settlement for a concussion in a car accident

Settlement for a Concussion in a Car Accident: Legal Strategies That Work

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 10 minutes

Settlement for a Concussion in a Car Accident: Legal Strategies That Work

If you’ve suffered a concussion in a car accident — leading to serious head injuries such as ongoing issues after the concussion — then you could be entitled to compensation under the law. Head injuries resulting from car accidents are very often severe enough to have lifelong impacts. Depending on the nature of the injury, you could be left unable to work again, or at least, unable to work in the same capacity. You might even have your personal relationships affected by your deficits.

After suffering a concussion in a car accident, individuals may experience a variety of concussion symptoms, including but not limited to headaches, difficulty concentrating, and mood disturbances, which further underscores the importance of seeking compensation for such injuries.

The financial, physical, and psychological impacts can be truly devastating. For that reason, it’s absolutely critical that you push for justice. It’s only right that you seek the compensation you deserve — we encourage you to get started by contacting 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with an attorney in our network.

That being said, if you’d like to learn a bit more about head injury lawsuits and the legal strategies and issues that may accompany your dispute, read on! Let’s briefly explore these issues.

Can I claim compensation for a head injury?

Maybe — it depends on the particularities of your case, including if you’re initiating personal injury claims for head injuries sustained in car accidents! To successfully establish liability in a personal injury claim, you’ll have to prove the following elements:

  1. That you sustained an injury;
  2. That the injury led to various losses; and
  3. That the injury was a result (directly or indirectly) of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior of the defendant

If you can establish that these elements are true, then you’ll have a “winning” argument for imposing liability on the defendant — and you’re entitled to recover compensation from defendants who are proven liable for your losses.

Why do most head injury lawsuits end in settlement?

It’s absolutely true that most concussion injury (and other personal injury) lawsuits end in settlement. In fact, industry observers estimate that as much as 95 percent of injury disputes are concluded in a settlement agreement. Simply put, it’s because settlement is a way of navigating the many negative aspects of litigation, including navigating a personal injury lawsuit for concussion injuries from car accidents.

That may be confusing, so we’ll explain in brief.

Litigation can be exhausting, resource-demanding, public, and uncertain. For example, if you’re a retailer defendant (i.e., a mom-and-pop store), your reputation could be damaged in the lawsuit, and even if you have a strong case, there’s always a chance you might lose it. This uncertainty and publicity applies to both plaintiffs and defendants.

To avoid these issues, plaintiffs and defendants — in most scenarios — would prefer to agree upon a fair middle ground that makes sense for both parties. Everyone can walk away satisfied, and avoid a lengthy and frustrating litigation process.

Worth noting: in a head injury case, defendants are often more willing to negotiate a settlement early, as head injury victims tend to come across as more “sympathetic” to juries. That’s because the injuries can be impactful on many areas of the victim’s life, and juries may not feel that the victim is exaggerating or lying, since the injury is likely to be more obvious/serious.

It’s crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney before speaking with the insurance company to ensure fair negotiation and settlement.

How long does it take to settle a traumatic brain injury case?

There’s no simple answer here because every case is different.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution regarding the length of time that it takes for a case to resolve (in settlement or through a court award, or through some other means).  As such, your case could be settled in as little as two weeks, or as long as two years — it really depends on the particular circumstances of the dispute. The duration to settle cases involving mild traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, can vary significantly due to the complexity of assessing the injury’s long-term impact and the challenges in diagnosing a mild traumatic brain injury. There are no definitive tests for mild traumatic brain injuries, and diagnosis often relies on symptoms, physical examination, and evaluation by medical experts, which can complicate and prolong the settlement process.

Factors that can lengthen the amount of time that a settlement takes include:

  • The defendant is hostile and unwilling to reach a fair settlement
  • The defendant has other people suing them and wants to make an example of you by showing that they are “strong” and willing to fight cases in court
  • The defendant has substantial financial resources with which to litigate a defense
  • The defendant is not concerned about the reputation risks of having the lawsuit go public
  • The defendant believes that their arguments are better than yours
  • And more

For example, if the defendant simply wants to make a show of beating you in court, then a settlement will likely not be possible — and you can expect the case to have to proceed all the way to trial to fully resolve.

How much money should I settle for when it comes to a head injury?

There are two aspects in determining how much you should be willing to settle for when it comes to your injury claims: 1) the actual damages amount, and 2) how likely it is that the court will award you those damages in the event of a trial.

The severity of a ‘serious injury’ such as a significant concussion can notably impact the total compensation amount, reflecting the serious complications and long-term effects associated with such injuries.

Calculating your potential damages involves an accounting of all the losses you sustained as a result of the defendant’s actions.  These claimable losses may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of property
  • Medical expenses (i.e., medical bills)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • And more

Considering the long-term effects when negotiating a post-concussion syndrome settlement, which could significantly influence the total compensation amount, is crucial. For instance, if you have a salary of $100,000, and your head injuries are severe enough that you can’t return to work for a year, then you’d have claimable wage loss damages of $100,000 — and that’s not even accounting for your other damages, such as your pain and suffering and medical expenses.

But the settlement isn’t just about the damages potential.  It must also account for the statistical likelihood that a court would award you those damages if the case were to hypothetically move forward to trial.

Attorneys therefore go back and forth, presenting well-developed arguments and evidence to opposing counsel to show the strength of their case.  If you can show that you have a strong case, and therefore a 75 percent likelihood of winning compensation (and the court agreeing with the damages amount claimed), then a fair settlement offer would be 75 percent of the total potential damages.

Pretty simple!

How can a personal injury lawyer help me get compensated?

Attorneys, including both experienced car accident attorneys and personal injury attorneys, are comprehensive legal advocates who can effectively negotiate with insurance companies to ensure fair compensation. They aren’t just meant for courtroom legal advocacy — in fact, if you work with an attorney early on in your dispute, you’ll find them handling a variety of tasks, from investigating the extent of your injuries (with the aid of experienced medical experts) to having back-and-forth negotiations with insurance carriers and insurance adjusters. An experienced car accident attorney or personal injury attorney plays a crucial role in dealing with insurance companies to ensure fair compensation for concussion injuries from car accidents.

By engaging this broad set of skills, attorneys are able to represent your legal interests in a cohesive manner, protecting your claims and asserting your right to compensation. This puts pressure on the defendant (and others, such as insurance companies) to make reasonable settlement offers and to treat your claims with the respect they deserve.

Experienced personal injury lawyers can do the following:

  • Identify, gather, and preserve important evidence
  • Communicate on your behalf with opposing counsel, insurance companies, law enforcement, and others
  • Assist you in securing adequate medical care for your injuries
  • Work with witnesses to develop supportive testimony
  • Investigate your case details with the aid of key experts
  • Submit your claims and handle other procedural issues in a timely manner
  • Negotiate a potential settlement
  • Navigate pre-trial court hearings
  • If a fair settlement cannot be reached, push forward to trial litigation
  • Secure compensation after it has been awarded
  • And more

Phew! That’s a long list of duties and responsibilities. As you can see, attorneys handle a wide variety of important tasks, and it’s worth bringing them into your case early so that you can more effectively seek compensation.

How much time do I have to sue for my head injury?

The deadline for filing your claims in a court of law is known as the “statute of limitations period,” and it’s different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (and depending on the type of claim that you’re attempting to litigate).

In California, for example, a standard accident-related injury claim would have a deadline that runs two years from the date of injury.  In New York, by contrast, the same claim would have a deadline that runs three years from the date of injury.

Understanding the statute of limitations in personal injury cases, especially those involving head injuries from car accidents, is crucial. This knowledge ensures that victims take timely action to secure their right to fair compensation.

Wherever you’re intending to litigate your claims, it’s important to understand that you have a limited time to do so.  If you wait too long and forget to formally file your claims before the deadline period passes, then courts will automatically dismiss your case — you will be deemed to have relinquished or abandoned your legal right to recovery.

Given the severity of the consequences (i.e., you could be prevented from obtaining any and all compensation), it’s critical that you quickly seek the assistance of a qualified injury lawyer so that they can help you navigate the legal process in a timely manner.

If you’ve sustained a concussion injury (or other head injury) in an accident that was not your fault, then you could be entitled to significant compensation.  Recovering full compensation isn’t always straightforward, however.  There are many challenges that you’re likely to encounter as you move forward with the legal process, and depending on how you handle various issues early on, you could potentially undermine your claims.  That’s why it’s so important to work with a qualified personal injury lawyer.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with an experienced head injury attorney in our network.  During this consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in detail.  The attorney will then provide guidance on how best to proceed, and what sort of strategic options you have given the circumstances.  There’s no downside to calling in to discuss your case, as there’s no obligation to continue if you decide against it!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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