When someone suffers a concussion due to an accident or someone else’s actions, it can have lasting effects, and it’s important to know your rights and options. In this blog, we’ll explore concussion injury claims, how they work, and how a brain injury attorney in Gainesville can benefit you through the process.

Schedule A Free Consultation

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of injury to the brain. It happens when there’s a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Your brain is a soft organ cushioned by fluid inside your skull. When your head is hit hard or shaken, your brain can move around and knock against the skull. This movement can cause changes in the brain and lead to a concussion.

Concussions can occur during a car accident if your head suddenly jerks forward and back or if it hits something like the steering wheel or window. In contact sports, concussions are common when players collide or fall. Falling objects or slips can lead to head injuries at workplaces, especially in construction or manufacturing. Even in everyday life, something as simple as slipping on ice and hitting your head can result in a concussion.

When someone has a concussion, they might experience a variety of symptoms. Headaches are the most common symptom – the person might describe it as feeling like pressure in their head. They might also feel dizzy, almost like they’re spinning or can’t balance well. Nausea, or feeling like you’re going to throw up, is also common. Then, some symptoms affect thinking and memory. The person might seem confused or have trouble remembering what happened just before or after the injury. They might also feel foggy, like they can’t think clearly or concentrate.

Concussion Injury

Symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear until hours or even days later. And while many concussions are temporary and people recover fully, some can have long-term effects. This might include ongoing headaches, memory problems, or difficulty concentrating. In some cases, people may experience changes in their mood, like feeling more irritable or anxious.

If you think you or someone else has a concussion, seek medical attention. A doctor can assess the injury and guide you on the right steps to take for recovery. This might include resting and gradually returning to normal activities under medical supervision.

What is a Concussion Injury Claim?

A concussion injury claim is a specific type of legal action taken by someone who has suffered a concussion because someone else was negligent. This legal action is a way to seek financial compensation, which is money meant to make up for losses and difficulties resulting from the concussion.

Let’s break this down a bit more. Imagine you have a concussion because of a car accident where the other driver was at fault or due to a fall in a store where the floor was wet and there was no sign warning you. In such situations, the person or company responsible for your injury might be considered negligent. This means they didn’t take the necessary care or steps to prevent harm.

When you file a concussion injury claim, what you’re essentially doing is asking for financial help to cover all the ways the concussion has cost you. This isn’t just about your medical bills, which can include visits to the doctor, any treatments you need, and medication. It also covers the money you cannot earn because you had to miss work due to your injury.

If your concussion affects you for a long time, you might also be looking at lost future earnings, especially if you’re unable to return to your job or have to take a different, lower-paying job because of your injury.

Then there’s the part that’s a bit harder to put a price on – your pain and suffering. This is about how the injury has affected your life beyond the financial aspect. Maybe you have ongoing headaches or can’t enjoy hobbies like you used to. Perhaps the concussion has affected your mood or your relationships. All of these effects are considerations in a concussion injury claim.

To succeed with a concussion injury claim, it’s not enough to say that you suffered an injury and someone else is to blame. You must show that the other party’s actions or inaction directly led to your injury. This can involve gathering evidence, like accident reports or medical records, and sometimes getting testimony from witnesses or experts.

This process can be complicated, and that’s where a lawyer can help. They can guide you through the filing process, handle negotiations with insurance companies or the other party, and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

What is the Role of Negligence in Concussion Injury Claims?

When we talk about negligence in the context of concussion injury claims, we focus on the idea that someone didn’t take enough care, and that led to someone else getting hurt. People and organizations are expected to act in ways that don’t put others at unnecessary risk. This can mean a driver following traffic laws, a store keeping their floors free from hazards, or a sports league ensuring players have proper safety gear.

Victim Injured in accident

Now, let’s consider how this relates to concussion injury claims. If someone suffers a concussion because another person or an organization didn’t take the care they should have, this can be negligence. For example, imagine a driver who runs a red light and hits another car, causing the other driver to suffer a concussion. Here, the first driver’s failure to follow traffic laws and drive safely can be negligent.

Proving negligence is a key part of a concussion injury claim. It’s not enough to just say that the injury happened. The person making the claim needs to show that the other party had a duty to act carefully, that they failed in this duty, that this failure caused the injury, and that the injury led to specific harms or losses, like medical bills or missed work.

How a Brain Injury Attorney Helps

When someone experiences a concussion due to an accident or someone else’s negligence, they might consider filing a claim for compensation. This is where a lawyer can be a valuable asset. Here are a few ways a lawyer assists in concussion injury claims.

Evaluating Your Claim

The first step a lawyer takes is to evaluate the details of your case. This involves a thorough assessment of the incident, the extent of the injuries, and the impact these have had on your life. They look at factors like how the injury happened, who might be at fault, and what losses you’ve suffered as a result. This evaluation helps in understanding the strength of your claim and what kind of compensation you might expect.

Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim

After evaluating your claim, the next step is gathering evidence. This is where the lawyer collects all necessary documentation to support your case. They gather medical records, providing a detailed account of your injuries and the treatment required. The lawyer also gathers accident reports, which can offer an official overview of what happened. Additionally, witness statements can provide an external perspective on the accident, strengthening your claim.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

One of the most challenging aspects of concussion injury claims can be dealing with insurance companies. Insurance adjusters are skilled at negotiating settlements and often aim to minimize the amount paid out. A brain injury lawyer acts as your advocate in these negotiations. They ensure that any settlement offer is fair and adequately compensates for your injuries and other losses.

One common tactic the insurance company might use is the quick settlement offer. Shortly after your injury, an insurance company might present you with an offer to settle the claim. While it might be tempting to accept this and get immediate financial relief, these initial offers are often much lower than what you might actually be entitled to. They’re counting on the fact that you might not yet understand the full extent of your injury and its long-term impact.

Another approach is the request for a recorded statement. Insurance companies may ask you to provide a recorded account of the incident and your injuries. While this might seem harmless, it’s best to be cautious. How you describe the incident and your injuries can significantly impact your claim. Sometimes, what you say can be used to downplay the severity of your injury or shift the blame onto you.

Insurance companies also often go through your past medical history. They do this to find any pre-existing conditions they might claim are the real cause of your current symptoms, not the incident in question. This tactic can potentially reduce the amount they have to pay.

Brain Injury

Requesting extensive documentation is another strategy. While it’s reasonable and necessary to provide some documentation to support your claim, some requests may be excessive and designed to overwhelm or discourage you.

So, how do you deal with these tactics? The most effective way is to have a knowledgeable brain injury lawyer on your side. A lawyer can guide you through the process, advise you on what information to provide, and handle negotiations on your behalf. They can also identify the true value of your claim, ensuring that you don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Refrain from signing any documents or agreeing to settlements without consulting your lawyer. Every document you sign or statement you make can affect your claim.

Finally, you will certainly need a lawyer if your case goes to court. A lawyer will prepare and present your case, advocate on your behalf, and argue for your right to compensation. Your lawyer’s understanding of legal procedures and ability to articulate your case effectively before a judge and jury can significantly influence the outcome of your trial.

Statute of Limitations for Concussion Claims

The statute of limitations for concussion claims is the time frame in which you must file your legal claim after suffering a concussion. This is a critical aspect of your claim because if you miss this deadline, you might lose your right to seek compensation for your injury, no matter how valid your case is.

The statute of limitations can vary depending on where you live. Each state has its own set of laws that dictate how long you have to file a claim. Generally, this period can range from one to several years from the date of the incident that caused the concussion. These time limits ensure that cases are initiated while evidence is still fresh and reliable. As time passes, memories can fade, and records can become harder to find, making it difficult to prove your case.

The clock on this time limit typically starts ticking from the date of your injury. However, there are some cases where you might not realize the full extent of your injury immediately. In legal terms, this is the “discovery of harm.” Some states consider the time when you discovered or should have reasonably discovered your injury as the starting point for the statute of limitations.

For anyone who has suffered a concussion and is considering legal action, one of the first steps should be to find out the statute of limitations in your state. This information can often be found through a simple online search, but the most reliable way to get it is by consulting with a lawyer who handles personal injury or concussion claims. They can provide a specific time frame for your state and let you know what to expect.

Remember, the statute of limitations is a strict deadline. Missing this deadline can completely bar your right to seek legal compensation. So, if you’ve suffered a concussion due to someone else’s actions or negligence, it’s best to act quickly and seek legal advice to make sure your claim is filed within the required time frame.

Steven A. Bagen Attorney for Pedestrian Accident Cases near Gainesville, Florida area
Steven A. Bagen, Brain Injury Lawyer in Gainesville

Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer

Seeking the right legal help can make all the difference in your personal injury case. A qualified brain injury lawyer can guide you through this process, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve for your concussion.

Remember, each case is unique, so it’s best to consult with a legal professional who can provide tailored advice based on your specific situation. Taking the right steps after a concussion allows you to focus on your recovery while your legal rights are looked after.