Passenger In Car Accident / Can't Sleep / Should I Sue?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by chrissudar, Feb 16, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Hi all,

      I have had tinnitus since 12/18/2015 so almost 2 months now.

      My tinnitus was caused by being t-boned in the passenger seat of my roommates car. The cause was the loud volume the side air bags made when they deployed. It is "permanently" in my right ear and comes and goes in my left ear

      Apparently there is no cure for this, and no way to know if/when the ringing will go away.

      It is driving me crazy, and I have not slept more than 2 hours a night the past 10 days or so.
      It is getting more and more difficult for me to function properly at work, and I worry I will not be able
      to maintain employment for much longer if this continues.

      My 2 questions for you all are:

      1. Do you have any advice on how I can sleep, and attempt to function and live a "normal" life?
      (masking doesn't seem to work/ melatonin seems to help reduce noise)

      2. Should I look into suing either my roommate (she was at fault) or the city? (Apparently, this intersection has many accidents)

      I would be ok with suing the city at this point if a lawyer believed my case had legs.

      I don't want to sue my roommate, but if I can't work I don't know how I would be able to provide for myself. This lawsuit would probably be more realistic than one against the city. Should I wait to see if my ears miraculously heal?

      Just really don't know what to do right now. Any feedback would be appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Chris
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Michael2013
      Happy

      Michael2013 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2013
      I think you cut the legs off any case against the city just by the fact that even you admit above that the roommate was at fault. Otherwise, she should be suing the city.

      What would you hope to gain from a lawsuit against your roommate? Are you thinking they should provide for you for the rest of your life now? I think your roommate's car insurance company should be responsible for paying all of your medical bills at the very least though.

      -Mike
       
    3. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Thanks for the response Mike.

      *Suing the City
      (some lady who worked at the intersection of the accident came down and stated that our accident was the 3rd that week in the same intersection. seems like an unsafe place for an unprotected left. city is putting citizens at risk.don't know if that has any meaning)

      *Suing my roommate
      (I'm almost guaranteed to lose money long term because of this incident. I won't be able to function at the same level. Is compensation appropriate for her mistake?) I don't really have medical bills just like $80 from hearing tests and check ups. This means basically nothing to me as I'd probably pay all of my money to have this condition go away.

      Should I just try to continue to be a "normal" working member of society, and then maybe apply for disability if I am unable to?

      Appreciate any advice.

      Best Regards,
      Chris
       
    4. Atlantis

      Atlantis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Suing your roommate for an honest accident is a disgusting thought.

      Would you like to be sued if places were swapped? I didn't think so.

      You will learn to live with the tinnitus and function....
       
    5. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      It is a disgusting thought that I was completely against 3 weeks ago. I couldn't imagine that, but now that I haven't slept in like 10 days things have changed.

      I now don't see how it's such a huge deal now because I think it would come out of her insurance, and then her rates would go up. If this is the actual procedure, I'm starting to think it's not that big of a deal.

      It seems more disgusting that I may have to live with this for the rest of my life. Nobody is going to financially support me because of this, so I have to keep fighting and trying to survive in this cruel world.

      Of course, I wouldn't want to be sued, but I just don't know what to do. I don't want to end up on the streets because of this.
       
    6. Chey

      Chey Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck.
      If I were you, I think I would look into suing the city rather than your roommate. If there have been 3 accidents in the short span of a week, the intersection is clearly unsafe and will likely cause more accidents. Hopefully it will also prevent more accidents from happening.

      There was a case in my city not too long ago where a lady sued the city because she slipped on ice due to it being unsalted. She won.
       
    7. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      I'd advise you to first get some sleep so you can think straight. I had a spell of nasty insomnia which incidentally occurred at two months in (also got my T through an accident). I took ambien for 2-3 nights one week, then 2-3 days without meds etc. Then 1-2 ambien the next week, 2-3 nights without. Sleep is less of an issue now.
      Get your diet sorted, do sports, get into a healthy mindset. Try to break away from catastrophic thinking and concentrate on healing/coping. Many of us hold jobs, although it's sometimes very difficult in the beginning.
      Are you around noise at your workplace?
       
    8. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Thanks for the responses

      @Sebastians

      I'm definitely not thinking straight because of the lack of sleep. I could not sleep well before, and this is just the icing on the cake that is giving me full blown insomnia.

      There is not a lot of noise in my workplace. I think I could probably keep my job at this rate, but feel like it would be a struggle just to keep it for now and would be very hard to progress. I'm on contract, so this job isn't the issue it's my ability to provide for myself or just generally function over the rest of my life that is very concerning at this moment.
      I don't really know my legal recourse (I'm in the US). I don't know if disability would cover this.

      My quality of life has really taken a big hit the past 2 weeks. From what I can tell, tinnitus has no cure, so I'm trying my best to deal with it. I just don't know what I'm going to do if this is long term. I'm just hoping it goes away, and trying to figure out what I can do if it doesn't.

      Hard to see myself living a "good" life on 2 hours of sleep a night. Any other advice would be great.

      Thanks,
      Chris
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    9. Lorenzo74
      Mellow

      Lorenzo74 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hey @chrissudar

      You have had it for just a month or so and therefore it is quite understandable your sleeping issues...

      To give you a time frame, it took me about 9 months to get back to a normal sleeping pattern, so my advise would be to just learn to "embrace" the sound and make it more acceptable... Meditation helped me a lot to do that..

      Eventually you will hopefully get to a point where you lay in bed, you are aware of it, but then it just goes straight in the background and you just learn to naturally fall asleep...

      I used to use a lot of white noises to help me relax... Nowadays I just use them once every now and then when I feel it affecting me more...

      Best of luck, give it time, build your patience up and take care of yourself and your ears..

      Ciao ! Lorenzo
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I do not think you can sue because you got tinnitus from this event. There is no way you can prove you have tinnitus in a court of law outside of fancy brain scans that are only used for research.
       
    11. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Thanks guys.

      Do you know if disability would cover this if I am unable to work?
       
    12. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      First, research online by Googling airbag + tinnitus + lawsuit Here's one result, short link: http://bit.ly/1Tr1mRL

      Second, based on what you learn from research, if you decide to sue, you should get a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in your city, not the opinion of lay persons on this board. Generally the first consultation is free. Since your funds are so limited, you'll have to find one who not only will agree to take your case, but also to accept it on a contingency basis. The costs of preparing for trial with this kind of injury will be substantial. For example, your lawyer might sue for loss of future earnings, which is very difficult to prove without an expert's testimony. Research the reputation of the attorney before hiring her/him.

      If you have any history of listening to loud music or games through headphones, or going to loud clubs or concerts, your case is already hurt. If you have had any episodes of tinnitus in the past that lasted more than a few hours, your case is hurt. The defense might argue that the airbag might have contributed to the tinnitus, but is not the sole cause and that you would have developed it anyway regardless of the accident.

      Third, be aware that if you do get a lawyer, by the time you get to trial in 2 or 3 years, you may well have habituated to your tinnitus. Lawsuits are not a walk in the park. They take time, energy, and will add considerable stress to your life, something you don't want if you can possibly avoid it.

      The driver being your roommate is sticky from a legal standpoint. If you go through with this, get another place. There's no way you can be legal adversaries and remain in close quarters, especially since you have this kind of injury which puts a strain on emotional relationships anyway.

      As far as Social Security disability, you can go to your local SSA office, or go online and apply. Be aware that the documents you will be required to fill out are very time-intensive. Have your financial documentation ready, plus any medical records, so you can fill in the required information. By the way, you do not need to have seen any medical professionals to apply. However, if you have only a short work history, it would be better that you do so. See a specialist, and don't worry about fancy imaging. If I were you, I would search for a doctor who specializes in treating veterans afflicted with tinnitus. Tinnitus from an airbag exploding by your ear is acoustic trauma, like an explosion in a war zone. One incident is all it takes.

      My advice, keep a journal of your progress for the next 3 months. If you have insurance, get treatment. Think long and hard about going down the path of a lawsuit. Good luck.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    13. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Airbags - pretty scary , I usually drive with my 30db ear muffs on all time as the road noise feeds my t to high levels but I have one car with airbag and will make sure to bring this hearing loss time-bomb to a shop to have it removed , don't need more hearing damages at this point
       
    14. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Thanks Cheza.

      I guess I'll do more research, and maybe speak with an injury lawyer.

      Just really frustrated right now, and trying to find solutions on things I can actually do as it seems there is nothing to do to improve the tinnitus. Just hope and pray I guess.

      I hate feeling helpless, but maybe I just need to learn to let go and have faith in God.

      Thanks for your guys support
       
    15. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Since you're a person of faith, that will help. It will also help from a purely psychological standpoint, because when you aren't fighting the tinnitus but rather accepting what maybe you cannot change, that will help to calm the hyperactive neurons in your brain, too.

      Tinnitus often resolves on its own within the first 6 months. Just keep your ears protected, stay away from loud venues, take care of your health otherwise and let your body do the healing. The rest, as you say, is in God's hands.
       
    16. grandfunk1

      grandfunk1 Member

      Hi, ive had t for a year now, This isnt help about legal issues, but I want to tell you after awhile if your t doesn't go away, it will no longer affect you. Mine is a non existent problem anymore, at first it sucked and I didn't sleep for weeks. Now I forget I have it until I tell a joke to someone that I hear ringing, or they bring it up. Also here is music that had helped me get through it and I still use it if I need to relax, its not even for t anymore. Its called Sounds to sooth by steve harrison. I guarantee it will mask your t and provide relief.

      Brian
       
    17. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Thanks Cheza! I'm hoping it goes away. I hope everything is good with you. Im going to try to sleep
       
    18. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      thanks brian. masking sounds haven't been good for me. should I keep trying? my sample size is quite small only tried like 3 times
       
    19. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      If you are involved in a collision and receive severe injuries, the other side can argue that your injuries would have been much less if you had not removed the airbag.

      You can judge for yourself whether you'd rather have more hearing damage or perhaps sustain permanent neurological deficits of some other sort. I wouldn't do what you're suggesting without a physician's written recommendation to do so that has been placed in my medical records.

      Good info about airbags on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/airbags/qanda

      National Institutes of Health article on hearing damage due to airbags: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3420767/
       
    20. Tibberz
      Supportive

      Tibberz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      5 9mm Gunshots
      My advise is to just move on. Do everything you can to keep your mind busy. The first few months for me were pure hell (I thought I was gonna flunk college and loose my job), but today, almost a year later I was joking about my t because I don't consciously hear it much anymore. It's still there but my brain just tunes it out because I've trained myself not to think anything negative about the noise. Any questions feel free to ask.
       
    21. chrissudar

      chrissudar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Hi all,

      I don't think I will sue. I might still consult a lawyer, but doubt that I will follow through with a law suit. I was just trying to figure out what I could do as I feel powerless. I still do not sleep more than 4 hours a night but Im surviving and moving forward so far. I'm learning a lot about life and actually growing as I take on this hardship as of now.

      Thanks for your help. I'll let you know if I do actually plan on a lawsuit but I doubt it will happen.

      I'll probably be on here trying to get advice on how to sleep better.

      Best,
      Chris
       
      • Like Like x 1
    22. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      But on the other hand it might also be just a small fender bender and instead of just brushing it off you now have additional hearing damage/tinnitus because of it.
       
    23. invictus
      No Mood

      invictus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Whiplash/ Ototoxic drugs/
      My tinnitus was caused by a car accident. My father was driving and he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a pole.
      If someone else had caused the car accident I woud have sued that person.
       
    24. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      You're right. Airbags weren't installed because of the danger of fender-benders, though. They were installed because so many cars and trucks are flat out bigger and heavier.

      If you check the stats, there have been great improvements in what triggers airbags to deploy. I think it takes a collision where the vehicle is going 15 miles an hour. Fender-benders are typically accidents in parking lots and such. If you're concerned about your vehicle's airbag deployment, contact the manufacturer and get the facts from them.

      You always have the option to disable it. Having known people who have been in accidents without airbags, though, I would opt to keep it. Almost everything in life is a risk/benefit gamble.
       
    25. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      I do hope you'll feel better as the months go by. You aren't powerless, you have the ability to research and think things through and decide on a course of action.

      Sleeping is a tough thing to accomplish with tinnitus. I rarely sleep through the night, and rarely get more than 6 hours. This has been going on for almost 2 years, but it's better than last year when I was waking up 2 to 4 times a night.

      If you don't want to take meds but are willing to use supplements, try this combination: GABA, 1000mg; niacinamide (B3), 100mg; melatonin, 3mg; magnesium, 200mg. I use Doctors Best High Absorption 100% chelated magnesium, based on what I gleaned from reading about magnesium on this forum. Take them about half an hour before bedtime.

      All these supplements are safe, easy to obtain from Amazon or health food stores, but still you want to do your research and read reviews before going forward with any of them, in case there's some contraindication.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    26. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      If it was safety first, I'd actually want a roll cage and a sports seat and seat belts. That's what they use in racing and it saves lives, and those are high speed accidents. You don't see airbags being used in F1, Nascar, rally cars etc.
       
    27. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Apples and oranges.
       

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