden motion. The sudden motion causes your brain to crash into your skull and causes temporary or permanent injuries to your brain. You’ll experience a change in your ability to process the world around you, along with difficulty speaking and other conditions related to brain trauma. The effects may be temporary and last about 15 to 20 minutes, or they can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that permanently alters your ability to live a normal life.
The main reason to file a lawsuit for concussion injuries is to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. If you’ve suffered a TBI and are unable to resume your normal way of life, you can also seek damages for ongoing care and living expenses. Oftentimes, insurance companies are the intermediaries who are responsible for paying damages in a lawsuit for a concussion, but they don’t want to play fair when it comes to appropriate compensation. You should get help from lawyers who specialize in brain injury cases to get a fair settlement or award that covers the bills related to your concussion and medical care.
What is a Concussion?
How to Prove a Concussion Means First Knowing What it Is
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that happens when the head suffers a blow or experiences sudden deceleration, such as in a car accident. The skull protects the brain from injury, but its protection also causes injury to the brain. Your brain is cushioned by cerebrospinal fluid, but this cushion isn’t enough to prevent your brain from traveling in the opposite direction of a blow or a sudden deceleration.
The force with which your brain hits your skull usually results in a bruise on the brain; it can damage blood vessels and possibly injure the nerves. It’s possible to have one or all of these injuries present after receiving a concussion. You may not experience much in the way of symptoms after a mild concussion, or you may experience serious damage to your brain and skull while outwardly exhibiting the classic symptoms of a concussion. This was determined to be the cause of death in the case of Bob Saget, a well-known television personality.
The damage to your brain after a concussion can be temporary or permanent, and it’s rare for someone to black out after receiving one. You’re more likely to experience symptoms such as:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Sensitivity to light
- Noise sensitivity
- Ringing in ears
- Being tired or sleepy
- Sleep issues
- Loss of memory
This is by no means an exhaustive list of symptoms, but it does represent the ones most commonly associated with a concussion. If you or a loved one has received a blow to the head or been involved in a situation where sudden deceleration has happened, seek medical help immediately. Time is of the essence with a traumatic brain injury, and a concussion should not be dismissed, no matter how insignificant the injury seem. Having a medical professional diagnose it will help prove a concussion happened as a result of your accident.
The Different Grades of Concussions
Physicians use a grading system to classify the severity of a concussion. They include:
- Grade 1: Mild, with symptoms lasting less than 15 minutes and with no loss of consciousness
- Grade 2: Moderate, with symptoms lasting longer than 15 minutes but no loss of consciousness
- Grade 3: Severe, includes the loss of consciousness for a few seconds or longer.
Post-Concussion Syndrome Means You Can Suffer Concussion Symptoms After the Injury has Healed
A small percentage of people continue to experience the symptoms of a concussion long after the initial injury has healed. You may experience the symptoms you initially suffered when you got the concussion, or you could experience new symptoms related to a concussion. Medical science is uncertain as to why some people still deal with physiological symptoms long after their injury has healed.
However, in order to sue for a concussion as well as post-concussion syndrome (PCS), your physician has to be certain that the symptoms you’re experiencing are the direct result of the original injury. The signs of PCS are similar to other conditions, and a physician has to rule out other causes before definitively stating that you’re experiencing PCS.
How to Prove a Concussion for a Lawsuit
When you talk to a lawyer about a lawsuit for concussion-related injuries, you need to be able to show proof that you had one. If you sought medical attention after receiving a blow to the head, you’ll have sufficient evidence to demonstrate the fact you were injured. Sometimes you involuntarily receive medical attention because the concussion was strong enough to knock you out, and you were transported to a medical facility. Any type of incident that resulted in your receiving an X-ray or scan to confirm a concussion is sufficient proof for a lawsuit.
Evidence is key in a lawsuit for a concussion, and medical records are your best line of defense against a claim of fraud. A physician’s records, written and visual, are difficult to refute during a lawsuit, no matter whether your personal injury lawyer is in the negotiation phase or is filing a lawsuit in court on your behalf. Your medical records are likely to be reviewed by independent physicians brought in as expert witnesses for you as a plaintiff and on behalf of the defendant.
It can be difficult to prove that a concussion happened, even with medical records. The symptoms are sometimes vague and attributable to other issues, such as migraines and digestive issues. Lawyers for the defense are going to try to argue away your concussion as the result of another physical condition, which is why it’s important to retain legal help for a lawsuit for a concussion.
Wondering if You Can Sue for a Concussion?
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury that’s affected your quality of life, call the law firm of Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2501 today to set up a consultation and speak to one of our attorneys. We will help you determine whether you have a case and can sue for your concussion. We’re here to protect your rights and make sure that you get just compensation for your concussion-related injuries. Our attorneys are here to listen and provide you with strong legal representation against insurance companies and their tactics.