Concussions have become big news in recent years, gaining media attention for their impact in the world of football. As scientific evidence for the traumatic long-term effects of concussions mounts, players are filing brain injury lawsuits.
The NFL reached a concussion settlement deal that will likely exceed one billion dollars for brain injury claims. The NCAA must also respond to hundreds of concussion lawsuits brought by injured athletes.
However, concussions occur in contexts outside of sporting events. You may have experienced a concussion in an auto accident, at work, in a bicycle accident, or due to slipping on a wet surface and falling. Just like those injured football players, you have the right to pursue compensation for your concussion caused by negligence.
You may wonder, Can you get a concussion from whiplash in a truck accident? or Can you get a concussion from hitting your head?
Many situations might produce a concussion, and sometimes concussion accidents occur due to someone’s negligence. Keep reading for more information on concussions, including whether you can sue for a concussion accident.
We’ll cover the following topics:
- Ten concussion facts,
- Concussion symptoms,
- Filing a concussion lawsuit,
- Proving negligence for your concussion,
- Comparative negligence in New Mexico, and
- Damages resulting from a concussion.
If you’ve suffered a concussion due to negligence, you may have expensive medical bills and a long recovery process. A personal injury attorney can help you get a settlement that will cover your bills and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
If you’d like to speak to a traumatic brain injury attorney, call the team experienced in dealing with these injuries at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. We offer skilled representation for concussion victims as we seek to hold the people who caused your injury accountable.
Maybe you’d like to learn more about concussions before talking to a traumatic brain injury attorney. If you want more concussion information, keep reading. First, we’ve rounded up ten concussion facts that may surprise you.
Ten Concussion Facts
- A concussion is caused by the rapid movement of the brain inside the skull after a blow or jolt to the head.
- Concussions cause many different symptoms, ranging from dizziness to headache, that can impact your daily life.
- Concussion symptoms don’t always appear right away but can appear days after your accident.
- If you have concussion symptoms, you should seek medical treatment right away because some concussions can be life-threatening.
- Concussions can cause serious chronic health problems that may impact your life for years.
- Over three million concussions occur in the United States each year.
- Concussion care may include rest, medication, or physical therapy, as well as other valuable treatment options.
- If you get another concussion soon after your first concussion (called second-impact syndrome), it can cause critical brain damage.
- You cannot always prevent concussions, but people should take reasonable steps to keep themselves and those around them safe.
- You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your concussion, including pain and suffering.
Now we’ll elaborate on some of these concussion facts. Because it’s vital to identify concussion symptoms quickly, let’s expand on that topic first. Then we’ll look at whether you can sue for your concussion and how the New Mexico personal injury lawsuit process works.
Many people have witnessed the classic concussion experience. A football player gets knocked down, and if he gets up at all, he staggers off the field. Everyone watching can tell that the player has suffered a concussion. However, concussions aren’t always as obvious. Sometimes, concussions from car and truck accidents or work injuries cause subtle symptoms that don’t appear for days or weeks.
If you receive a blow to the head, look out for these concussion symptoms:
- Severe headache or a feeling of pressure in the head,
- Loss of consciousness,
- Slurred speech,
- Nausea or vomiting,
- Sensitivity to light or sound,
- Ringing in the ears,
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping,
- Blurred vision, and
- Confusion or difficulty answering questions.
Even if you just experience one of these concussion symptoms, you should seek medical evaluation. Because you can’t easily tell the extent of your brain injury, it’s important to make sure your concussion isn’t a life-threatening emergency.
The post-concussion syndrome occurs when your concussion symptoms linger for weeks, months, or years after your injury. Up to 10% of concussion victims may experience extended symptoms. Post-concussion syndrome symptoms may be similar to the symptoms originally experienced.
For instance, if you experienced short-term memory loss after a car accident, you may continue to suffer memory loss for an extended time. However, new post-concussion symptoms may also appear, including behavioral or emotional changes. If you experience post-concussion syndrome after a car accident, settlement payments can help you get the medical treatment you need.
Filing a Concussion Lawsuit
After reading these concussion facts and symptoms, do you worry about your injury? Do you worry about the long term impact your concussion could have on your life, including your employment? Perhaps you need medical treatment but don’t know how you’ll pay the expensive bills. We want you to get the treatment you need, and a concussion lawsuit can reimburse your medical costs.
A concussion may resolve on its own within a few days, or your injury may require extensive medical treatment. When you suffer an injury that requires medical treatment and causes pain and suffering, it may severely impact your life. In that case, you may be able to sue to recover compensation for what you suffered.
Whether you can sue depends on the cause of your accident. If you suffered a concussion due to someone’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving Negligence for Your Concussion
In New Mexico, proving negligence requires four elements.
Duty of Care
This means someone owed you a duty of care or responsibility to keep you safe. For instance, a driver has a responsibility to drive safely so that they don’t cause an accident.
Breach of Duty
Someone breaches a duty of care when they do something wrong or don’t do something that they are required to do. For instance, if a driver becomes distracted and swerves into oncoming traffic, the driver breaches the duty of care.
Breach of Duty Caused Harm
A negligence lawsuit requires you to show that the breach of duty caused harm. In the example given, if the distracted driver didn’t hurt anyone, you wouldn’t have a negligence lawsuit. However, if the driver crashed into your car, causing you to break your leg, the driver’s breach of duty caused you harm.
You Suffered Damages
To take your case to court, you have to suffer significant damages. For instance, if the crash just bruised your finger and didn’t harm your car, you wouldn’t have enough damages for a lawsuit. However, if your broken leg required surgery, missed days at work, and nights of insomnia, you could have plenty of damages for a lawsuit.
Comparative Negligence in New Mexico
A lawsuit settlement can reimburse your medical bills and help your family make ends meet while you’re out of work.
Our personal injury lawyers at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. negotiate for a maximum concussion settlement. Usually, a personal injury settlement is covered by the defendant’s insurance company, so you don’t need to worry about a defendant personally footing the bill.
Defendants have insurance for precisely this purpose—to pay someone who gets hurt due to their negligence. If the defendant’s insurance company refuses to settle, we’ll take your concussion case to trial.
New Mexico’s negligence law follows a rule called “pure comparative fault.” This means that even if you were partly, or even mostly, to blame for your accident, you can still sue anyone who was partially responsible.
Unlike other states that say you can only sue if you’re 50% or less responsible, New Mexico doesn’t place a limit on your percentage. For instance, even if you were 95% responsible for your accident, you could sue the person who was 5% responsible. You would only recover 5% of your total damages from that person, though. That’s because you recover damages according to the percentage of fault.
Damages Resulting from a Concussion
Damages are the harm you suffer as a result of your concussion. This harm can come in two forms, which you can ask the defendant to pay in your settlement agreement.
Economic damages include the financial expenses from your accident. These expenses include things like medical bills and lost wages. If you can’t work anymore because of your concussion, the court will consider future wages lost. Keep all medical bills and receipts to calculate damages.
Non-economic damages attempt to compensate for the emotional harm that resulted from your concussion. When calculating non-economic damages, your attorney will try to put a price on emotional damages like pain and suffering, concussion insomnia, and depression.
In addition to the economic and non-economic harm you may have suffered, the court can award punitive damages. This category of damages applies to defendants who have shown particularly terrible behavior. A judge awards punitive damages to teach the defendant a lesson and to warn others to avoid such recklessly negligent behavior.
While it’s not easy to calculate an average settlement for a concussion, our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight to get you maximum reimbursement for the harm you have suffered. We’ll work with you to calculate all possible damages and determine a fair settlement request.
Contact a New Mexico Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Have you sustained a concussion due to someone’s negligence? If so, you should ask an experienced concussion lawyer whether you have a personal injury case. The traumatic brain injury attorneys at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. listen with compassion to clients who have suffered concussions. Then, we work hard to get you the injury compensation you deserve.
Here are some other things you should know about our law firm:
- We offer aggressive legal representation for people injured or wronged in accidents;
- We have offices in Texas and New Mexico and are licensed in both states;
- We are experienced at negotiating with insurance companies as well as taking cases to trial; and
- We seek maximum personal injury compensation for our clients who have suffered from negligence.
If you think you have a concussion injury claim, call us for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story, explain the law that applies to your injury, and show you available legal options. You can focus on recovery, while we fight for the settlement you need. Contact us for a free consultation today.