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Concussions & Car Wrecks
There has been a great deal of media attention lately on concussions and serious brain injuries suffered by professional football players. Many players have endured years of brutal physical contact that may have included constant slaps and hits to the head. However, car accidents account for more head injuries than any other event every year?
While sports injuries are responsible for approximately 20% of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Car accidents cause approximately 28% of such injuries. This is not surprising, with the millions of motor vehicle accidents that occur each year that result in injuries, many of which are head injuries. Many people are not initially aware that they have suffered a concussion after a car wreck, let alone a traumatic brain injury.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is typically a mild brain injury where you suffer a blow to your head resulting in some degree of confusion, dizziness, and other symptoms. It is possible to sustain a concussion in a motor vehicle crash even if you do not strike your head on anything in the vehicle. The sudden acceleration and deceleration forces involved in a whiplash-type injury will cause the brain to move around in the head and can cause bleeding in and around the brain or sheering of the brain’s axons. At the moment of impact in a car accident, your brain is literally bounced around inside your head where it can sustain tearing, bleeding, or bruising of nerve fibers.
There are three grades of concussions:
- Grade 1: No loss of consciousness but you may have some temporary amnesia for less than 30 minutes.
- Grade 2: You suffer a loss of consciousness and amnesia from 30 minutes to 24 hours.
- Grade 3: You lost consciousness for more than 5 minutes or suffered amnesia for more than 24 hours.
In most cases, car accident victims make a complete recovery after a week or so. However, some concussions can be serious and life threatening. Always seek medical attention if you suffer any of the signs of a concussion. There are, a variety of concussion signs and symptoms to watch for following a car accident.
Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion After a Car Wreck
If a concussion is not properly diagnosed, the effects can be devastating. But one of the problems is a concussion after a car wreck is not easily diagnosed. Especially, if you do not know what signs and symptoms to look out for. If you have been injured in an auto accident and have any of the following signs, you need to be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Here are 8 signs that your car accident injury gave you a concussion:
- You lost consciousness. This is the most obvious sign since the force involved in the collision was enough to cause you to lose consciousness from striking your head on the windshield, steering wheel, or other object. You might have been out for just a few seconds, but in any case, your brain has suffered trauma. Again, be aware that you do not have to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion.
- You feel nauseous, dizzy, feel sensitive to light, and may have vomited more than once. This should alert you that you have suffered a car accident concussion though you did not necessarily pass out at any time. You may not recall even hitting your head.
- You experience confusion and amnesia. You may not realize for several hours, or even a day or more, that you no longer recall certain things or are confused about the date or cannot concentrate on the task at hand.
- You saw stars or have ringing in your ears. Usually, this follows a blow to the head without and indicates mild trauma.
- Mood changes. You or someone points out to you that you are more easily angered, are irritable, listless, or appear nervous or anxious for no discernible reason. You may also be depressed.
- Sleep patterns are disturbed. This could mean you are sleeping more than usual, have problems falling asleep, or are sleeping less than normal.
- Headaches that worsen or will not go away and problems with balance or blurry vision.
- Experience seizures. In more extreme cases, seizures may occur.
A car accident concussion can also result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Which is a serious intracranial condition that can affect your cognitive abilities leading to a permanent life altering disability. TBI also accounts for one-third of all injury-related deaths in the US. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident where a concussion or brain injury occurred, consult with a car accident lawyer about your legal options.
Medical Treatment for a Concussion
The Mayo Clinic recommends that if you or your child experience a head injury, you should see a doctor within a day or two, even if you have not received emergency care. You should seek emergency medical attention immediately if you experience:
- Repeated vomiting
- Loss of consciousness longer than 30 seconds
- A headache that gets worse over time
- Changes in physical coordination like stumbling or clumsiness
- Confusion or disorientation
The most important thing you can do to recover from a concussion is to give your brain a rest. This means limiting activities that require thinking or mental concentration. Often, your doctor will recommend that you stay out of work or school, limit TV and video games, don’t read or text or use a computer for several days. As your symptoms resolves, your doctor may release you gradually back to full duties. It is important to listen to your doctor’s advice with regard to returning to school, work, and exercise.
Damages in a Car Accident Concussion Case
Although most people recover completely from concussion injuries, a significant number do not, and as a result suffer chronic problems of continuing headaches, seizures, an inability to concentrate, personality changes that can lead to violence or suicide, as well as loss of employment. Your damages can be substantial in these types of cases where medical treatment may be ongoing for years. Your legal damages can include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium claim by a spouse
Contact Car Accident Lawyers at Hurst & Hurst Law
Our firm is a local personal injury law firm that is experienced in representing victims of car accidents with TBI or other injuries. Being sensitive to the signs of a concussion and to the catastrophic effects a concussive injury allows our attorneys to help our clients hurt after an auto accident.
If you have been in a car wreck and suffered a concussion or other injury contact an experienced car wreck attorney as soon as possible after your accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck, please contact one of the attorneys at Hurst & Hurst at (859) 209-2101.