Whether you were injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or sports accident, sustaining a concussion or serious head trauma can be a frightening experience. It can mean large medical bills, time off work, and other cognitive problems like loss of memory and speech impediments. So you may be wondering, “can I sue for a concussion?” The answer is, yes, in many cases.
Courts recognize an individuals’ rights to collect financial damages in personal injury lawsuits, especially if their injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. How much you might receive in compensation depends on the severity of your injuries, how many defendants there are, the facts in the case, and the skill of the head injury lawyer you hire.
Different Types of Head Injuries
- Concussion. A concussion is an injury to the head that may cause instant loss of awareness or alertness for a few minutes or a few hours.
- Skull Fracture. This is a break in the skull bone. The four major types of skull fractures include:
- Linear skull fractures
- Diastatic skull fractures
- Depressed skull fractures
- Basilar skull fracture
- Epidural hematoma
- Subdural hematoma
- Contusion or intracerebral hematoma
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)
How to Prove a Concussion
IF YOU SUE FOR A CONCUSSION, YOU MUST PROVE CERTAIN ELEMENTS.
If you’re wondering how to prove a concussion, the answer is somewhat complex. A skilled attorney can help you prove your case. First, you will have to prove the actual injury – medical records, x-rays and other tests, a police report (if applicable), and other documentation will be used to show the nature of your injuries. Next, your attorney will have to prove the defendant was “negligent.”
There are four elements your attorney will have to show to prove negligence. These include:
- Duty – the defendant had a duty to be cognizant of the safety of others.
- Breach – the defendant breached or disregarded this duty.
- Causation – the defendant’s disregard for your safety caused your injury.
- Harm – you suffered actual harm (physical, financial, etc.) resulting from the defendant’s carelessness.
Building a Lawsuit for Concussion
When pursuing damages in a lawsuit for concussion, there are several steps a skilled lawyer will take in reviewing the facts and building the best case possible. Your attorney may examine and pursue the following:
- Police report (if applicable)
- Accident scene investigation
- Medical records
- Eyewitness interviews
- Photographs of injuries and accident site
- Physical evidence
- Expert witness to testify
- Analysis of legal statutes and case law
If you’ve been injured in a FedEx truck crash, you could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical costs (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress (including trauma, humiliation, and disfigurement).
After reviewing these elements, your attorney can craft a narrative and build a strong case on your behalf. Next, he or she will likely pursue:
Your lawyer will negotiate aggressively with the insurer or insurer’s attorney to determine if a satisfactory financial settlement can be reached to compensate you for your injury and losses.
Litigation (if necessary)
Your lawyer may recommend going to trial to let a judge and jury decide your case if he feels that the plaintiff is low-balling your offer and is unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement.
Damages You May Be Entitled To
A LAWSUIT FOR CONCUSSION MAY RESULT IN FINANCIAL COMPENSATION.
If your attorney can prove your case, you may be entitled to a variety of damages. Generally, they fall into two categories – economic and non-economic.
- Current and future medical bills and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings potential
- Property damage
(optional, at the discretion of the judge)
- In some cases when the disregard for human safety is so egregious or negligent, a judge can impose punitive damages on a defendant, which are meant as punishment. Punitive damages are also intended to send a warning to future potential wrongdoers.
Any payments you receive from “collateral sources,” such as short-term disability income or health insurance, may also affect your jury award. In Minnesota, an award an injured individual receives may be reduced under Minnesota’s collateral source rule.
Minnesota Shared Fault Rule
WHEN YOU SUE FOR A CONCUSSION, FAULT MUST BE DETERMINED.
Minnesota follows a rule known as “shared fault” or “modified comparative fault.” This means courts recognize that in many injury accidents, more than one party may be at fault. When this happens, the court will determine the amount of responsibility that each party bears based on the unique facts in the case. As long as your share of responsibility is 50% or less, you would be entitled to collect damages for your injury.
For example, if you fell on an escalator at a department store and suffered a concussion, you could file a personal injury lawsuit because the store owner did a poor job of maintaining the escalator and it was unsafe. However, let’s say you were running up the escalator, hopping two stairs at a time. In this case, a judge might find that you were 30% at fault for the accident and the store owner was 70% at fault. If the award was for $30,000, then the portion you would receive would be reduced by 30% ($21,000).
Statute of Limitations on Filing a Lawsuit for Concussion
The statute of limitations, in most cases, for concussion claims caused by negligence is six years in Minnesota.
The 6-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is codified at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. There are a few exceptions to this time frame, which a skilled personal injury attorney can explain to you.
Contact Tyroler Leonard Injury Law Today
If you’ve suffered a concussion due to an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if the accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence. Whether you slipped and fell in a store, sustained a concussion on the job, or were hit by falling debris at a concert or stadium, you likely have mounting medical bills and are experiencing other setbacks. A brain injury lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can help you get the justice you deserve. To find out more, call us for a free initial consultation at 651-259-1113. We are here for you.