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Car Accident Head Injury Settlements

Car Accident Head Injury Settlements

Every 23 seconds someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury. Some 50,000 of these individuals die each year as a result. Car accidents account for a large portion of these cases. According to experts, car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related deaths among children and young adults. This all inclusive guide is to understanding how to get a fair car accident head injury settlement.

If you or someone that you know has been involved in a car accident and suffered a head injury or concussion, it is important to recover a concussion car accident settlement that will help you meet your expenses. You may wonder what your car accident concussion settlement is worth, and what a fair car accident settlement value is. But before hiring an attorney and pursuing your claim, read this guide to learn more about car accident head injury settlements, how to maximize your settlement, and what you can expect in the legal process.

This page features extensive information about car accident head injury settlements, concussion injuries and settlement values, and common questions and answers. If you have further questions about your case, you can contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation and head injury settlement estimate.

Car Accident Settlement

Overview of Head Injuries and Concussions

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as “an injury that affects how the brain works.” A traumatic brain injury can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the heard, or an object penetrating the brain. There are several categories of TBIs:

  • Mild TBI or Concussion
  • Moderate or Severe TBI

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussion

Most traumatic brain injuries are considered mild TBIs or concussions. Mild TBIs are caused by a sudden blow or jolt to the head or an impact to the body that causes the head and brain to move.

Some of the symptoms associated with a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sensory issues such as ringing in the ears, blurred vision, changes in the ability to smell, or sensitivity to light or sound
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual

Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

A moderate or severe TBI can lead to long-term health problems that can significantly diminish the quality of the victim’s life. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of these types of traumatic brain injuries. These types of head injuries can cause the victim to lose consciousness for hours, days, weeks, or even months.

Symptoms of a severe traumatic brain injury can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or trouble balancing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood changes
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation

Patients that suffer a severe TBI can make significant improvements and even return to the same quality of life that they had before the car accident. But others are left with permanent cognitive, physical, and/or behavioral impairments. Patients usually require extensive ongoing medical treatment. For this reason, it is crucial to recover a car accident settlement that includes enough compensation to cover the costs of past, current, and future medical treatment.

How Much is a Car Accident Concussion Settlement Worth?

The average concussion settlement is worth $5,000-$20,000 depending on the severity of the concussion. However, every car accident claim is different and the amount that you receive will depend on the severity of your injury, as well as a variety of other factors.

What’s Included in a Car Accident Concussion Settlement?

There are several factors that go into your car accident concussion settlement. These include:

  1. Type/Severity of Injury: Injuries sustained from a car accident can result in serious injuries, including a brain injury or a concussion. In some cases, the victim of a car accident might not even realize that they have suffered a concussion until long after the accident has occurred. A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that causes the victim to suffer from neurological symptoms, which can include headache or migraine, nausea or vomiting, fatigue and insomnia, among other things. This can cause thousands of dollars in medical bills, physical and speech therapy, and in some cases mental health care… many car accident concussions end up causing some form of depression or anxiety, and PTSD car accident claims are becoming more and more common.
  2. Loss of Income: Loss of income is an essential factor when establishing a car accident concussion settlement. Concussions can keep people out of work for weeks, sometimes even months on end. It can be hard to look at a screen, be in bright light, or stand up for long periods of time. The longer a person is out of work, the more income they will miss out on.
  3. Property Damage:  Property damage is often not a priority when going through a car accident, but it can have a significant impact on your car accident concussion settlement. The more property damage there is from the collision, the higher your injury settlement will be. This obviously applies to your car but could also apply to anything valuable in it, valuable clothing or jewelry that you may have been wearing that was damaged, etc.
  4. Pain & Suffering: Pain and suffering is a large part of any auto accident settlement, and car accident concussion claims are no different. Head injuries, specifically concussions, are known to cause severe pain and suffering. The more traumatic your injuries are, the higher your settlement amount will be. However, because concussion symptoms often rely on patients to self-report, and in many cases concussions, especially longer term concussions, may not show up on an MRI scan. 

Because of this, many insurance companies will try to minimize the impact of the concussion on your life and/or claim that you’re faking or exaggerating the injury. This is similar to whiplash settlement claims, which are the most faked injury in insurance fraud cases. In many cases, whiplash and concussion settlement negotiations are wrapped into the same conversation, because concussions happen concurrently in a large percentage of whiplash injuries. 

A car accident concussion can end up causing long term health problems that significantly impact a person’s work and personal life on a day to day basis. While every car accident concussion settlement will be different, in general the more impact that an injury has on a person’s day to day life, the more the pain & suffering payout will be.

Car Accident Concussion Settlement Example

The accident occurred on Thursday, November 18th, 2021. It was a typical day and I was on my way to work in my Lexus IS 350 driving down  Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, IL.

I was stopped at a red light when I was rear ended by another car, a red Honda civic. I was completely shocked and unprepared for the impact, having been looking in front of me I hadn’t even seen the car speeding up behind me, I just heard the screeching of brakes and felt a very sudden and violent impact on the rear of my car.

The force of the impact threw me forward and I hit my head on the steering wheel. I was knocked unconscious and when I woke up, there were paramedics and police officers standing over me asking if I was ok.

When I got to the ER, the doctors did a number of tests and concluded that I had a mild concussion and grade 2 whiplash injury. I was prescribed a muscle relaxant and pain killer, which helped ease the pain initially. After keeping me at the hospital for a few hours for observation, I was released and told to make an appointment with my GP as soon as possible to start a treatment plan.

At this point, the pain in my neck had gotten worse and I was really worried about my concussion symptoms. I had never experienced anything quite like this before…  I was experiencing a massive headache, nausea, dizziness, and light/sound sensitivity. I was also very fatigued. Just standing up for more than a few minutes at a time and I needed to lay down in a dark room due to the headaches. 

Fortunately, my GP referred me to a neurologist who could better help me. After some further tests and scans it was concluded that I did indeed have concussion, and it might be worse than originally thought. I was told that this happens fairly often with car accident concussions… the concussion symptoms seem mild in the immediate aftermath of the crash, but get progressively worse over the next couple of days.

The neurologist prescribed medication for the headaches, nausea and dizziness . He also advised me to get physical therapy for the whiplash and recommended a good chiropractor in the area who could help with adjustments. 

The medication provided some immediate relief, and 2 days later on November 23rd, I had my first chiropractic appointment with Back in Balance Chiropractic in Evanston IL. The chiropractor, a nice woman named Dr. Hale, told me that  my neck and back were both out of alignment and that I would need a few more adjustments to really help with the whiplash.

She explained how adjusting my spine and neck could help heal the whiplash faster, as well as reducing the headaches and nausea. She had me stand up for her, then had me lay face down on the table. After taking x-rays, she started adjusting my neck and back. There was some pain involved in this process, same as with any chiropractic session… I could actually feel the tension leaving my body while Dr. Hale was doing her thing. She gave me some exercises to do at home to help with the whiplash and we agreed that I would come in to see her weekly for the next 2-3 months, depending on how things were progressing.

Hiring an Attorney for my Car Accident Concussion Settlement

Once things were starting to settle down, I realized that all these doctor visits and missed work was getting expensive. So I started searching online for answers to my questions:

How much is a concussion worth in a car accident?

How much is post-concussion syndrome settlement?

What is a fair settlement for a concussion?

How do you prove you have a concussion?

I soon realized that there was a lot involved in a car accident concussion settlement. So I decided to hire an auto accident attorney to help me deal with the insurance company. It was a wise choice, as the attorney was able to really streamline the process and get me a much larger concussion settlement than I would have been able to get myself.

Finding the Right Attorney For My Car Accident Concussion Settlement

I started my research for a car accident attorney online.  After reading dozens of personal injury lawyer websites and reviews, I selected the one which seemed best suited for my case.

It was an attorney who specialized in car accident injuries and had negotiated a number of successful car accident settlements involving concussions. The site contained many testimonials from satisfied clients, so I decided to follow up with a phone call.

Everything went smoothly during our first meeting. He was very nice and knowledgeable about my situation, which gave me confidence that I had found the right guy for the job.

The attorney and his paralegal said they would take care of everything, which meant I wouldn’t have to worry about anything except for getting better. That sounded like a great plan to me since all I wanted was to go back to work and get my life back.

The Car Accident Settlement Process

While I was relieved to have a skilled and reliable attorney in my corner, the back and forth negotiations with the insurance company were difficult. They were not convinced that my concussion was as bad as I said, and tried to minimize their offer as a result.

By this point, my medical bills were nearly $5,000 and I had missed over 2 weeks of work. Given the pain & suffering and the fact that my car was totaled, my settlement was for $20,000, which my attorney and I felt covered everything and left a few thousand dollars to help with any additional ongoing treatments I may need.

But the insurance company saw things differently.  They made an offer of $10,000 and refused to negotiate any more than that. When the insurance company gave the final settlement offer, they wanted me to sign immediately.  They even had a pre-printed form essentially saying, ‘acceptance of settlement’.

I was scared to reject their offer – it would have been risky because by this time I was running out of money and didn’t know how long I could afford treatment. Part of me wanted to just sign it all away, take the 10k, put the whole thing behind me and just move on to the next chapter.

My attorney eventually was able to negotiate a settlement of $18,000 without having me sign the offer right away. In addition to not being in a hurry to sign, I had my attorney reject their initial offer because it didn’t fully address all my issues – especially pain and suffering.

It took over 6 months to settle the case, but even after attorney fees I walked away with a little less than $15,000 for my injuries – enough to cover my medical bills and lost wages, plus a little extra. I was glad to be done with the whole ordeal and moving on with my life.

Final Thoughts: 

Concussions are a scary injury. They can be made even scarier when the insurance company is telling you that “it’s not that serious” when you know that it isn’t. Trying to negotiate a car accident concussion settlement while also dealing with a concussion can be grueling, and the opposite of the “rest and relax” advice given by most doctors after a concussion. Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney to help you settle your car accident concussion claim can be a huge saver of both time, and stress. 

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