Concussions are one of the most common types of traumatic brain injury in the United States. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has claimed that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur each year in the U.S. These shocking statistics don’t even include data for fall-related concussions, which is one of the most common causes. No matter the circumstances of the injury, a concussion can cause someone serious pain, confusion, loss of memory, nausea, blurry vision, and could even potentially result in death.
Individuals who are suffering with a concussion because of another’s negligence or lack of reasonable care have the right to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim. If you’ve sustained a concussion and are interested in hearing your legal options, we suggest you secure legal representation with PNW Trial Lawyers. Our Bellingham concussion lawyers can examine the facts of your case and suggest the best possible course of action to receive compensation.
Head Trauma Attorney in Bellingham, Washington
Catastrophic injuries such as a concussion can have a profound and lasting impact on your life. Tasks you may have completed daily might now be difficult because of your injury and you may not be able to work for a period of time. All the while, the bills are stacking up and without a steady income you may feel trapped. Thankfully, you have options if your concussion was caused by another’s reckless or careless actions.
You can recover with ease by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer and filing a claim against the at-fault party. To do so, you’ll have to hire legal representation with extensive experience with personal injury law, especially catastrophic injuries. At the PNW Trial Lawyers, we have over 50 years of collective experience representing our clients in all sorts of personal injury matters. We can review the details of your case and then determine what’s the next best step for your case. Set up your first consultation with PNW Trial Lawyers by calling our offices at (360) 483-5201.
PNW Trial Lawyers has clients throughout the greater Whatcom County area and surrounding counties including Skagit County and Snohomish County.
How to Identify a Concussion
Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI, that are caused by serious impact to a person’s head. It can also occur if force is applied to the body that forces the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. The sudden movement of the brain bouncing off the skull creates chemical imbalances in the brain and can sometimes damage or stretch brain cells.
Concussions are incredibly serious although many would consider them a “mild” injury because they are not life-threatening. Some will even say suffering from a concussion is a rite of passage when it comes to sports since the injury is so common among young athletes. However, the effects of a concussion can be serious and, in some cases, yield life-long effects.
The following are some signs and symptoms of a concussion you want to look out for:
- Headache or “pressure” in the head
- Sensitive to light or noise
- Sluggish, hazy, groggy, or foggy
- Having issues with memory or concentration
- Confusion issues after the fall
- Nausea or vomiting
- Issues with balance, blurry vision or dizziness
- “Not feeling right” or “feeling down”
- Victim looks dazed or stunned after injury
- Slow to answer questions
- Changes in mood or behavior after the injury
- Can’t recall events prior to or after the hit or fall
Can You Sue for a Concussion?
Yes, if you believe your injury was a direct result of someone’s negligence or lack of reasonable care, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit. The lawsuit will allow you to provide evidence as to why the injury was caused by the at-fault party’s negligence or lack of reasonable duty of care. The opposing party will also have a chance to refute this evidence with their own legal representation. Some respondents have a whole team of lawyers by their side ready to contest any claim made against them, so it’s important you’re prepared with proficient legal counsel.
Your attorney can file a lawsuit against the responsible party after they’ve been sent a demand letter. If the respondent rejects the letter, you and your attorney can then begin to file a claim against them for damages. Both sides will prepare for the case and at court you will need to prove by a preponderance of evidence that your injury was a direct result of the defendant’s actions or lack of action. This is an evidentiary standard for personal injury lawsuits where the burden of proof is met if the plaintiff convinces the court there is a greater than 50 % chance their claim is true.
How Much is a Concussion Settlement?
The payout for a concussion injury depends on the unique facts of the case and the severity of your injury. The court will determine the value of your monetary award based on the losses you’ve experienced since the injury. These can include both financial losses such as loss of income and emotional/mental losses such as loss of consortium. Washington is also unique as it does not place caps on non-economic damages. The Supreme Court of Washington declared these caps unconstitutional and no longer allows courts to award punitive damages.
The following are some possible damages you may recover if you’re given a monetary award.
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future wages
- Ongoing medical costs
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
What to Do Immediately After a Concussion
It can be very difficult to discern a simple head injury from a concussion. Both types of injury share similar symptoms including looking dazed or feeling “off.” Since they are so hard to tell a part, it’s extremely important you follow these steps within the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. The reason for this is that some concussions have the potential to turn deadly if the brain begins to bleed or swell even more.
Listed below are some do’s and don’ts a person should consider after a concussion.
- Rest – It’s important to not sleep the first 3 hours after the concussion. After that time has passed, you can then go to sleep with someone around to check in on you regularly. Be sure to not have any distractions on that could trigger your concussion. The person monitoring the concussed should check on them every two hours the first night.
- Identify and Avoid Triggers – Concussion pain or confusion can be triggered by various activities. It’s important to recognize these triggers and avoid them so you recover faster. For instance, bright lights may be a trigger and to avoid them you should remain in dim and darkened rooms.
- Rest Your Mind – Overstimulating your brain after a head injury will just lengthen the recovery process. Avoid studying, overthinking, learning new materials, or any other mental activity that could stress out your brain.
- Do NOT Exercise – Physical activity that raises your heart rate could worsen symptoms.
- Do NOT Drive – It’s important you avoid driving for 24 hours after a concussion. The reason for this is your reaction time is likely slower and you have a greater risk of getting into an accident.
- Do NOT take Pain Relievers – Avoid taking any pain medication despite how tempting it may be. These medications can mask the signs of a worsening concussion and some drugs can even increase the chances of the brain bleeding. Unless prescribed by your doctor, avoid pain relievers altogether.
CDC | Concussion – Visit the official website for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about concussions. Access the site to learn the danger signs of a concussion, how the recovery process looks like, safety tips for young athletes, information on helmet safety, and other related information.
Concussion Statistics | BIRI – Visit the official website for the Brain Injury Research Institute (BIRI), which has actively been studying brain activity since 1996. Access the site to learn various facts and statistics about concussions and sport-related injuries. Access the site to learn which sports have the highest possibility of a concussion, how many occur per year, and other data.
Concussion Lawyer in Whatcom County, WA
Although others may convince you a concussion is minor, it’s actually considered a traumatic brain injury that could worsen over time. If you’ve sustained a concussion because of another person’s negligence or lack of reasonable duty of care, consult PNW Trial Lawyers. The head injury attorneys at PNW Trial Lawyers have over 50 years of collective personal injury practice we can put to use for your case. With our help, you can recover quickly and easily so you can go back to your daily life.
Call us now at (360) 483-5201 and we’ll set up your first consultation free. PNW Trial Lawyers accepts clients in the Bellingham area and surrounding cities including Lynden, Ferndale, Blaine, Birch Bay, Everson, Maple Falls, and Sudden Valley.