Your head is a fragile part of your body, so it’s not that uncommon for concussion injuries to occur. If you hit your head you may suffer a concussion, which can have consequences ranging from the mild to the severe.
Concussion is a common outcome which is experienced in a range of situations including slips, trips, falls, road accidents, and work-related injuries. The most common form of concussion occurs when someone slips over and hits their head.
Symptoms of concussion include dizziness, nausea, disturbed vision, pain, swelling, tiredness, and physical fatigue. If you are concussed it is vital to seek medical assessment.
If you have suffered concussion which has occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness then you may be able to claim for compensation. Negligence can occur in a number of ways.
Been injured at work? You might be able to seek compensation from your employer. You employer has a duty to provide a safe environment for you to work in, including:
If you have suffered a concussion at work due to your employer failing to provide one or more of these duties then you may be able to seek compensation for your concussion at work injuries. If you have suffered a concussion due to your employer’s negligence -even if this concussion aggravated pre-existing injury- then you may be able to sue for personal injury compensation.
Note: Weekly WorkCover payments operate under a separate ‘no fault’ scheme, meaning that you can receive weekly payments to cover lost income even if your injury was not because of your employer’s negligence.
Cynthia is at work going about her day when she slips over on a patch of slippery concrete which has not been adequately signed by her employer. She hits her head and suffers a concussion, which leads to ongoing issues with Cynthia’s vision and sees her experiencing dizziness. Cynthia would likely be able to claim for personal injury compensation.
Brian has a long client lunch and drinks a number of glasses of wine before heading back to the office. When he returns to work he doesn’t see a plate glass window and walks straight into it, causing concussion. It’s likely that Brian will not be able to claim compensation as his injury is due to his own negligence.
Brenda is cycling home from work when her chain snaps and wraps around her back wheel. She is thrown to the ground and suffers a concussion. She would be able to get WorkCover to assist with her time off and medical expenses but it is unlikely that she would be able to seek compensation as there was no other party involved and liable for her injuries.
A common car accident injury is concussion. If you are injured in a car accident and the other driver was totally or partly at fault then you can claim compensation for these injuries from the owner of the at-fault vehicle through their Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer.
Jackson is walking to a party when he is hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing. He suffers concussion. Jackson can claim for his injuries and costs from the owner of the at-fault vehicle through their CTP provider.
Gloria is driving home and is speeding. She runs a red light and hits another car but suffers a concussion in the accident. Gloria could likely not claim any compensation due to the accident being her fault. However, if the accident took place after July 1, 2016 Gloria may be able to claim necessary and reasonable medical and rehabilitation services through the National Injury Insurance Scheme of Queensland (NIISQ).
The owners and occupiers of private and public property have a duty to provide a safe environment for you when you enter their land. This includes private homes as well as public spaces like supermarkets or amusement parks.
A common scenario where concussion might occur would include tripping on an unexpected obstacle, slipping over on a floor surface, or falling into an unmarked hole on the pavement.
Matt is walking into his local supermarket to get some bread and milk when he slips over and hits his head after falling on a stray lettuce leaf. There was no signage or system warning Matt of the possibility of slipping so he would likely be able to claim for compensation.
Robin is visiting Dreamworld when she decides to dive into a kids pool which specifically says no diving. She hits her head on the bottom and sustains a concussion. It is likely she cannot claim for compensation as she has suffered an injury due to her own negligence.
When you play sports there’s an implied acceptance of inherent risks of injury. Despite this, if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, violence, or due to unsafe facilities then you may able to claim compensation. If you are playing sports at school or university and are injured due to negligence or inadequate supervision then you may be able to claim compensation under their insurance. Depending on how you sustained your injury you may also be able to claim against the occupier or organiser of that event.
Lisa is playing sports at university. At training one afternoon she trips over and hits her head after catching her foot on some uneven ground. The groundskeeper knew of this hole in the playing field but didn’t warn anyone. Lisa may be able to claim compensation from the university.
These general damages are designed to compensate you for any pain and suffering that you sustain as a result of your concussion. Your concussive injury is assessed using something called the ISV Scale which looks to your injury and gives it a rating between one and 100. Monetary values are assigned to each rating.
A concussion with no residual effects is rated up to five on the scale which can result in a payment of up to $7,400.
Diagnosing your concussion may require medical treatment. You will be eligible to claim compensation for any associated medical costs including travel to and from your general practitioner.
If your concussion results in a hospital stay then you can claim compensation for related costs. Surgery, if required, can also be claimed.
If you require rehabilitation following a concussion then you can seek these costs in compensation.
If you require time off work due to your concussion then you can claim compensation for this time. Any impact on future earning capacity can also be claimed.
If you have lost super on unpaid income you can claim for this as compensation.
Your claim for compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries and how your concussion has affected your life both now, and in the future. Your claim for compensation will be assessed by looking at:
For most personal injury claims, a legal action must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the injury. If you miss this deadline, you will lose the right to claim compensation.
However, depending on where your injury occurred or who you are claiming against, specific pre-court procedures may apply which may have much shorter time limits. If you miss these time limits you may lose your right to claim unless you can provide good reason for delaying and why you should be allowed to proceed with your claim.
Those aged under 18 will typically have until they are 21 to start the claims process.
In addition, getting accurate records such as CCTV or reliable witness statements for example may be difficult if starting a claim several years after the incident.
In summary, it’s best to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you understand your rights and the required evidence to make a strong claim can be gathered. View time limit information article for more detail.
You can suffer concussion from a range of situations, whether you’re at work or at home.
Car accidents: You can sustain a concussion from even the mildest of car accidents.
Slips, trips and falls: Falling and hitting your head can result in concussion.
Sporting injuries: Any sport comes with the risk of concussion, no matter how non-contact or mild.
Concussion can cause temporary loss of consciousness and can also have longer term consequences including trouble concentrating, memory problems, irritability, balance issues, sensitivity to light and noise, smell and taste disorders.
Depending on how you suffered a concussion you may be able to seek compensation. It is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible to claim.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
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