Can I File a Claim for Loss of Consciousness?
Your ability to file a lawsuit seeking compensation after a car accident depends upon a doctor’s ability to diagnose injury and your ability to demonstrate a loss. The easy answer to the question of “Can I file a claim for loss of consciousness?” is YES – though even if you did not lose consciousness, you might still have sustained an injury to the brain that is deserving of compensation. To speak with a team of New York City car accident lawyers with the experience and tenacity to fight for the full value of your claim, contact Douglas & London today, either by phone, text, or through the form on our website. Our track record speaks for itself: We have recovered $4 billion for our personal injury clients.
Brain injuries can occur even without loss of consciousness.
Loss of consciousness is definitely a sign that something in the brain has sustained damage, prompting your brain to temporarily shut down to protect itself. Yet, using MRI and CT scan technology, doctors sometimes find that patients who remained awake in the aftermath of injury sustained massive brain bleeds following a direct blow to the head. For this reason, it is always important to get checked out by a doctor after even a seemingly minor collision. This is particularly crucial, should a car accident victim decide to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages later on.
Testing of pupil, hearing, and taste response can further indicate the presence of brain injury. Observable cognitive defects and personality changes over time add to the validity of a claim for compensation. Keeping a diary of one’s symptoms can also be used as supporting evidence by a personal injury lawyer.
Doctors consider loss of consciousness as a “traumatic brain injury.”
Doctors consider the loss of consciousness for less than 15 minutes a mild form of “Traumatic Brain Injury.” When consciousness is lost for 15 minutes to six hours, post-traumatic amnesia can affect a person for up to 24 hours, and it is considered a moderate brain injury. Loss of consciousness for six to 48 hours represents a severe brain injury, and comas involving more than 48 hours of unconsciousness are associated with the most severe type of brain damage.
Loss of consciousness causes side effects that diminish work productivity and quality of life.
Most times, when a person loses consciousness in a car accident, it is a sign of concussion. Motor vehicle accidents cause roughly 20 percent of hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries, in fact. A mild to moderate concussion can cause some rather unpleasant side effects – severe headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, depression, nausea, vomiting, and memory problems.
Some people become asymptomatic within weeks, but for 10-20 percent of those with TBI, the symptoms persist for months. Many people return to work, but continue to suffer from difficulty organizing their thoughts, concentrating, finding the right word while speaking, or getting through the day without a mood swing. These residual effects may gradually improve, but it could take six to nine months, during which there is a calculable loss of productivity and lost quality of life.
Loss of consciousness can lead to a slew of medical bills.
Several complications can result immediately or soon after the loss of consciousness and a traumatic brain injury. Bruising, torn tissues, internal bleeding, fluid buildup, swelling, blood vessel damage, and atrophy in the brain can result in a wide range of issues:
- Persistent headache
- Loss of the five senses
- Intellectual deficits
- Behavioral changes
Over time, multiple concussions increase the risk of crippling depression and increased suicide risk. Researchers have also linked traumatic brain injury with increased risks of stroke, as well as degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia.
The costs associated with loss of consciousness and TBI are staggering.
Seattle scientists have calculated the median cost of mild TBI for the first three months after a child’s injury at $1,004, which escalated to $4,347 for moderate TBI and $7,265 for severe TBI.
Another study found that adults with “probable TBI” paid an average of $983 more for health care than a matched control subject; those with definite TBI paid an average of $22,838 more than a control subject over the course of six months. Researchers in Denmark found that people with low educational backgrounds who suffered concussions had a 30% chance of leaving the labor market within five years, but concussion victims with higher education backgrounds had a 215% risk of not being able to maintain a normal job.
Some estimate the total lifetime cost of treating traumatic brain injury as ranging from $85,000 to more than $3 million. If you or a loved one are facing health issues and financial problems stemming from a car accident head injury, contact the New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas & London for a free consultation. We will review your medical records along with the circumstances of your accident and provide an honest and thorough assessment of the strength of your claim. You have nothing to lose by calling today, as our personal injury clients owe us no fees whatsoever unless we recover damages on their behalf.