If you’ve suffered a head injury, whether it was a traumatic brain injury or a mild concussion, the after-effects on your mental and physical health are often serious. Often, people who sustain a head injury endure long-term or permanent damage that leads to a reduced quality of life and greater mental distress. When your head injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, you may seek monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations for your specific injury.
However, insurance companies may attempt to discredit or minimize head injury survivors by suggesting that the victim is overestimating the gravity of their injuries or blaming the symptoms on a pre-existing head injury. Their main intention is to protect their bottom line, and they do this by either throwing out a head injury victim’s claim or offering an extremely low settlement—both of which are devastating to victims. Learn about the long-term effects of a head injury and how they may affect your personal injury case below.
Assessment and Classification of Head Injuries
Head injuries can range from insignificant to catastrophic. They’re assessed by the specific effect they have on the brain. For the sake of relevance, the following information will focus on the most common form of head injuries—traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are caused by an unexpected, blunt force trauma that causes the head to rapidly shake inside the skull. Medical professionals classify TBIs into three levels:
- Mild: Brain scans show little damage. Loss of consciousness may have occurred.
- Moderate: Brain scans show a generous amount of damage. Loss of consciousness may have occurred for up to 24 hours.
- Severe: Brain scans show extensive damage. Loss of consciousness may have occurred for 24 hours or longer, and a victim may show no signs of awareness.
Mild TBI cases often mimic the symptoms of a serious concussion. Moderate to severe TBI cases may require extensive care. However, all levels can result in temporary or long-term brain dysfunction. A key aspect to remember about TBIs is that all cases are unique. A mild TBI for one person may resolve in a couple of weeks, whereas it could take months or years for someone with the same condition to fully recover.
Long-Term Effects of Head Injuries
Someone who suffers from a TBI, no matter the extent, may experience persistent complications. The long-term effects are wide-ranging, from physical implications to psychological impacts. Some of these symptoms include:
- Memory problems
- Short attention span
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty maintaining social relationships
- Trouble walking and other mobility issues
- Loss of motor skills
- Reduced ability to process information
- Chronic pain
- Trouble seeing
Keep in mind that even if you suffered a minor injury, the effects may disrupt your life for years to come. Those that suffer mild to severe injuries typically need ongoing recovery support, therapy, and assistance with daily tasks. Another significant long-term effect that head injury survivors face is mental health disorders like mood changes, depression, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment in life.
Will I Be Denied Coverage for a Pre-Existing Head Injury?
Fortunately, due to the Affordable Care Act, insurers can’t deny coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. However, the process is not as straightforward as it seems. For instance, if you suffered a head injury in a car accident or due to a slip and fall, but you return to work within a few weeks only to discover later that your injury is extensive, your insurer may deny you long-term disability coverage. Or, perhaps you grew up playing sports and suffered concussions all your life but failed to disclose the information with insurance after you sustained a head injury. This may seem suspicious to insurance, so they’ll investigate your prior medical history and try to claim that your symptoms are not related to your accident.
The safest way to approach dealing with insurance companies is to consult a personal injury attorney who specializes in brain injuries. A skilled brain injury attorney will know how to separate a pre-existing condition from a new one, or at least, show that your pre-existing condition was aggravated by your accident; therefore, your losses should be compensated by the at-fault party.
Speak to an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer in California
The Law Offices of JG Winter, founded by Attorney Jeremy G. Winter, have dedicated the entirety of our practice to serving those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury in California. With over 30 years of experience, we’ve mastered the intricacies of brain injury cases, and understand how each victim has unique circumstances. We’ll do extensive research and work diligently to present a sophisticated case on your behalf. Don’t let insurance companies have a say in your future—work with the Law Offices of JG Winter to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
We are honored when our clients choose us to represent them. Check out our testimonials page to see why we’re a wise choice for brain injury representation in California. Then, schedule a free consultation by completing a contact form or calling 844-734-2626.