Concussion After a Car Accident: Understanding Your Legal Options

Patient looks at X-Ray of brain scans

Despite being commonly referred to as "mild traumatic brain injuries," concussions are often underestimated in the aftermath of car accidents. This misperception can lead to them being treated as minor injuries when, in reality, they can have severe consequences.

Insurance companies often employ tactics to minimize concussion claims

Without prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, the repercussions of a concussion can be devastating. That's why it's critical for concussion victims to know their potential legal options if negligence played a role in the injury.

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, our Maine car accident attorneys have been strong advocates for concussion injury victims for many years. If you or someone you love sustained a concussion in a crash, we can fight for the justice and financial compensation you deserve.

What is a concussion?

A concussion falls within the category of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries occur when the brain experiences a sudden bump or jolt, leading to various forms of damage.

In some instances, the brain directly contacts the skull, while in others, it sustains injury from the forceful shaking and displacement within the skull.

Regardless of the specific mechanism, concussions have the potential to harm brain cells, making it critical for them to be promptly diagnosed by a qualified medical professional.

How common are car accident concussions?

Concussions rank among the most frequently occurring injuries in the aftermath of a car crash. Nationally, car accidents account for approximately 17 percent of all reported concussions annually, as per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To put this into perspective, this translates to roughly one concussion every minute—or more precisely, one concussion every 1 minute and 10 seconds. Of the 1.7 million concussions recorded nationwide each year, approximately 289,000 can be attributed to car accidents, according to CDC statistics.

How do car accidents cause concussions?

Car accidents can result in concussions through various mechanisms, including:

  • Direct Blow to the Head: A direct impact to the head, such as hitting the steering wheel, window, or dashboard, can cause a concussion.
  • Rapid Deceleration: The abrupt stop or deceleration of a vehicle during a collision can force the brain to impact the interior of the skull, leading to a concussion.
  • Whiplash: The sudden and forceful whipping motion of the head and neck, often experienced in rear-end collisions, can also result in concussions.
  • Airbag Deployment: While airbags are designed to save lives, their rapid deployment can exert significant force on the head and may sometimes lead to concussions.

It is crucial to note that concussions can occur even in seemingly minor accidents, and the symptoms may not always be immediately apparent. Seeking prompt medical evaluation following a car accident is essential to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for any potential brain injuries.

Common warning signs of a concussion

Concussion symptoms can cover a wide range and often include:

  • Persistent or severe headaches.
  • Feelings of nausea or actual vomiting.
  • Experiencing unsteadiness or balance problems.
  • Feeling disoriented, foggy, or confused.
  • Memory loss, particularly regarding the crash or anything leading up to it.
  • Heightened sensitivity to light and noise.
  • Blurred vision or seeing "stars."
  • Overwhelming tiredness or exhaustion.
  • Disruptions in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness.
  • Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depression.
  • Challenges in focusing or processing information.

Be aware that many concussion symptoms can be delayed. So even if you feel fine immediately after your accident, you could have a concussion and not even realize it due to delayed concussion symptoms, which sometimes take several hours or days to develop.

Get the legal help you need after a concussion

Insurance companies utilize several tactics to reduce or deny concussion claims and minimize their financial responsibility, including:

  • Shifting blame onto the victim.
  • Downplaying the seriousness of the concussion.
  • Questioning the necessity of medical treatment.
  • Disputing causation.
  • Making low initial settlement offers.
  • Causing intentional delays.
  • Outright claim denials.
  • Requesting independent medical examinations.
  • Attributing symptoms to pre-existing conditions.

These tactics can create significant challenges for concussion injury victims, which is why seeking experienced legal representation is crucial.

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, our experienced Maine car accident lawyers understand the challenges that often accompany claims involving concussions and other head injuries.

When you choose our personal injury law firm to represent you, you choose a dedicated legal team that knows how to get results for injured Mainers. Contact us today and schedule your free case evaluation. We have seven offices conveniently located throughout Maine.

Categories: Post