Can I Sue for a Concussion?

The answer to the question of whether you can sue for a concussion is “maybe.”

Suing for a concussion depends on whether your injury was due to the negligence of another party. To potentially be successful, you’ll have to prove that you have a concussion, that another person or entity caused the accident in which you were injured, and that you experienced damages.

Damages are the losses you have experienced because of the accident and your injuries. They may include medical bills, lost wages if you can’t work, pain, suffering and other damages.

Is a Concussion the Same as a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that upsets normal brain functioning. It can be caused by a blow to the head, bump on the head, or violent shake to the head or upper body. Some of the most common causes of concussions include motor vehicle accidents, falls, bicycle crashes and being hit in the head while playing contact sports. According to the Mayo Clinic website and other medical experts, concussions are usually temporary, and most people fully recover from them.  In rare cases, however, concussion symptoms can be permanent.

Concussions Can Seriously Impact Lives

Even though concussion is typically considered a mild and recoverable brain injury, it can still cause serious effects that disrupt a person’s life financially, physically and emotionally:

  • You may have to go to the emergency room following the accident.
  • Hospitalization may be required so doctors can observe you in the hours and days following the accident.
  • If you are experiencing memory loss, or have problems with balance or vision, you may need rehabilitative therapy to help fix these issues.
  • Rest is typically a treatment for concussion, so you may not be able to work, or your workdays could be limited.
  • You could have debilitating headaches and other painful physical issues.
  • Depression and anxiety may be present as you worry about recovery, paying doctor bills, or other aspects of your life.

If your concussion was due to the careless actions of another party, you are entitled to pursue compensation to pay for your damages. After all, it if were not for that party, you would not be in the situation you are now facing.

How Much is a Concussion or Mild TBI Worth?

There is no specific dollar figure for how much a concussion or mild TBI is worth. How much your concussion may be worth will depend upon your injuries, the extent of your damages and a variety of other factors such as:

  • How strong the evidence is to prove another party’s fault. The evidence can vary based on the type of accident, but may include police reports, ambulance records, medical reports, eyewitness statements, photos and video from the accident scene, and expert witness testimony.
  • Whether you shared any fault for the accident that caused your injury. If you do, your compensation could be reduced by the percentage you were responsible. For example, if it’s determined that you were 25 percent responsible for the accident, your damages would be reduced by 25 percent.
  • The amount of insurance (or assets) the at-fault party or parties have. Sometimes more than one party may be held responsible in personal injury cases, providing more than one source of insurance or assets available to pay for a settlement or jury award.

Every case is different. Your Yakima personal injury attorney can tell you what your case may be worth based on all its unique factors.

How Do You Prove You Have a Concussion?

The first and most important recommendation is to visit a doctor as soon as possible.  You will need a medical diagnosis to prove you suffered a concussion. Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about what happened and how you are feeling, evaluate your symptoms, and perform tests to determine whether you have a concussion and how severe it is. Your medical reports from your doctor, from tests that are performed, and from any other healthcare providers, such as rehabilitative therapists, will be vital to proving that you suffered a concussion.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Some of the signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Issues with sleep
  • Ringing in ears
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Noise and light sensitivity

Tests Doctors May Perform for Concussion

In assessing your injury, your doctor may conduct a neurological examination to check your balance, coordination, vision, physical strength, memory, ability to concentrate, and other things. Depending on your specific injury and situation, a CT scan and/or MRI may be performed. These imaging tests are often used in cases where doctors suspect more severe injuries based on the symptoms, or in cases where people are not recovering as quickly as expected.

Get Medical Help and Then Speak to an Attorney

Most importantly, to help safeguard your own health and well-being, you should not delay in getting medical attention after an accident in which you hit your head.

If you are considering making a claim against the person responsible for your injury, speak with an attorney who can advise you about the steps to take to potentially get compensation from the at-fault party who caused the accident that injured you.

How Will a Lawyer Help Me in Getting Compensation for a Concussion?

A lawyer can help you in many ways. As already discussed, rest is an important part of recovering from a concussion. Your personal injury attorney will handle the confusing and often frustrating claims process so that you can focus your time on recovery. When one of our lawyers works on your concussion case:

  • We will take care of all the paperwork, including ensuring medical bills are accurate and submitted to insurers for payment.
  • We will work to assess the entirety of your economic damages, such as for medical costs and lost wages.
  • We will quantify and gather evidence to prove noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, and counsel you about a dollar amount to pursue that will adequately cover your damages, both now and into the future.
  • We will aggressively negotiate with insurers defendants to arrive at a fair settlement amount for your damages.

The large majority of personal injury claims settle before going to trial. However, if the insurer will not provide a reasonable settlement offer, we may advise you about taking your case before a judge or jury. Whether your case settles through negotiations as opposed to going to trial depends upon a number of circumstances and factors unique to your case.

How Much Time Do I Have to Sue?

Under RCW 4.16.080, there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Washington State. If you are going to sue for a concussion, you must file your lawsuit before the three-year deadline has passed. The clock starts running the day that the injury causing accident occurred.

Don’t wait to speak with an attorney if you are considering suing for a concussion, as you may lose your right to file if you miss the deadline.

Contact a Skilled Yakima Personal Injury Attorney for Help

If you have been diagnosed with a concussion caused by the negligence of another party, contact Montoya Hinckley for help. Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in helping injured people in Washington State collect compensation for the damages they have suffered in accidents that have resulted in concussions. We work on a contingency basis in personal injury cases, which means you pay us a percentage of the compensation we win for you, and you pay nothing unless we win a settlement or damages award for you.

Contact us or call us at 509-895-7373 to schedule a free initial consultation for your injury case. We will assess the strength of your case and advise you about your legal options. If we take your case, we cannot promise you a specific settlement or award amount or even that we will win—no law firm can make those promises—but we promise that we will fight hard on your behalf and do everything we can to ensure you are treated fairly and to hold the party who injured you accountable.

Attorney Kevan Montoya

Attorney Kevan MontoyaFor over thirty years, Mr. Montoya has successfully represented clients in litigation involving multi-million dollar cases involving wrongful death, employment and business and commercial disputes. He regularly counsels businesses in Yakima and Central Washington on employment policies and helps businesses train employees regarding employment law compliance. He regularly speaks on employment issues. [ Attorney Bio ]


Attorney Tyler Hinckley

Attorney Tyler HinckleyTyler Hinckley represents individuals and businesses in state and federal court in litigation involving personal injury, property damage, employment claims, and business and commercial disputes. He represents individuals and businesses in a variety of employment cases, including wrongful termination, wage and hour, employment discrimination, and retaliation. Additionally, he represents individuals in residential construction defect and construction contract disputes, easement and boundary line disputes, and in cases involving damage to real property. Tyler also represents clients in administrative proceedings before state administrative agencies. [ Attorney Bio ]

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