A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head, a hard fall to the ground, or any other occurrence resulting in the jarring or shaking of the brain inside the cranium. A person can suffer a concussion without any visible injuries to the face or head, and in this sense, concussions can be some of the most insidious types of injuries, because their signs and symptoms may not be caught for several days or even weeks.
*Important* If you have any symptoms mentioned below – seek medical treatment as soon as possible as they can be very serious!
Those who suffer from concussions don’t always lose consciousness as a result of the concussion or the accident or other event that caused the concussion. In some instances, people may recover from minor concussions within a few hours or about a 24-hour period immediately following the event that caused the concussion. However, more serious concussions may take a few weeks to completely heal. It’s important to be aware that a person who has suffered a concussion will require monitoring by a medical professional.
What Can Cause a Concussion?
The brain is a soft organ surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid that acts as a cushion against shock during falls or blows to the head. Generally, the cerebrospinal fluid prevents the brain from striking the skull. However, if the head or the body receive a hard blow, the brain may collide into the side of the skull and become bruised.
Concussions often occur as the result of:
- Playground injuries
- Automobile accidents
- Slip and fall injury
- Injuries at work
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction sites
- Falling objects
- Playing sports
However, concussions can also occur during not-so-common ways as well. We have seen strange injuries caused by negligence such as items falling off shelves at a hardware store or a poorly lit stairwells.
What are Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion?
Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim of a concussion may display blatantly obvious symptoms or subtle symptoms that are harder to spot, and therefore harder to identify in some cases. These CDC states that concussion symptoms can occur immediately or hours and even days after the event that brought on the concussion.
Obvious signs of a concussion include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Slurred speech
More subtle symptoms include sensitivity to light and noise, ringing in the ears and changes in taste or smell.
And finally, some other symptoms of a concussion may develop over time and include:
- Sleep disturbance
- Amnesia or other memory loss
When Should I Visit the Emergency Room?
The severity of your injury will determine your medical treatment. The Mayo Clinic recommends immediate emergency care if the injured party is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Repeated vomiting
- Severe confusion
- Behavioral changes
If in doubt, always err on the side of caution. If you are unsure whether a person is exhibiting signs and symptoms of a concussion, contact a medical professional immediately to obtain the emergency care required.
Concussions are increasingly dangerous if they are experienced multiple times. Having a previous concussion may make you more likely to experience another if you hit your head again. Those who have had multiple concussions over the course of their lives are at an increased risk for long-lasting and potentially permanent impairments as a result of these injuries.
What About Concussions Caused by Car Accidents?
In some cases, a concussion can be the result of a hard blow to the head during a car accident, so knowing and understanding some of the above mentioned signs and symptoms can be critically important in these types of events. What’s more, if you have been in an auto accident, whether you were driving or whether you were a passenger, you may endure a variety of injuries that can compound a concussion.
For example, if you suffered whiplash from an accident in addition to a concussion, or a spinal cord injury in addition to a concussion, it is imperative that you seek immediate emergency care to ensure that these injuries do not wind up causing further harm.
For instance, the swelling that can occur in the hours and days after a car accident can end up being worse than the initial injuries themselves, so seeking the medical help that can stave off this swelling before it begins can make a huge difference, and in some cases, a life-saving difference.
You May Be Entitled to Monetary Compensation
If you or a loved one were in a car accident or any other type of accident that resulted in a head injury, concussion, or spinal cord injury, there is a very good chance that you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the person, business, or other entity whose negligence resulted in the injury.
To ensure that you obtain the best injury settlement that is equitable and fair to you and/or anyone who was injured, it is absolutely critical that you document every single thing that occurs from the time of the accident or incident that resulted in your concussion or head injury, including all:
- Medical visits
- Emergency room visits
- Imaging appointments (or any x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans that may have been done)
- Time missed from work
- Time loved ones had to take off work to care for you
- Time spent with your attorney
- Time you spent on the phone dealing with anyone associated with the injury, including doctors, attorneys, medical insurance companies, and/or auto insurance companies.
Getting anything you can in writing is key — wherever you can, physically document everything that occurs, and hang on to print-outs from doctors, emergency rooms, lawyers, insurance companies, and of course, any police reports if there are any.
Let the Hutzler Law Firm Help Ensure Your Injuries are Compensated Properly, and that Justice is Done
A concussion can be a life-changing injury and should not be taken lightly. If you think someone else is at fault for your injury, consider contacting a Phoenix accident injury attorney. An accident injury lawyer in Arizona can help you get the compensation you deserve after you’ve been wrongfully injured, especially if that injury occurred in an area owned and/or operated by an entity that may be found negligent.
The medical expenses incurred as the result of a concussion should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion, contact the Hutzler Law Firm or visit our website at www.hutzlerlaw.com. We look forward to getting started with your complimentary free legal consultation and building a winning case for you.