Why Car Accident Victims Have Difficulty Settling Concussion Claims
No one is immune from the effects of a concussion.
Whether a person’s concussion symptoms are minor, time-delayed, significant, or sporadic, a head injury of any sort requires careful medical diagnosis and management.
And while most concussion-related news is focused on athletes, the vast majority of these injuries are attributed to car accidents, injured workers, and veterans, among many others.
With 25+ years’ experience representing Indiana’s personal injury victims, Boulton Law Group takes a closer look at the difficulties facing unrepresented car accident victims in settling their concussion claims.
Car Accident Victims: Concussions & TBIs
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year in the U.S., 1.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Despite each of these concussions and TBIs being sustained in various ways and environments, the CDC says motor-vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of TBIs that result in hospitalization.
Talk to Attorney Matt Boulton Today
Schedule your free case consultation with one of Indiana’s most experienced personal injury attorneysFree Case Review
Given a motor-vehicle’s combination of speed, force, weight, and the potential non-use of safety devices by drivers and passengers, it comes as no surprise that car accident victims face a high risk of head injury following a serious collision.
So Why Can Concussion Claims Be Difficult To Settle?
First, it’s important to distinguish between a car accident victim who tries to settle a concussion claim on their own versus one who hires an attorney to handle their case.
Someone who has never been involved in a car accident is very unlikely to fully understand the laws, nuance, and complexities associated with personal injury claims.
By contrast, an experienced personal injury attorney has at their disposal a number of assets to help ensure car accident victims receive maximum value for their concussion claims, including:
- Historical data and analysis related to similar car accident concussion claims,
- A real-time understanding of Indiana’s personal injury laws,
- Day-to-day experience negotiating with different insurance companies on a variety of injury claims,
- The leverage of filing a lawsuit if the insurance company does not make a fair settlement offer.
Specifically, attorney Matt Boulton has found the following factors that often prohibit unrepresented accident victims from settling their car accident concussion claims for maximum value:
Concussion symptoms are difficult to spot or identify
Sometimes referred to as the “silent epidemic,” car accident victims may report feeling as though they are “in a bit of a fog,” and simply shrug off their bodily effects as minor.
However, because head and brain injuries do not always present in the immediate aftermath of an accident, it can be days, weeks, and/or months before concussion symptoms appear, remain consistent, or become more noticeable.
This can be especially true in the case of mild TBIs. Due to the lack of a physical wound, a car accident victim’s concussion may go unreported and/or undiagnosed. With this in mind, some car accident victims may have no mention of a concussion or TBI related to their initial ER or doctor visit.
It may not be until later, when the victim, a family member, or an attorney notice something different about their personality, feelings, or behavior that prompts the person to seek an official diagnosis.
Without an official diagnosis of a concussion or TBI, car accident victims will not be properly compensated for their injury/symptoms.
Concussion causes are misunderstood
In addition to a wide range of confusing physical and behavioral symptoms, some car accident victims are surprised to learn what actually caused their concussion.
In some car accident concussion cases, a person will report striking their head against something in the vehicle. However, some car accident victims unknowingly sustain a concussion despite their head making no physical contact with any object(s).
For example, the force caused by a rear-end car accident can cause a person’s body to quickly push forward and jerk back, which results in a whiplash injury. Unknown to some is the fact that whiplash, minus any outside contact to the head, can be a precursor to a concussion.
In these instances, a car accident victim’s brain and skull experience the quick “back-and-forth” effects traditionally associated with the spine (back and neck). As a result, the brain may actually make contact with the skull, resulting in a concussion or TBI.
Unless a car accident victim truly understands the mechanics, potential causes, and science behind concussions, it will be difficult for them to receive maximum settlement value for their claim.
Insurance companies undervalue or dismiss concussions
Unlike a broken bone, a concussion is often deemed as a subjective injury, meaning the insurance company will have a difficult time denying claims for a visible fracture, whereas the symptoms of a concussion can be more easily disputed.
Invisible injuries, such as concussions, TBIs, PTSD, and others, can be difficult to prove and/or valuate for accident victims with little to no experience in this area of law.
Again, by hiring a qualified personal injury lawyer, car accident victims help to even the playing field by utilizing the attorney’s history and experience in handling similar concussion-related cases.
Contact An Experienced Indiana Car Accident Concussion Attorney
If you believe you are suffering from concussion-related symptoms resulting from a car accident, it’s important for you to protect your health and legal rights.
Attorney Matt Boulton offers Indiana’s car accident victim a Zero Fee Guarantee, no matter the type or size of your potential case.
Boulton Law Group’s Zero Fee Guarantee means you will never pay for a case review, you owe the firm nothing until a recovery is made on your behalf, and the firm never receives more than its clients.
Matt reviews all contacts received at the firm. If you wish to send him your story, please use our confidential, free contact form.