Most people don’t realise that a stroke can be one of the after-effects of a car accident.
In fact, we are more likely to point the finger at lifestyle factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, as the major causes of stroke.
And, even if this happens after a car accident, we might not always connect a subsequent stroke to any initial injuries that were sustained in the accident. As a result, this can often prevent stroke sufferers from receiving any kind of compensation.
But, if you or someone you know has suffered a stroke after a car accident, this guide will walk you through the process of identifying a stroke (if you have not had a formal diagnosis*) and the steps you can take to start a claim.
What Is A Stroke?
A stroke is a serious and often life-changing medical condition caused by the stoppage or reduction of blood supply to the brain.
Consequently, this blood restriction prevents brain cells from getting the adequate nutrients or oxygen it needs from the blood, which inevitably leads to the damage or death of these cells. A stroke is usually caused by the following:
The formation of a clot in a narrowed blood vessel that restricts or cuts off the blood supply
A ruptured blood vessel that bleeds into the brain
What Are The Symptoms Of Stroke?
Not all stroke symptoms may manifest immediately after an accident. In some cases, these symptoms can take several weeks to appear. Nevertheless, here are the most common symptoms of stroke:
- Confusion or loss of memory
- Loss of sight or sudden blurry vision
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Speech difficulties
What Are The Effects Of A Stroke?
The common after-effects of a stroke include the following:
- Bowel or urinary incontinence
- Numbness or pain
- Tingling and burning sensations
- Co-ordination or balance difficulty
- Extreme fatigue and weakness
- Partial or full paralysis
- Brain damage
- Speech and language impairments
- Mood swings and depression
How Can I Claim For A Stroke After A Car Accident?
To file a claim, you must take several important steps to ensure your case is successful. These steps are given as follows:
1) Get Medical Treatment
Before anything else, you should first submit yourself to the hospital for treatment.
During treatment, your doctor will note down the details of your injury, its symptoms, its severity, the treatment prescribed, and any possible long-term effects.
In addition, whilst discussing your medical history and carrying out the medical examination, your doctor may trace and connect the onset of the stroke to the car accident. All of this information will go into a certified medical report, which will form a significant part of your claim.
Whatever you do, it is important that you do not skip this step, as doing so could jeopardise your case.
Getting prompt treatment will prevent your condition from worsening over time.
2) Make Notes About The Accident
As soon as you are able to, carve out time to pen down the details of the car accident.
Let your narration be comprehensive, including as many details as you can remember. If you are at a loss about how to begin, then the following questions should set you on the right path:
- What day did the car accident happen?
- Where were you driving to and why?
- What was the weather at the time?
- Where exactly did the accident happen?
- Who was responsible for it?
- Were there any bystanders who saw the accident happen?
At this point, we must remind you to write down everything you can remember – even the smallest details you might consider insignificant. There have been cases where claims that had a chance of winning were lost, because of what seems a trivial missing detail.
3) Get Visual Evidence
Claims such as these are heavily dependent on the strength of your evidence. So it is advisable that you go all out to ensure that your evidence is irrefutable.
With that said, visual evidence is very powerful and should be included in your collective evidence. Get pictures of the vehicle and the accident scene. If you sustained any injuries immediately after the accident, pictures of the injury will also be useful.
You will need to keep the receipts and documentation of expenses that were incurred as a result of the stroke.
Travel expenses (to and from hospital etc) and prescription costs are some of the necessary expenses to document. Ensure that these receipts are signed and dated, or else your claim might be dismissed on the grounds of technical error.
In addition, document all your visits to the doctor, therapist, or emergency room and how much it costs. You should also keep receipts of miscellaneous expenses caused by the stroke, such as cancelling an already paid-for holiday because of treatment, or hiring child care etc.
When your compensation amount is calculated, the refund for all these out-of-pocket expenses will be taken into account and be included in the final amount.
5) Notify Your Employer
If you are employed, you should get a letter from your employer corroborating if you have lost income as a result of your condition.
Your employer should also verify the number of work hours you have lost, as well as how it affects your future chances in the job market.
6) Keep A Daily Diary
There will be important details that cannot simply be verified with receipts or photographs. For instance, there is no way to adequately substantiate the experience of undergoing treatment for the stroke. However, you can include these details in a diary.
To give you an idea, let’s assume that your treatment requires daily trips to the hospital. You could write down details of how you got to the hospital and back and the name of the doctor that attended to you.
You could also include details of the treatment you had to undergo, how long it took, and the pain and discomfort you experienced during the treatment.
Moreover, you should frequently record your emotional and physical state in your diary. You should also note down any challenges you constantly face on a daily basis and how you overcome them. This information will strengthen your case and increase your chances of winning.
7) Contact A Lawyer / Solicitor
At this point, it is time to get a lawyer involved with your claim.
But don’t just settle on any lawyer, do your due diligence to ensure that the solicitor of your choice is experienced with such cases.
When going for your first meeting, go along with all your evidence, documentation and receipts. Your lawyer will review this information to determine your chances of success in court. If your lawyer believes you have a strong case, he/she will immediately begin the process of claiming your compensation.
Summary: Claiming For A Stroke After A Car Accident
Whilst a stroke is most certainly a serious medical condition, thankfully with the right and timely treatment it does not automatically result in a poorer quality of life. There are numerous testimonies of previous sufferers of a stroke who have gone on to make a full recovery. Hopefully, you can be one of these people too.
Nevertheless, if you believe that your stroke is the result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligent act, you have the right to seek compensation for your suffering.
Now that you know what is required to file a successful claim, you can take legal action to help with any financial losses and personal inconveniences you have endured. If you are unsure where to begin, fill in the form below to receive a free, no-obligation call from an experienced claims advisor.
* The information on this page should not be interpreted as, or is given as, medical advice. It is designed to act as a general guide. For a full and proper medical diagnosis, you should always visit your local GP/hospital.