If you have been in any type of accident that injured your head you may be wondering, Can I sue for injuries from a concussion? Or, How do I start a post-concussion syndrome lawsuit settlement? Maybe you want to know, What is the average settlement for concussion lawsuits? If so, read on as we attempt to provide answers.
Post-concussion syndrome is where the symptoms and effects of a concussion linger for long after the injury happened. The effects could last for life and require extensive medical treatment.
What Is a Concussion?
Concussions are caused by rapid brain movements inside the skull after a jolt to the head or neck. These types of injuries can be difficult to diagnose, especially because symptoms may not appear for several days. Common symptoms include loss of consciousness, slurring, vomiting,nausea, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping.
Why Are Concussions Harmful?
Concussions can result in changes in the brain structure, which could cause long-term effects and degenerative health conditions. Brain atrophy and structural damage could happen after just one concussion.
How Do You Treat a Concussion?
You treat a concussion with rest. The person should avoid any head impacts and forego exercise until they heal. They should also rest from any cognitive activities like school or work. Sometimes concussions will resolve on their own. More severe cases may require treating the symptoms and other chronic issues stemming from the concussion.
The Dangers of Misdiagnosing a Concussion
Diagnosing a concussion requires a knowledgeable physician and a cooperative patient. Concussions can be caused in a variety of ways and symptoms can vary widely. They are also almost identical to symptoms of severe depression. There is no way to see a concussion by imaging, blood tests, or computerized screenings. CT scans and MRIs will appear almost normal. But proper diagnosis and treatment is important because it can prevent future harm.
Misdiagnosis can mean the person will not get the proper rest required to heal. Misdiagnosis can lead someone to suffer long-lasting cognitive, physical, and emotional effects. Patients who don’t know they have a concussion have an increased chance of suffering another one if they end up jolting their head again.
If someone gets multiple concussions close in time to each other they could end up with critical brain damage. Repeated concussions can result in dementia, emotional disorders, epilepsy, and personality changes. People who suffer multiple concussions have a much greater risk of catastrophic head injury and brain damage from a future impact to the head.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in New Mexico
Post-concussive syndrome lawsuits are medical malpractice. Medical malpractice lawsuits involve proving the same factors of negligence and the same types of damages.
Factors of Negligence
For a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to show that:
- The provider owed you a specific duty of care;
- They breached that duty of care by doing something wrong or not doing something they should have done;
- Their breach of duty caused the injury at issue; and
- You suffered significant, quantifiable damages from that injury.
The specific duty of care owed depends on what a reasonable professional in the same situation with the same knowledge and training would do. There must be a connection between their breach of the duty of care and your injury.
The value of a medical malpractice case is the total of the economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are past and future medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship. Punitive damages are possible but not likely—they are penalties imposed for extremely reckless negligence or intentional harm.
New Mexico is a comparative negligence state. The amount of damages awarded to a medical malpractice victim is reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault. The court decides the percentage of fault. So if the value of your case is $100,000, but the court finds you were 10% at fault, the defendant can be ordered to pay $90,000, or 90%.
How Much Could I Get for My Post Concussion Syndrome Lawsuit Settlement?
Damages depend upon the specific circumstances of each case. While New Mexico does not limit recovery for past and future medical expenses, all other damages are capped at $600,000. Your attorney can give you a better estimate of your damages.
Poulos & Coates Can Help You with Your Malpractice Case
Poulos & Coates are the only law firm in New Mexico that focuses exclusively on medical malpractice. With over 70 years of legal experience representing victims of medical negligence, we are the attorneys you want by your side. Contact us to speak to one of our attorneys about your medical malpractice case.