Car Accident Concussion Settlements: What You Need to Know!
Involvement in a car accident can wreak havoc on your body. The effects can be so severe that you may need to pursue a car accident concussion settlement sooner rather than later.
Unlike other injuries you may sustain from an auto accident like a broken leg or bruised muscles, a concussion is often not obvious right away. Even you may not be aware until well after the accident.
Do not assume that you are fine after your involvement in a car accident. Sustaining a concussion is a possibility, so get yourself checked out to be sure. Feel free to read on as well if you wish to learn more about concussions and the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Recognizing the Symptoms of a Concussion
A concussion is one of the personal injuries you may sustain from a car accident. You may have sustained your concussion after hitting your head on the steering wheel or the side of the car door.
Concussions can occur even if your head does not connect with any part of your vehicle. If a vehicle rear-ends you, the whiplash motion may already be enough to cause damage to your brain.
Part of the reason a concussion is troublesome is you may not recognize it. You may already be suffering from a concussion without you knowing about it.
You must recognize and treat a concussion as soon as possible. Knowing about the common symptoms of a concussion should help with that.
We have detailed those common symptoms below:
- Headaches – The Cleveland Clinic notes that a headache is the most common symptom of a concussion. If your head is killing you after your involvement in an accident, then a concussion is the culprit.
- Dizziness – Feelings of dizziness may accompany your concussion. You may also have a tough time staying balanced because of the damage done to your brain.
- Nausea – You may find yourself feeling nauseous from time to time due to the concussion you sustained. Do not be surprised if you end up vomiting from that as well.
- Blurry Vision – In the days following your accident, you may notice that everything in front of you appears blurry or out of focus. Unfortunately, that is yet another indicator that you have sustained a brain injury.
- Ringing in the Ears – Your concussion may cause you to start hearing ringing noises. Those ringing noises may also stick with you for a while.
- Fatigue – Getting back into your routine following a car accident can be remarkably difficult. That could be because your concussion is causing you to feel more fatigued than usual.
- Sensitivity to Light and Noise – Concussed individuals may find exposure to bright lights and loud noises unbearable. Stay clear of those things if you believe you are concussed because they will make you uncomfortable.
- Unusual Sleeping Patterns – Your sleeping routine could also change because of the concussion. The change could lead to your sleeping time becoming longer or shorter. It varies from one case to another.
Remember that the ones we mentioned are only the common symptoms of concussions. In some cases, affected individuals may encounter memory issues, suffer from seizures, and even develop depression.
You should never take a concussion lightly. Seek a car accident concussion settlement because you will need it as you are trying to recover from your injury.
How Will a Severe Concussion Affect You Long-Term?
It would be one thing if the symptoms associated with concussions simply went away completely after you recovered. As bad as the ordeal could get, you would only need to endure for it a while, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Sadly, severe concussions do not always work that way. While some individuals may no longer experience symptoms of any kind after getting concussed, others are not so fortunate.
The CDC has provided a fact sheet that outlines the devastating impact that brain injuries can have on people. Per their findings, the life expectancy of someone who survived a moderate to severe brain injury is nine years shorter compared to the average person. A mild concussion is considered as a relatively minor brain injury. Their more severe counterparts are commonly referred to as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs.
Furthermore, 57 percent of affected individuals who live past five years after initially sustaining the injury are either moderately or severely disabled. Also, 55 percent of those same people end up unemployed even if they had a job before the accident.
Furthermore, 33 percent of those individuals need help with their daily activities, and 29 percent say they are not satisfied with their life.
To say that a concussion can hurt your quality of life would be an understatement. Thanks to the effects of your injury, you may no longer be able to reclaim the life you once had.
You are well within your rights to seek every penny you deserve if you were involved in an auto accident caused by someone else. Secure adequate compensation for all the injuries you sustained because your life should not be ruined by an event completely out of your control.
Why You Deserve Compensation for Your Concussion Injury
Thus far, we have highlighted the different ways that a concussion can affect you. We wanted to shine the spotlight on the effects of a concussion because we want you to understand why seeking proper compensation in your accident settlement is so important.
Look at all those symptoms again and imagine how they can disrupt your daily life.
Will you even be able to work if you sustain a concussion after a car accident? There is a decent chance that you will not be able to work for a while, so you need a way to stay afloat in the meantime. The settlement could serve as that lifebuoy so you can endure for a while and focus on your recovery.
How Is the Value of a Concussion Settlement Determined?
We now have a better understanding of why you deserve compensation if someone’s actions led to you getting concussed, but you may still have some questions. To be more specific, you could be wondering how to determine the value of your settlement.
Professionals do not randomly produce the settlement value. Instead, they identify compensatory damages relevant to your case and calculate them to produce the value of your settlement.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
They award compensatory damages to plaintiffs in civil cases. As you have guessed from their name, compensatory damages are supposed to serve as compensation for the plaintiff’s losses.
Those compensatory damages are only given to a plaintiff if their losses were caused by the defendant’s negligence or harmful actions. In your case, you must prove that the other driver was the one who caused the car accident if you wish to receive compensation.
The compensatory damages awarded in civil cases fall into two different categories. Let’s discuss them in greater detail below.
First off, we need to discuss actual damages. Actual damages refer to the financial losses you incurred due to the accident. They are supposed to directly replace those losses.
A good example of this would be your medical bills. The chances are that your medical bills are already piling up because you are receiving treatment for your concussion. The actual damages in your case should cover those medical bills.
Actual damages can go beyond your medical bills. You may also seek additional compensation if you need medication to deal with the effects of your concussion. If you need therapy, you should mention that in court as well.
Your lawyer may seek the services of a doctor to determine the full extent of your injuries. They will allow the doctor to discuss your injuries in great detail, so you are fully covered in terms of your medical bills.
The compensation you receive should also cover any damage to your property that stemmed from the accident. That means your compensation should include the repair bills for your vehicle and any damaged belongings you kept in there.
Do not forget to account for lost wages as well. The concussion-related symptoms you are experiencing can actively prevent you from working. Your compensation should allow you to recoup those losses.
Similar to actual damages, general damages are also supposed to provide compensation for your losses. However, the general damages provide compensation for your non-monetary losses.
Pain and suffering are counted among the non-monetary losses that actual damages are supposed to cover. When we talk about pain and suffering, we are referring to the physical pain you might be experiencing as well as the mental anguish you may have as a result of your condition.
Medication could help alleviate your pain and suffering, but the fact that you are suffering from them still counts as a loss. It is a loss that you must receive compensation for.
Your lawyer can also argue that you should receive general damages because you can no longer enjoy your life as you once did. The effects of your concussion may have hampered your ability to live your life the way you want to, and your settlement should account for that.
We also cannot overlook the opportunities you may have missed due to your concussion. You can mention that your career prospects have decreased because of the car accident. That should entitle you to additional compensation.
Calculating General Damages
How do you calculate the general damages in your case? That is a fair question to ask since there are no bills to refer to.
More often than not, your attorney will use one of two methods to calculate the actual damages that should be in your settlement. They will either use the multiplier method or the per diem method. Typically, the court determines which method attorneys should use.
The multiplier method involves calculating the total amount of actual damages in your case. Once they have that number, they will multiply it with another number meant to represent the severity of your injury. The product will be the general damages rewarded in your case.
For the per diem method, they will attach a dollar value to each day you spend in recovery. The court will determine the general damages by adding the dollar values for those days.
The court in your area may also use a computation method that combines both the multiplier and per diem methods.
Do not worry if you are having a tough time figuring out how general damages work. Your lawyer can handle the calculations for you, and you can recover in peace.
What Are Your Chances of Receiving a Concussion Settlement in Maryland?
Before we wrap things up, we wanted to discuss an important matter that could affect your pursuit of compensation.
You see, the state of Maryland can make it difficult for plaintiffs to receive compensation for their injuries. That is because Maryland still uses the principle of contributory negligence when determining whether a plaintiff should receive compensation. Because of contributory negligence, you as the plaintiff will not be able to recover any damages if the court finds that your actions contributed to the cause of the accident.
The principle of contributory negligence can be unfair to plaintiffs. With this rule in effect, they could disqualify a plaintiff from receiving compensation if they are the slightest bit at fault for the accident.
Even if the various pieces of evidence suggest that the defendant is mostly at fault, they may still bar you from receiving compensation if you made a minor mistake.
Maryland following the contributory negligence principle to determine who does and does not receive compensation is another reason you need to partner with an expert lawyer. Allow your lawyer to demonstrate how the other party caused the accident and let them highlight the fact that you did nothing wrong as well.
We at Leppler Injury Law are ready to help if you need expert legal representation in the state of Maryland. Contact us today and we will help you claim the compensation you deserve.