What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a subcategory of a traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI. These injuries can range from mild to severe in nature. While the definitions and categorizations of concussions may vary slightly, a mild concussion will usually result in a brief change in mental status (being dazed, confused, or disoriented) or a short period of loss of consciousness.
Whereas, a severe concussion is typically associated with an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia before or after an injury event (i.e. a motor vehicle accident) and requires hospitalization.
A concussion can impact every facet of someone’s life. From work or school, to chores, to the activities that a person enjoys, concussions can lead to a wide range of significant impairments. However, not everyone, and especially many insurance adjusters, is aware just how severe and long-lasting the impacts of concussions can be.
Causes of Concussion
The most common causes of concussions that come across my desk are motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and slips and falls. It is critically important for injury victims in these situations to understand what a concussion is, what common symptoms come from traumatic brain injuries, and what the long-term effects are that these brain injuries may have on someone’s well-being. Sometimes these injuries are missed by doctors, especially immediately after the injury. Many insurance adjusters will try to minimize a concussion by calling it a headache or migraine, or suggest the symptoms come from some other incident in the past. That’s why it’s smart to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can appreciate the real impact that these injuries can have on work, home, and leisure – to account for the true cost of the injury.
Symptoms of Concussion
In the short term, concussion symptoms may include:
- 1. Headache
- 2. Nausea
- 3. Brain fog,
- 4. Impaired memory or reasoning abilities
- 5. Blurry vision
- 6. Balance problem
- 7. Word finding difficulties
- 8. Depression
- 9. Anxiety
- 10. Personality changes
- 11. Aggression
Types of Concussion
In most injury claims a debate is had about whether a traumatic brain injury really happened. Often, imaging of the brain is not indicated and it can be hard to get objective evidence of the brain injury. Thankfully, we work with experts, including an expert neurologist, to obtain specialized brain scans that can detect concussion or brain injury.
1. Diffuse Axonal Injury
One type of brain injury that can be seen in accident victims is a diffuse axonal injury. A diffuse axonal injury is caused by traumatic shearing forces, occurring when someone’s head is quickly accelerated and decelerated during an accident. Due to this force, small micro-tears may occur within the individual’s brain, along with swelling along neural pathways. This disrupts the signals that the nerve cells transmit and causes the symptoms of a brain injury. Unfortunately, this damage can be permanent. Most studies suggest that these cells do not regenerate. However, some recovery can occur (more often in young people) when other areas of the brain take over for the damaged part of the brain. This recovery requires time and rehabilitation. As such, the symptoms of a concussion can last an extended period or be permanent.
2. Post Concussion Syndrome
Some concussion sufferers are diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, PCS. Post-concussion syndrome is a term used to describe the various symptoms, including headaches and nausea, that may continue for weeks, months, or even years after the concussion. Concussions also carry the potential for significant long-term consequences. Severe concussions increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, along with a variety of other cognitive difficulties.
There is also an increased likelihood of developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, CTE. You may have heard of CTE in recent years because of movies or reports about football players. CTE is a serious medical condition typically associated with an individual experiencing multiple concussions. Symptoms of CTE begin to present themselves roughly 15 years after exposure and include: cognitive impairments, psychological changes, substance abuse, and dementia.
Do I Need to Consult a Lawyer for Concussion Injury Claim?
Simply put, concussions are scary and serious injuries. Though the impacts they have differ from person to person, the symptoms can last for the rest of a person’s life, leaving that person with a totally disabling injury into their later years. If someone suffers a concussion injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is critically important that their concussion injury claim consider the impacts of the injury in both the short and long term.
During our no-risk free case review, we break down the personal injury claim, explain the applicable law, and ensure every potential client understands the real value of their claim.
Have you suffered a concussion as a result of someone else’s negligence? I encourage you to take advantage of our NO-RISK, FREE CASE REVIEW. There’s no risk, no obligation, and only knowledge to gain. Learn more today by calling my team at NOVA Injury Law at 1-800-262-8104