Oklahoma experiences numerous car accidents leading to severe injuries, with concussions ranking high on the list. A concussion, categorized as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), occurs when the brain collides with the interior of the skull or experiences significant shaking.
Car accidents frequently result in concussions due to the high speeds and tremendous forces involved in collisions. As such, individuals who sustain concussion injuries should promptly seek medical attention. It's essential to emphasize that concussions, although labeled as "mild" TBIs, can have serious consequences.
These injuries may manifest various symptoms, all of which could significantly impact a person's daily life. Early diagnosis and appropriate medical care are crucial for ensuring the best possible recovery and minimizing potential long-term effects. If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion in an Oklahoma crash, it's also important to consult an experienced car accident lawyer to review your potential legal options.
How common are car accident concussions?
Each year, approximately 1.7 million people across the country sustain a concussion, according to head injury data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Out of this annual total, over 289,000 individuals experience these types of brain injuries due to car accidents. This means that motor vehicle accidents account for 17 percent of all concussion injuries, according to CDC data.
How do I know if I have a concussion?
There are many symptoms and warning signs of a concussion, including:
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or feeling disoriented
- Memory problems or amnesia about the accident
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Mood changes, such as irritability or sadness
- Difficulty concentrating or feeling "foggy"
- Slurred speech
- Sleep disturbances
These symptoms can vary in severity and may not appear immediately after the accident. It's essential to seek medical attention if you or someone you know experiences any of these signs after a car accident or any head injury. You know your body best. If something doesn't feel right, see a doctor right away.
Should I see a doctor even if I feel fine?
Again, concussions sometimes exhibit delayed symptoms, which may not become apparent for several hours or even days following a car accident. Consequently, even if you feel perfectly fine, you might still have a concussion without realizing it.
This underscores the importance of promptly seeking medical attention, as a doctor can conduct the necessary tests, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, to determine the presence of a concussion.
Another crucial aspect of consulting a doctor is establishing a medical record of your concussion. This documentation proves essential when pursuing compensation for your accident. Without concrete medical evidence of your brain injury, you might encounter hurdles in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Concussion Settlement Worth?
Determining the value of a concussion settlement can be a complex process as various factors come into play. The compensation you may receive for your concussion in a settlement or court verdict depends on several key elements:
- Medical Expenses: The cost of medical treatment associated with your concussion, including initial emergency care, doctor's visits, hospital stays, diagnostic tests (such as CT scans or MRIs), medications, and rehabilitation, will be a significant factor in calculating your damages (e.g., accident-related expenses).
- Lost Wages: If your concussion forced you to take time off work or resulted in a temporary or permanent inability to work, you can seek compensation for lost income. This may also include lost earning capacity if your concussion affects your ability to perform your job in the long term.
- Pain and Suffering: This category covers the physical and emotional distress, pain, discomfort, and inconvenience caused by your concussion. It's challenging to quantify, but it's a crucial component of your settlement.
- Permanent Disability: If your concussion leads to permanent impairments that affect your quality of life or ability to work, you may be entitled to compensation for ongoing disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and reduced future earnings.
- Evidence and Documentation: The strength of your case relies heavily on medical records, documentation of expenses, witness statements, and expert opinions. The more compelling evidence you have to support your claim, the stronger your position in negotiations or court.
Remember that every concussion case is unique, and the circumstances and variables surrounding your injury will influence the final amount of compensation you may recover. Having an experienced attorney can significantly impact your claim's value. A skilled lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, gather evidence, and build a strong case, potentially increasing the compensation you receive.
Protect your rights with an Oklahoma car accident lawyer
A concussion claim may sometimes appear less severe to an insurance company than other catastrophic injuries. Insurance adjusters may attempt to downplay the impact of concussions, dispute the extent of your injuries, or even argue that your concussion was a pre-existing condition unrelated to the accident. They might use tactics such as minimizing your symptoms, pressuring you to accept a lowball settlement, or shifting blame onto you.
At Lawter & Associates, PLLC, we understand the challenges concussion injury victims face when dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of a crash. Our experienced car accident attorneys have a deep understanding of how a concussion or any other type of traumatic brain injury can impact your life. We're here to help you navigate the legal process, advocate for your rights, and work diligently to secure the compensation you're entitled to under Oklahoma law.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion in an accident, contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options. Our offices are in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.