Is a Concussion Serious Enough to Take Legal Action?
Traumatic brain injuries are classified in three different ways: mild, moderate, and severe. A severe brain injury can result in a coma and permanent disabilities and moderate brain injuries often require supervision and a recovery period that can last months. On the other hand, the symptoms of a mild brain injury often clear up on their own within a few weeks and treatment often involves resting with little additional medical intervention after a diagnosis.
The most common form of mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion. Millions of people suffer concussions each year. Common causes of concussions include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Falls from heights
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Getting hit by a falling object
- Construction accidents
- Other workplace accidents
If another negligent party caused an accident that resulted in a concussion, the victim has the right to hold that party responsible for any losses, including medical bills and lost wages.
After hitting your head, always get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. After you go to the emergency department and receive a concussion diagnosis, doctors may send you home with instructions to rest—both mentally and physically—and to contact a doctor if symptoms worsen. A person may miss a few days of work and then may feel better and return to normal activities.
Because the effects of a concussion often pale compared to those of more severe brain injuries, victims often do not think taking legal action is worthwhile and fail to consult with a personal injury attorney. This can be a mistake, however, because any injured victims of negligence deserve to recover compensation for their losses—even if their injury was not life-changing.
Your Losses After a Concussion
With healthcare costs constantly on the rise, even a single trip to the emergency department can cost you hundreds of dollars. An average visit to the emergency room can cost $1,200, plus additional costs for diagnostic tests or any medications that doctors order for pain or anti-inflammatories to control brain swelling. For people who do not have health insurance, bills for one visit can seem insurmountable. Even with health coverage, you may have to pay copays of $500 or more or cover a certain percentage of the total cost of your visit.
In addition, many people who sustain concussions must stay home from work for a day or more, both for their recovery and due to feelings of disorientation or “fogginess,” headaches, dizziness, vision problems, and other concussion symptoms. If you do not receive paid time off, you can lose out on all of the wages you would have earned on those days. Losing income for even a few days of work can significantly throw off your entire household budget and cause financial stress.
Even if your injury seems minor, the losses can add up quickly. With medical bills and lost income, you could easily lose a few thousand dollars.
If someone offered you a few thousand dollars, you would probably take it without thinking. The same should go for asserting your right to receive compensation for your losses after a concussion.
Health Insurance May Refuse to Cover Treatments
In many situations, people who hit their heads go to the emergency department and give their health insurance information, only to later learn that their insurance company rejected the claim. A health insurance company that learns your injury occurred in an accident in which another party was at fault will instead expect you to seek compensation for your injuries through that party’s insurance company. If you fail to take any action, that accident may leave you with the entire bill for your treatment.
The Law Does Not Only Protect Those With Million-Dollar Cases
In addition, in many cases, calling an attorney does not mean that you will go to court. In fact, the insurance process resolves many cases involving relatively minor injuries. If you fell at a store, the company’s general liability policy may allow you to collect compensation. If you were in an auto accident, you may not have to deal with the other driver at all, because your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance may cover all of your medical expenses.
Even though PIP is your own insurance policy, obtaining the payment you deserve could prove difficult. Like any other insurance, PIP insurers will avoid liability whenever possible and you will have to carefully prove your losses to get full compensation for your medical bills and related losses. An attorney with extensive experience making PIP claims will know how to prove and resolve your claim as soon as possible so that you can move on with your life without the financial stress from your accident.
Our Dedicated Tampa Bay Brain Injury Law Firm Can Help You
At Dolman Law Group, we regularly handle claims stemming from concussions. Concussion victims should never think they are not worthy of recovering compensation for their losses after an accident. We know that concussions can have many consequences on your life—even if it is considered a “mild” brain injury. Please contact a Tampa Bay brain injury attorney at (727) 451-6900 or write us online to schedule a free consultation today.