- February 10, 2016
- Car Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Personal Injury Law
Do North Carolina insurance companies offer post-concussion syndrome settlements?
NFL concussions are on everybody’s mind with the convergence of the Super Bowl and an Oscar-bait film about the topic. But football players aren’t the only people susceptible to concussions. Car accident victims suffer concussions at an alarming rate. According to a recent CDC study on traumatic brain injury, more than 230,000 people visited emergency rooms over a four-year period for concussions caused by car accidents.
Concussions are called “hidden” injuries because it’s not always obvious when a person has experienced one. The effects of these traumatic brain injuries can last the rest of a person’s life.
What is Concussion?
Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries. They occur when the brain shifts inside the skull and collides with the bone.
People who have suffered concussions experience a wide range of problems with thinking and remembering, physical symptoms, trouble sleeping and emotional issues. Some of these include:
- Problems thinking clearly
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems retaining new information
- Headache or blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble balancing
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Changes in sleep needs – needing more or less sleep
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
Though it’s rare, some people develop bleeding or blood clots on the brain as a result of their concussions. The CDC has more information on concussion-related blood clots, including symptoms. Blood clots are life-threatening. You should visit an emergency room right away if you suspect you have developed one after a concussion.
Concussions After Car Accidents
Prompt medical attention is crucial to car accident victims’ care.
People tend to think of concussions resulting from blows to the head. However, many victims suffer concussions from incidents where they do not hit their head at all, such as whiplash injuries in car accidents. The forces involved in motor vehicle collisions are so drastic that they can cause the brain to shift inside the skull even if the victim’s head does not collide with any other objects in the car.
Many people experience concussion symptoms soon after their injuries. However, others don’t notice some symptoms until weeks or months and have passed. A car accident victim may not notice their concussion symptoms until they’ve returned to their normal routines and find that they are experiencing difficulties they didn’t previously have. (This is one reason it’s best to allow emergency services to evaluate you after an accident.) Continually monitoring yourself for whiplash-related concussion symptoms can make a huge difference in your recovery and your ability to heal from your traumatic brain injury.
Can I Settle a Concussion and Whiplash Car Accident Claim?
Many factors interfere with whiplash victims’ ability to settle their concussion claims with insurance companies. Concussions are difficult to document since CT scans, MRIs and PET scans do not detect them. In addition, because the symptoms of concussion may be “hidden,” victims might not visit a hospital or doctor right away. Insurance companies are reluctant to settle these cases because they think victims are faking their symptoms. A question I get is what is average settlement for whiplash and concussion?.
What to Do If You Have a Concussion
Seek medical attention right away if you are showing symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury. Undiagnosed concussions can have profound effects on victims’ mental and physical health. People who have suffered concussions must allow themselves time to recover by getting plenty of rest and refraining from most tasks that require a lot of mental or physical exertion. A doctor can monitor your condition and administer neuropsychological tests that can support a diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury.
Keep a diary of how you are feeling. This is often the best way to paint a picture of how your concussion has affected your life. While there are many apps that allow concussion victims to track their symptoms and assess their cognitive functions, you may also wish to document your symptoms on paper. Document any issues that could be related to your injury like headaches, brain fog, and trouble sleeping. Your diary can help you fully describe your symptoms to your doctor at your post-accident doctor’s appointments. It can also serve as evidence in your personal injury claim if backed up with a doctor’s diagnosis.
Concussions do not appear on MRIs and other brain scans.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Insurance companies know that the typical brain injury victim does not know how to negotiate or litigate their claim on their own. Because of this, they rarely settle with concussion victims.
Car accident attorneys often have years of experience in building cases on behalf of clients suffering from whiplash brain injuries. This experience could have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. An Asheville accident attorney’s help might result in your walking away with a settlement large enough to cover your past and future medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from your concussion.
Ask Us About Your North Carolina Whiplash Concussion Case
Sometimes, car accident victims can reach a settlement agreement with insurance companies without hiring a lawyer. However, people with complicated cases, like those resulting in traumatic brain injuries or post-concussion syndrome, may benefit from consulting with a personal injury attorney before taking any action on their case. A lawyer can help you make informed decisions about your case including when it is time to go to court.
Most lawyers offer free initial consultations to help you determine whether your case is viable. Contact our Asheville personal injury attorneys today to discuss your case for free.
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