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Can I Sue For a Concussion?


For starters, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that significantly affects the functionality of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.4 million Americans suffer a concussion as a result of car accidents or sporting activities every year. While the effects of a minor concussion may last a couple of minutes after an accident, severe concussions lead to serious compilations, some lasting for a lifetime including the inability to concentrate, memory loss, behavioral and emotional changes as well as loss of coordination/balance.

Nonetheless, if you've suffered a concussion because of another party’s negligence, the law states that you can get compensation for damages. That said, for you to successfully sue of a concussion, there are some basics that you must be well acquainted with as stipulated below.

Know the Legal Standpoint of Your Concussion Case

Concussions lawsuits are based on the theory of negligence. In essence, this means that you have to prove that the party you’re suing is legally responsible for the injury. Knowing the legal basis of your case will not only help you gather evidence but also increase the chances of winning the suit or settlement. You will need to show that:

  • The defendant owed you duty of care
  • The defendant did not act in a reasonable manner toward upholding the said duty of care
  • It was due to the defendant’s negligent actions/behavior that you suffered a concussion
  • You suffered injuries and losses that are measurable under the law

What Damages Can You Sue For in a Concussion Case?

If you have a case, you can seek settlement for two types of damages namely special and general damages.

Special Damages – Also referred to as economic losses, these are damages that can be measured in monetary value including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Lost capacity to earn
  • Funeral and burial expenses

General Damages – These are also known as non-economic losses that may not have monetary value including:

  • Physical turmoil and suffering
  • Shock and mental torture
  • Emotional stress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disgrace and shame

How Much Is Your Concussion Case Worth?

While the amount of settlement may differ from one concussion case to the other, there are a few pointers you can use to help determine a rough estimate of the compensation. Start by:

Calculating Special Damages – Add up all the medical bills, lost wages, expected income and lost earning capacity. The latter might be difficult to estimate. Thus, you may require the help of a financial expert or an experienced personal injury attorney. To make calculating special damages easy, be sure to keep a comprehensive record of your medical expenses and medications used as well as the documentation of every doctor or physical therapists you have visited.

Calculating General Damages – In most cases, general damages amount to 1.5 to 5 times special damages based on the severity of the injury. It is, therefore, imperative to keep the records of how the concussion is affecting your day to day life. Be sure to note any pain you suffer, emotional harm and other symptoms resulting from the concussion such as dizziness, fatigue, and severe headaches.

The total sum of general and special damages is the estimated value of your concussion claim. Also, adjust the value to reflect your savings and while you’re at it, compare the recent jury verdicts to determine the final value of your claim.

Here are some of the recent concussion verdicts:

  • $26 million awarded to a Florida man after permanent brain damage caused by a car accident.
  • $12 million awarded to a woman who suffered a concussion as a result of a defective tire on her motorcycle failing.
  • $75 million awarded to a woman who was in comatose for three weeks after a car crash and had undergo two months of concussion rehabilitation.

Problems in Concussion Lawsuits

When claiming damages in a concussion suit, you may run into stumbling blocks. It is for such reasons you need to know the legal basis of your case before initiating a lawsuit. Some of the most common problems in concussion lawsuits include:

  • The jury’s failure to distinguish your concussion symptoms from other headache-like conditions
  • The doctor disagreeing that you suffered a concussion

Note that concussion lawsuit suits are based on your ability to prove that the other party acted in a negligent manner and as a result you were injured. You cannot sue if you’re unable to prove recklessness on the party that caused the injury.

Seek Legal Help

Concussion cases are complicated, and you may not achieve much without a personal injury lawyer on your side. Therefore, if you or someone you know has suffered a concussion and is considering taking legal action, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area immediately for free consultation. The attorney will analyze the circumstances surrounding your case and advise you accordingly.

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