This guide explains how, in Georgia, the settlement value of a concussion due to a car, motorcycle or truck accident is based on several factors including: the amount of medical bills, how severe the head injury is, and whether it is permanent.
- The amount of compensation recovered in a Georgia concussion case after a car, truck or motorcycle depends on the severity of injury, but can be estimated.
- Because head injuries are sometimes not reported immediately, insurance companies can be stubborn when it comes to paying fair injury settlements.
- Car accident lawyers investigate and prove concussion cases by evaluating the forces of impact in a crash and working closely with medical experts, such as neurologists.
Georgia personal injury case settlement values in concussion cases vary widely, mostly depending on how severe the head injury is and how difficult it is to prove your claim.
A concussion is a form of TBI, or mild traumatic brain injury. In some cases, it seems obvious that an accident victim suffered a concussion. Immediate symptoms of dizziness, head pain, disorientation or passing out at the scene of a crash are relatively easier to diagnose than gradual symptoms that come on later.
What Formula Can Be Used to Calculate the Settlement Value of A Concussion?
In Georgia, and likely in many other states, the value of a concussion case must take into consideration the ease of your diagnosis, how quickly you recover, the medical bills, and whether the injury is permanent. So, while there is no specific formula for calculating settlement values in concussion cases, those factors can be used as a guide.
Estimating The Settlement Range in a Georgia Car Accident Concussion Case
According to Jury Verdict and Settlement Research conducted by The Millar Law Firm for 2000 – 2020, the average Georgia settlement award for concussion cases was approximately $380,000. The median settlement was around $65,000.
The difference between the two settlement amounts is because the average settlement value includes the very large awards, sometimes worth millions of dollars, for the most serious and life-altering TBI claims. The median value is the “middle” value for all concussion settlements reported.
Fighting for The Compensation You Deserve in a Concussion Case
Because concussions are sometimes not reported immediately, insurance adjusters often claim the injury does not exist. Therefore, it is important you seek medical attention at the time you first experience head pain after a crash.
Personal injury lawyers will use your medical records and interviews with your doctors, such as a neurologist, to determine your diagnosis and present evidence of a concussion to the insurance company.
Concussion: A Head Injury That Often Goes Unnoticed
Whenever you experience head trauma in a motor vehicle accident, there is a risk of suffering a concussion. TBI’s such as concussions are sometimes overlooked because the damage is not visible. Instead, it is hidden deep inside the skull where the brain may be bruised and bleeding.
This can be extremely dangerous, as left untreated, head injuries can cause long-term damage or even death. Therefore, it’s always best to seek medical attention to confirm there is no cause for concern.
Here’s what you should know about head injuries caused by car accidents and how you may be able to receive compensation if you’ve been injured.
You do not have to be knocked out or lose consciousness to have sustained a concussion in a motor vehicle crash. Immediately following an accident, victims often think they are fine. This false sense of well-being can result from the body’s first response to a crisis – a flood of adrenaline through the circulatory system.
Victims of brain injuries often don’t show any visible signs of trauma, and symptoms may be delayed until hours or even days after the injury occurs.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of a TBI or Concussion
Common symptoms of a concussion include confusion or loss of memory, vomiting, dizziness, coordination problems, confusion, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, or seizures. Loss of consciousness after a blow to the head is a sure sign that medical evaluation is necessary.
It’s a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident if you have any of these symptoms to confirm whether a concussion is present.
How a Car Accident Can Cause a Concussion
Your brain is protected by the thick skull, and your brain floats in a cushion of fluid that surrounds it.
When the body is exposed to a sudden, severe jolt or collides with an object, the brain can be sent careening forcefully, twisting and turning inside your head. Unfortunately, the delicate tissues of the brain are not meant to cope with such impacts.
Even with today’s automotive safety equipment, like airbags and headrests, blows to the head are common in car accidents. When vehicles collide, gravity and inertia may hammer victims’ heads into the dash, windows, doorposts, and other hard surfaces. This makes automobile accidents one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury.
Diagnosis of Concussion After a Car Accident
Concussions can be difficult to diagnose for the reasons mentioned above. Nevertheless, there are a few red flags to watch for after a car accident.
First and foremost, any time a person loses consciousness after an accident – even for a moment – it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. And, some victims do not remember being briefly unconscious.
Some symptoms of a concussion are:
- Dizziness or drowsiness – looking dazed
- Pupils that are dilated or one pupil larger than the other
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion, memory loss, or slurred speech
- Difficulty walking or poor coordination
- Irrational or aggressive behavior
- Numbness or paralysis in any part of the body
Generally, these symptoms show up right away. However, it is possible that signs may be delayed by hours or even days. If you have these symptoms following a known blow to the head, you should seek medical help.
How Doctors Rate the Severity of a Head Injury
Doctors and medical staff may express concussion severity in different ways, but generally, there are three levels of head trauma:
Mild head injury / Grade One Concussion: This is associated with a common bang to the head. There is usually no evidence of trauma on the head, scalp, or face in mild cases, and typically no loss of consciousness occurs. If there is memory loss, it may only last for about 30 minutes. The injured person may vomit once or twice and complain of a headache.
Moderate head injury / Grade Two Concussion: In moderate cases, there are generally signs of trauma to the outside of the head, such as a cut, bruise, or lump. The victim may have briefly lost consciousness or show signs of memory loss (amnesia). Other symptoms can include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Often, there is discoloration around the eyes or behind the ear that may or may not include a discharge of clear cerebrospinal fluid from one or both of the ears.
Severe head injury / Grade Three Concussion: In addition to obvious damage to the head and face, serious head injury is often accompanied by injuries to other parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs, or major organs. In most cases, the victim is unconscious or non-responsive, but sometimes, aggressive behavior may also happen. Seizures also occur in about 10% of people with severe head injuries.
How Medical Professionals Check for a Concussion After a Car Accident
At the hospital, the medical staff will work to stabilize the victim and do an initial neurological and physical evaluation. They will examine the size of your pupils, evaluate your reflexes, and check your sensation and muscle strength. If these test results are abnormal, you may be subjected to other tests or admitted to the hospital for observation.
Following the initial examination, your doctor may order spinal X-rays or a Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the head. The CT scan is the most effective way to detect skull fractures, brain injury, or bleeding inside the head.
How a Concussion Is Treated
Your doctor will likely provide thorough instructions and cautions if you’ve been diagnosed with a brain injury. Typically, the best treatment for mild to moderate concussions is rest. Both mental and physical downtime enables the brain to recover more quickly.
Depending on the severity of your injury, a course of rehabilitation may be necessary for you to return to normal. In severe traumatic brain injury cases, victims may need to re-learn language and motor skills and work on physical coordination.
Short- and Long-Term Consequences of a Concussion
In the days and weeks following a concussive event, the victim may experience headaches, “mental fog,” or cognitive delay, like difficulty answering questions, impaired judgment, ringing in the ears, and sensitivity to light and sound. With rest, the short-term effects of a mild or moderate concussion usually resolve in one to four weeks.
Unfortunately, not everybody heals quickly. Up to 30% of concussion patients experience delayed recovery. More serious traumatic brain injuries also take longer to heal. These patients may experience the symptoms above and extended difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or problem-solving. The longer the healing process, the worse this can become.
Depression and irritability are also common in cases where healing is impaired. Some victims with severe traumatic brain injuries may never fully recover. In these cases, long-term care for the victim may be required.
A Concussion from a Car Accident Can Be Life-Threatening
Because concussion symptoms don’t immediately present themselves, damage and bleeding inside the brain can become fatal. Elderly people, anyone on blood thinners, and those who have had a previous concussion are at particular risk for permanent brain damage or even death.
Suffering a second concussion – even a minor one – after a previous event or before the first injury heals completely can be deadly.
Working With The Millar Law Firm, Atlanta Concussion Injury Lawyers
If you choose to retain our law firm for your head injury case, our services will include:
- A detailed investigation directed at proving the forces of impact. Not all concussions require a car to be totaled or destroyed.
- Getting your medical records and bills for you. Let us handle the stress of gathering your medical evidence.
- Interviewing your doctors, witnesses and other experts to prove you suffered a concussion.
- Researching the value of your claim.
- Negotiating with the insurance company.
- If necessary, filing a lawsuit and taking your case to trial.
TBI and Concussion Injury Cases We Handle:
In addition to car accidents that cause concussions or TBI incidents, our injury attorneys handle concussions caused by:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and Trip and Fall accidents
- Work and on-the-job accidents
- Construction accidents
- Other incidents caused by negligence
Receiving Compensation for a Concussion Caused by a Car Accident
Damages that you may be entitled to recover in a concussion case include medical expenses, therapy expenses, neurological care, vision testing, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, lost income and loss of enjoyment of life.
Receive a Free Consultation
At The Millar Law Firm, we offer a free first consultation to help you understand your rights. All you need to do is call our office to speak with an attorney about your case today, at no charge.
We can advise you about the best way to proceed, and there is no cost or obligation or pressure to retain the Firm.
We have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for decades. Allow us to use our experience and expertise to help you get a full and fair settlement. Call The Millar Law Firm today at 740-400-0000
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