Suffering a head injury after a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another type of personal injury can be devastating. Head injuries often leave lasting damage, impacting a person’s livelihood and well-being long-term. Even minor head injuries that do eventually heal can come with a significant amount of medical bills and ongoing expenses that make it challenging to move forward with your life.
Have you experienced a head injury due to another person’s negligence? Approaching head injury claims strategically can improve your chances of securing adequate compensation. Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or suing the at-fault party, an experienced personal injury attorney can explain your options, help you file the personal injury claim or lawsuit, and answer all of your questions throughout the process.
Knowing the ins and outs of head injury claims can help you make a more informed decision about your case. Read on as our talented team at Sadaka Law explains how you should approach any and all head injuries you may receive.
Types of Head Injuries
The type of head injury you’ve experienced can impact your compensation claim and your recovery process. These types of head injuries are common in personal injury cases:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): An injury to the brain that occurs when an outside force hits the head. TBIs can drastically range in severity.
- Concussion: A form of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is shaken in the skull. Concussions are the most common type of head injury.
- Skull fracture: A break in a skull bone. Skull fractures can cause pieces of the bone to cut the brain, leading to bleeding and other injuries.
- Intracranial hematoma (ICH): Bleeding under the skull that leads to a blood clot.
- Contusion: A bruise on the brain, causing swelling and bleeding.
- Spinal cord injury: Some harsh blows to the head can even injure the spinal cord.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
In the aftermath of a serious car crash or other type of accident, you’ll likely feel sore and beaten up all over your body. But how do you distinguish these symptoms from a serious head injury?
Seeking medical attention after an accident is crucial to avoid overlooking serious injuries. You can also keep an eye out for these symptoms that may indicate you have a head injury:
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- A swollen area on the head
- A shallow cut to the scalp
Seeking medical attention promptly can help you prevent the injury from worsening. During an exam, a medical provider will conduct a neurological exam to evaluate your motor function, sensory function, reflexes, coordination, and eye movements. They will also take scans of the brain to look for physical brain damage, but some injuries do not always appear on scans.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If your head injury occurred due to another person’s negligence, you can seek compensation by filing a claim with that party’s insurance company. For example, if the injury occurred during a car accident, the at-fault party’s car insurance policy should cover your expenses. If the accident happened on another person’s property, their homeowner’s insurance or business insurance should cover it.
The at-fault party’s insurance company should reach out to you within a few days of the accident. If it doesn’t, you can contact the company directly.
You’ll need to provide details about your injury and any other expenses you incurred from the accident. The insurance company will then investigate the accident and decide whether to pay you a settlement.
Often, insurance companies don’t offer sufficient funds to accident victims. They’re in the business of making money, which means they may try to low-ball you to save money on their end. If this happens, you’ll need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you negotiate a higher offer or appeal the insurer’s decision.
Through an insurance claim, you can seek repayment for the monetary expenses you incurred from the accident that caused your head injury. These may include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage (i.e., damage to your vehicle)
- Lost wages due to time off work
- Loss of future earnings
- Rehabilitation equipment
You’ll need to submit invoices and receipts showing the value of these expenses.
If you decide to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you can also request compensation for the non-economic losses you incurred. These may include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These expenses don’t have an exact monetary equivalent, and they may be different for every accident victim. Your attorney can help you calculate the amount to seek in non-economic expenses based on the severity of your traumatic brain injury.
Factors Affecting Head Injury Claims
Many factors can impact the success or failure of your head injury claim. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you navigate your case and improve your chances of securing adequate compensation based on the factors that impact the amount of compensation you can pursue.
Severity of Your Injury
The severity of your head injury and any other injuries you experienced from the accident affect the value and complexity of your claim.
Severe head injuries can lead to high medical bills and long-term changes in your earning potential. If your head injury is severe, you may qualify for a big payout. However, if you only experienced a mild concussion, you may not qualify for much compensation beyond reimbursement for your medical bills.
Medical Documentation of Your Injury
Evidence is everything when it comes to both insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. The more documentation you have of your expenses, the stronger your case will be.
Medical documentation that explicitly details your injuries and the costs of your medical services can prove valuable while you’re seeking compensation. Be sure to ask all of your medical providers to include as much detail as possible in your documentation to streamline your claim.
Fault Percentages in the Accident
New Jersey is a comparative negligence state, which means that multiple people can be partially negligent in an accident. You can only seek compensation from the other party if your percentage of fault is 50% or less. However, your percentage of fault will impact the amount of compensation you qualify for.
If the insurance company deems you were 20% at fault for the accident, you would only be able to seek 80% of the value of your damages. An experienced attorney can help you present evidence showing you were not even 1% responsible for the accident.
At-Fault Party’s Insurance Policy
Not everyone has the same level of insurance coverage. New Jersey mandates all drivers to have liability insurance, which would cover the damage they cause in a car accident. But some drivers violate this law and drive without any insurance. Alternatively, the at-fault party may have had liability insurance, but their coverage limits do not completely cover your expenses.
If the at-fault party’s insurance policy is insufficient to cover all of your damages, you may need to seek additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Seeking Financial Compensation Through Head Injury Claims
The first step in seeking financial compensation after a head injury is to file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. But if the liable party doesn’t have insurance or the insurance company isn’t cooperating, your attorney may advise you to proceed with a lawsuit.
During a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney collects compelling evidence showing the other party’s responsibility for the accident. This evidence may include:
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
- Witness testimonies
- Research from accident reconstructionists
- Medical documentation
Many head injury claims settle out of court, which means you may not need to go through a full trial. Your attorney will guide you through the entire process, communicate with relevant parties on your behalf, and help you seek adequate compensation.
Finding an Attorney To Help You
Having an attorney by your side throughout your head injury claim is important to the outcome of your case. But how do you find the right attorney to work with?
You can research attorneys through the New Jersey Courts Attorney Search tool. Be sure to look for an attorney who:
- Is licensed to practice in New Jersey
- Has extensive experience with head injury claims
- Shows compassion and empathy when communicating with you
- Has a balanced caseload with plenty of time to dedicate to your case
- Keeps you in the loop through every step of your case
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few personal injury attorneys, meet with them in person to better evaluate their communication style and discuss your case.
Sadaka Law: Helping You Through Your Head Injury Claim
If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in the Englewood, NJ, area who has plenty of experience with head injury claims, Sadaka Law can help. The attorneys at Sadaka Law are fully committed to helping you seek compensation and move forward from this life-altering injury.
We have recovered over $100 million on behalf of clients and have 30+ years of combined experience with complex litigation, so our attorneys at Sadaka Law have what it takes to navigate your case effectively. Fill out the contact form below to request a free consultation.