Question: I was in an accident and hit my head. Can I sue for my head injury?
Answer: In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, brain and head injuries are compensable injuries. This means that a negligent party may be required to pay financial compensation for having caused a brain or head injury.
Head injuries are very common in car accidents, fall accidents and other serious accident cases, like workplace construction accidents.
The Importance of Medical Records in Proving a Brain/Head Injury
In order to succeed in a brain or head injury case in Pennsylvania, an injured party must be able to show that the injury was in fact caused by the accident. Therefore, medical records will be crucial in establishing that a head injury occurred.
If mention of a head injury is noticeably absent from medical records, it may be difficult to prove that the accident resulted in a head injury. In other words, if the injured individual made no mention of having hit their head to the emergency responders and/or emergency room personnel, it will be difficult to tie the accident to the head injury.
For instance, in a workplace fall accident, a worker suffers a minor head injury. He makes no mention of it to the EMTs who take him to the hospital. He also does not mention it to the hospital staff. Two months later, he talks to his family doctor about headaches, memory loss, etc.
In a subsequent accident/injury lawsuit, the two month gap will be used to argue that the fall accident did not cause the head injury. Without eyewitness testimony, the injured worker may be unable to prove that he, in fact, hit his head when he fell.
Proving the Effects of a Brain/Head Injury
In order to obtain financial compensation for a head injury in an accident and injury lawsuit, there must be evidence that the brain-head injury seriously impacted the individual’s life. Financial compensation in a brain injury case depends on proving the extent to which the brain injury affected the individual.
If the brain injury healed within a few months and did not cause any significant problems, then a court or jury would ultimately assign a low value to the head injury. On the other hand, if the head injury resulted in permanent changes, such as personality changes or inability to work, then the value of the case is much higher.
In many fall accident cases, head injury victims often present with personality changes, memory loss, debilitating headaches, etc. Oftentimes, family members and friends can attest to these changes.
Therefore, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable brain and head injury lawyer to determine whether the case is valid and how to prove the impact of the brain injury.
Laffey, Bucci & Kent is a Philadelphia based law firm with offices throughout the Northeast area. Our lawyers handle accident and injury cases involving brain and head injuries. Please call our firm for a free consultation. Click To Call
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