Concussions are not an uncommon injury after an auto accident, especially a rear end auto accident. While concussions can be caused by trauma – such as your head striking the windshield or steering wheel after an accident – they can also be caused by a rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head. This is also known as a whiplash injury, and it is common one when your car is rear ended by another car.
How do you prove you suffered a concussion from an auto accident?
How do you prove you suffered a concussion from an auto accident? This can be concerning given a concussion is not as visible of an injury as a broken arm for example. What will be helpful is complaints of concussion like symptoms in the police report and your treatment records. Symptoms of a concussion can include confusion, headaches, being unsteady on your feet, a brief period of amnesia, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, ringing, and blurry vision. Ultimately if you do have a concussion it would be diagnosed by either the staff that treats you at the hospital you go to following your accident, or your primary care doctor whom you should follow up with after any hospital treatment.
How do you prove the seriousness of your concussion? A lot of this will depend on how long it takes you to treat for your concussive symptoms, and any specialists you see. In some instances, your concussion can be severe and the symptoms could last up to a year. In this scenario you may need to treat with specialists, whose records will be necessary to support your claim. A lot of times attorneys will also request narrative reports from these doctors laying out their diagnosis of a concussion from your auto accident and stating how severe your concussion was. Another way to prove the severity of your concussion is showing how it affected your daily life. For example, if you cannot return to your job because of your concussion, and even lose it, that is evidence that your concussion is severe. It is assumed most people do not willingly lose their job for no reason.
A third way to prove that your concussion was a bad one is if you have had an unfortunate history of concussions in the past. Because concussions can get worse the more you suffer them, if you have a history of past concussions this will give you stronger proof that the concussion you suffered from your auto accident was a significant one. A history of concussions can also play into another aspect of your injuries and damages – the fact that suffering your current concussion makes you more susceptible to future and worsening concussions. That is something that also can be shown by the medical opinion of your treating doctor.
If you have lost wages due to your concussion because it caused you to miss work, can you collect those?
Assuming the other driver was at fault for your accident, you can. The best way to prove what your lost wages are would be through tax returns or pay stubs showing your weekly or monthly earnings. Beyond your lost wages you can also collect on any out of pocket expenses you had related to your concussion. For example, co-pays for your medical bills. If your concussion was particularly serious and will require medical treatment into the future, you can make a claim for the cost of that future medical treatment. This can be shown through experts such as life care planners as well as the opinions of your treating doctors about what this future treatment will involve.
Does the fact that there was not a lot of damage to your car prevent you from recovering for the concussion you suffered from the accident? No. People can and will suffer concussions from low impact accidents. At the end of the day it will all depend on the medical records and opinions of your treating doctors. Sometimes you can have a hard impact with the rear of your car not having significant damage to it because your car absorbed the impact well. Although there may be a lot of damage to the car that hit you.
Of course, to collect any damages for a concussion from an auto accident you will need to prove the other driver was at fault. This can be shown by the police report, witnesses to the accident, video evidence if any exists, or through an admission by the other driver that they were at fault.
The Thistle Law Firm is experienced at handling concussion auto accident cases. If you, a family member, or someone you know suffered a concussion from an auto accident, the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call and answer your questions at 215-568-6800.