What Are Your Headaches Worth In A Personal Injury Case?
If you don’t get many headaches, you should consider yourself fortunate.
Maybe it’s genetics, maybe it’s dehydration, or maybe it’s lifestyle choices, but if you get frequent headaches, you know how debilitating they can be.
It’s impossible to enjoy anything in life if you suffer from headaches.
Sometimes headaches can be brought on by traumatic events, such as injuries that occurred during a car accident.
If you were in a car accident that has caused you to have frequent headaches, you need to be compensated for your injuries.
Unfortunately, though, juries struggle with figuring out how to value personal injury cases when the primary injury is a head injury that caused headaches.
It’s mainly due to headaches being mostly subjective. Anyone can say they have a headache, but there isn’t a test that can measure the level of pain someone is actually experiencing.
So it comes down to the credibility of you as the plaintiff. The jury has to believe that the pain you say you are experiencing is real, and you’re not just making it up to add a zero or two to the end of your settlement.
Being diagnosed with a concussion or post-concussion syndrome will definitely help your claim, but it will ultimately boil down to your credibility.
In the article below, we will take a look at headaches and how they are valued in personal injury cases.
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Post-traumatic headaches after a car accident often occur in a two week period following the trauma due to whiplash.
These types of headaches usually start in the back of the neck and radiate to the frontal region. These headaches are typically caused by myofascial trauma.
Neurologists think that referred pain from damage to the myofascial tissue is the most common source of these chronic headaches.
Fortunately, the majority of these headaches will resolve in about 6 months. However, 10-20% of them never resolve.
Headaches can even be a sign of even greater trauma and are the most common physical manifestation of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Can You Win Your Case?
It’s absolutely possible to win a personal injury case when the primary injury is headaches. But, it’s probably going to be a fight.
The biggest defense against headache cases is that the injuries cannot be seen. There’s not a physical way to determine the level of pain being caused by a headache.
The jury’s confidence in the honesty and integrity of the plaintiff is going to be critical to the outcome of the case, especially when all the imaging tests done on the brain come back normal.
And, if the headaches developed more than two weeks after the accident, it will be nearly impossible to get a neurologist or ENT to support your claim.
Insurance companies are also quick to deny migraine headaches being caused by a car accident.
Many neurologists don’t believe that post-traumatic migraines occur after car accidents.
The defense experts will claim that migraines are genetic disorders that run in the family, particularly if the headache occurs on one side of the head.
The reality of it is that many post-traumatic headaches have migraine features.
So it’s essential to know exactly what type of headache you are experiencing, so the defense doesn’t dismiss your case because you think it’s a migraine.
If you are suffering from a headache, and the jury deems you credible, the defense lawyers next line of defense will be that your headaches are being caused by your medication.
Some pain medications can cause an analgesic rebound or medication overuse headaches.
Plaintiffs have the hardest time proving their headaches were caused by a car accident when they struggled with them before the accident but the accident made them worse.
Defense neurological experts argue that it is impossible to sort out how much pain is due to the trauma of the crash and how much pain was already being experienced.
The Value Of Headaches
According to Jury Verdict Research, the average verdict for headache injuries is $33,423.
To put that in context, the average award in a personal injury case is right around $791,756. That means that verdicts in headache cases are 5% of the national average.
If you’re entering your golden years, you’re in luck, because juries are more inclined to believe older people. They also think that younger people are better equipped to deal with them.
For plaintiffs under 18, the median award was $7,463, if you’re between 19 and 39, it’s $8,858, and if you’re over 60, the award rises to $13,454.
While those are the averages, headache cases have the potential to exceed a million dollars.
To receive that compensation, you need a physical head injury, severe property damage, and a doctor that will testify that your headaches were caused by the accident, and you are unlikely to find relief from them.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney Today
The first step to winning your personal injury case is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Since it’s hard to win a personal injury case with headaches as the main complaint to begin with, you need to be sure you hire a lawyer that can navigate their way to a victory for you.
The team at The Brown Firm have years of experience fighting for people just like you.
Contact our Personal Injury Attorneys today.
You need to worry about your recovery; let The Brown Firm fight for your compensation.
Want to know more about personal injury cases? Check out: Do personal injury calculators really work?
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