When you think of the possible damage from a car accident, concussions may come to mind. Did you know vehicle crashes are a leading cause of head trauma?
A concussion is often more than a headache you treat with an ice pack and a couple of aspirin. Concussion impacts are often life-altering and this is something people rarely want to consider. After all, being in a car accident is bad enough without dealing with life-changing medical conditions.
If you suffer a concussion in a vehicle wreck there are a few things you should know. Some may even affect your ability to receive compensation for your injuries.
What is a Concussion, and How Does One Occur?
Concussions are serious injuries, even mild ones require medical attention. A concussion is classified as a type of brain injury and is often caused by a blow or bump to the head. Sudden force causing your head to jolt back and forth can also cause a concussion. For example, the force of a vehicle impact can jostle your head violently back and forth.
Even though medical professionals often classify concussions as mild brain injuries, the symptoms can be severe and even life-altering.
Common Symptoms Associated with a Concussion
The list of symptoms associated with a concussion is extensive. You may only experience one or two symptoms or the majority on the list. Even if you’re only experiencing mild symptoms, it’s still a good idea to seek medical attention. Mild symptoms can easily turn into more severe ones:
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems sleeping
- Problems with memory
- Problems concentrating
- Slurred speech
- Stiff neck
A concussion can also affect your mood and mental well-being. You may feel irritated or depressed. You may not even experience any symptoms until a day or so after the accident. This isn’t uncommon at all, and it’s another reason to make an appointment with a physician after suffering any type of head trauma.
When symptoms take a while to appear, it’s not uncommon for them to last for weeks or even months. Unfortunately, there’s no easy treatment for a concussion since it’s a brain injury. Often the only remedy is to rest and allow your brain to heal on its own.
Receiving Compensation for a Concussion After a Vehicle Accident
If your concussion occurs in an auto accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Arizona follows a fault-based system and this is good news if you’re not the driver responsible for the accident. This also means the state doesn’t have comparative negligence rules, so you can be entitled to full compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
If you’re not familiar with economic and non-economic damages the explanation is relatively simple. Economic damages have a cost, for example, your medical bills and property damage repairs or replacement. Non-economic damages are a little harder to calculate. These types of damages don’t have a set value.
Your pain and suffering from the concussion is an example of non-economic damages. Before you start getting ready to file a personal injury lawsuit, there are a few things you should know.
Understanding Arizona’s Statute of Limitations
Since Arizona is a fault-based state you must prove the other driver’s actions are directly responsible for the accident.
The state also gives you a specific time to prove your claim and file a lawsuit in civil court. The same deadline also applies to filing a claim with the insurance company. In other words, you can’t wait a decade or so to file for compensation. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.
A good tip to remember is to not wait until the day or so before the statute of limitations runs out. You may still miss the deadline if your paperwork is lost in the mail or on your insurance adjuster’s desk.
There are a couple of exceptions to the two-year statute. Minors are typically exempt until they turn 18. Once a minor reaches 18 years of age, they have two years to file an injury claim. If your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from filing a claim, an exception is often made.
However, you will need to provide proof of your injuries, and this is something both the court and the insurance company will insist upon reviewing. Your medical records detailing the extent of your concussion are usually enough to push the statute of limitations back a bit.
Why is There a Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations isn’t reserved for only Arizona or a few other states. Pretty much every state has filing deadlines on the books. So, why are there statutes of limitations on personal injury claims? There are a couple of good reasons that can benefit everyone involved in a personal injury case.
The statute of limitations encourages parties involved in accidents to quickly resolve their issues. The statute can also help prevent one individual involved In the accident from harassing others. After all, imagine how you’d feel if an accident from over a decade ago is continuing to haunt your life. Having a filing deadline also helps keep the court system moving along at a relatively smooth pace.
Another reason for the statute is to help preserve evidence from the accident scene. Witnesses can move away or forget crucial details that may help support your case. All in all, it’s best to get the ball rolling on your personal injury claim as quickly as possible. Something else to consider, you can’t receive compensation for your damages until you file a claim.
Ensure You Receive Full Compensation for Your Concussion
If you sustain a concussion in a car accident, it’s important to be aware that you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It is essential not to delay in seeking legal advice, as there are time constraints for filing such claims, known as statutes of limitations.
These deadlines vary by jurisdiction and start from the date of the accident. By scheduling a consultation with an accident attorney promptly, you can ensure that your case is evaluated and any necessary legal action is taken within the appropriate time frame.