If you suffered a head injury in a car accident, it's important to seek legal advice.
Concussions are a common injury sustained in car accidents that are often misunderstood and undervalued by insurance companies, despite the serious and long-term consequences that can result from these brain injuries. Despite terminology such as "mild concussion" or "mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)," concussions can lead to permanent brain damage if left untreated.
A concussion can occur in a car accident when the head experiences a sudden and violent impact or jolt. This can happen when a person's head strikes a hard surface inside the car, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or window, or when the head is jerked violently in different directions. A concussion can occur due to a whiplash injury, where the head is suddenly and forcefully thrown forward and backward or from side to side. The force of the impact can cause the brain to move inside the skull and lead to injury of the brain tissue.
After a crash, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms and warning signs of a concussion and to seek immediate medical attention to diagnose and document your injuries. Then, it's important to get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options. If you or a loved one sustained a concussion in a Dallas area car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Marye Law today for a free consultation to see how our attorneys can help you.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is brought on by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The brain may twist or bounce due to the fast movement, causing chemical changes in the brain and occasionally stretching and harming brain cells. The CDC also mentions that car accidents are a significant factor in traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.
Common warning signs of a concussion after a car accident include:
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Memory loss or amnesia
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Loss of consciousness (even briefly)
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Feeling dazed or stunned
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
- Neck pain or stiffness
Keep in mind that some people may not experience all of these symptoms, and some may experience other symptoms not listed here. In addition, it is important to note that not all concussions are immediately apparent, and some symptoms may not appear until hours or days after the injury. This is why it's essential to be aware of the warning signs of a concussion and to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you or someone you know has one.
How is a concussion diagnosed?
A physical examination is one of the most common ways to diagnose a concussion. A doctor will check for signs of a concussion, such as a headache, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. They may also check for symptoms of a more severe brain injury, such as a skull fracture or bleeding in the brain.
A neurological examination is also often conducted to check for changes in the patient's ability to think, feel, and move. This may include tests of memory, balance, and coordination. Imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, may also be used to diagnose a concussion. These tests can help doctors rule out more severe injuries, such as a skull fracture or brain bleed, and assess any potential structural damage to the brain.
In recent years, doctors have been using new technology to assess brain function, such as an electroencephalogram (EEG), which records the brain's electrical activity, or a functional MRI (fMRI), which can show how different parts of the brain are working.
Common concussion treatments
Medical experts have developed various methods to treat this injury, with the main focus being on allowing the brain to rest and recover. One of the most critical steps in treating a concussion is rest. This includes physical and cognitive rest, which means avoiding activities that require concentration, such as reading, watching TV, or using electronic devices.
Other treatments may include:
- Pain relief medication to alleviate symptoms such as headaches. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be effective.
- Physical therapy to help with balance and coordination issues. Sometimes, a doctor may refer the patient to a specialist, such as a neurologist or a neuropsychologist, for additional evaluation and treatment.
- Changes in activity. A person with a concussion may be advised to avoid contact sports or other activities that could lead to another head injury. A second concussion before the first has healed can lead to a potentially fatal complication called second impact syndrome.
It is important to note that recovery times for concussions can vary, so be patient and follow the doctor's recommendations. It's also important to be aware that some people may experience symptoms for weeks or even months after a concussion. If symptoms persist or worsen, it's important to seek medical attention and be re-evaluated by a doctor. Finally, remember that there is still a lot we don't know about brain injuries. Research on the long-term effects of concussions is ongoing, and new treatments are constantly being developed.
Recovering compensation for a concussion after a car accident
The cost of treating a concussion can be high depending on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment required. Medical bills, such as emergency room visits, diagnostic tests, and follow-up appointments with specialists, can add up quickly. In some cases, a person with a concussion may require ongoing treatment and therapy, which can also be costly.
In some cases, the at-fault party's insurance company may cover the cost of the medical treatment and other losses. However, it's common for insurance adjusters to make lowball settlement offers to concussion victims. Remember, insurance companies are not charitable organizations; their primary focus is on profit, which can sometimes mean paying less than what is deserved for expenses related to a concussion.
For example, the insurance company may offer you a quick settlement that looks good on paper but ultimately falls short of covering the total cost of your damages once they're fully known. Or, an insurance adjuster may intentionally delay the claim process to pressure you into accepting a lower settlement. That's when having an experienced attorney on your side to protect your rights and look out for your best interests can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Talk to a Dallas, TX, car accident lawyer about your legal options.
If you or a loved one suffered a concussion in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. However, pursuing compensation for a concussion sustained in a car accident is a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the legal system and the ability to prove negligence on the part of another party.
That's why you need an experienced car accident attorney who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing an injury claim or lawsuit. To learn more about how our law firm can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free case evaluation. There are no obligations, and we offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case.