Learn About Concussion Injuries
A concussion can occur if the head strikes an object or moving object strikes the head.
It is a less serious brain injury that can also be called traumatic brain injury.
A concussion may momentarily affect the way the brain works. It can lead to headaches, changes in alertness, or loss of consciousness.
Each brain concussion is different. Immediately after the injury, you may feel lightheaded, lose consciousness, or have a seizure.
Other symptoms may appear immediately.
Some symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after the concussion, but can last from a few hours to several weeks.
Almost all people get better within the next four weeks of having said injury.
After the injury, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Mild to moderate headache.
- Dizziness or loss of balance.
- Nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting.
- Changes in mood (restlessness or irritability).
- Difficulty thinking, remembering things, or concentrating (putting all the attention on one thing over a period of time).
- Tinkling in the ears.
- Drowsiness or decreased energy.
- Changes in the normal pattern of sleep (you may sleep more than usual or not sleep at all).
What Signs and Symptoms Are Important in The Days Following the Concussion?
It is common for a brain concussion to cause headaches or dizziness.
Some people who are thought to have only suffered a mild concussion may have a more serious injury.
Symptoms of severe brain injury may not appear immediately. After a concussion, it is very important to be aware of the appearance of more severe symptoms.
If possible, have a person stay with you to help you watch for the onset of symptoms.
How to Prevent a Concussion
Unlike most neurological disorders, head injuries can be prevented.
- Wear a seat belt every time you drive or when you are a passenger in a car.
- Place your child in a safety seat, fastening his or her seat belt, or place it inside your booster seat (depending on the child’s age), make sure you wear seatbelts whenever you travel.
- Wear a protective helmet and make sure your child uses it each time:
- You ride a bike or a motorcycle.
- Play a physical contact sport such as football or ice hockey.
- Use inline skates or skateboards.
- You are batting or running bases in baseball or softball.
- Ride a horse.
- Ski or snowboard.
- Keep firearms and bullets locked inside a cabinet when not in use.
- Avoid falls by:
- Using a utility ladder with a grab bar to reach objects that are at the top of the shelves.
- Installing railings on stairs.
- Installing special window insures to prevent small children from falling from open windows.
- Playing safely in bounce houses
- Using safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs when small children are present.
Make sure the surface of your child’s playground is constructed of some material that dampens strokes (for example: hardwood, mulch, and sand).
How Long Does a Concussion Last After a Car Accident?
Healing or recovering from a concussion takes time. It can take days, weeks or even months.
During this time it is possible that you:
- Feel retracted, easily annoyed or confused.
- Have difficulty with tasks that require memory or concentration.
- Have mild headaches.
- Are less noise-tolerant.
- Feel very tired.
- Feel dizzy.
- Have blurred vision at times.
These problems will probably be solved slowly over time. You may want to seek help from family or friends to make important decisions.
In a small number of people, the symptoms of a concussion do not disappear. The risk of these prolonged changes in the brain is greater after more than one concussion.
Seizures can occur after more severe head injuries. You or your child may need to take anticonvulsant medications for some time.
More serious traumatic brain injuries can cause many problems in the brain and nervous system.
Contact our car accident lawyers at Avrek Law to discuss your case and possible settlement.
And If you need to fight a police report from the accident then read our study.
Common Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Symptoms of a milder concussion may include:
- Acting somewhat confused, feeling unable to concentrate, or not thinking clearly.
- Being drowsy
- Feeling awkward
- Loss of knowledge for a rather short time.
- Loss of memory (amnesia) of events occurring before the injury or immediately after.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Seeing sparkling lights.
- Abnormalities in sleep.
The following are emergency symptoms of a head injury, or a more severe concussion.
Seek immediate medical attention if there are any of the below:
- Changes in mental alertness and awareness.
- Confusion that does not go away.
- Epileptic seizure.
- Muscle weakness on one or both sides.
- Pupils of eyes of different size.
- Unusual eye movements.
- Repetitive vomiting.
- Problems walking or maintaining balance.
- Loss of consciousness over a longer or continuing period of time (coma).
Take special care when moving people who have had a head injury.
What is a Post-Concussion Syndrome?
With every passing day there are more and more victims of accidents with cerebral injuries in California, the post-concussion syndrome being one of the most frequent neuropsychiatric disorders within the post-traumatic pathology.
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) refers to the appearance of a heterogeneous group of symptoms: somatic, cognitive, and emotional in nature, that may occur and persist in a variable way after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), in general, mild intensity.
The set of symptoms known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS) can vary if it occurs after a mild or moderate severe TBI.
TBI is considered mild if, as a result of a traumatic brain injury, the person suffers from one of these characteristics: a period of loss of consciousness of less than 30 minutes, a period of post-traumatic amnesia for events, an alteration of mental state at the time of the accident, and focal neurological deficits that may or may not be transient.
After a mild TBI the set of symptoms are characterized by dizziness, headache, intolerance to noise and lights, blurred vision, insomnia, decreased speed of information processing, difficulties in attention and concentration, memory disorder, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
After moderate or severe TBI, the most frequent alterations refer to deficits in attention-arousal and fatigue, memory and learning, executive functions, and communication.
Legal Cases Involving PCS
On July 12, 2004 Joanne Higgins slipped and fell down the stairs, hitting her head on concrete steps along the way, sustaining significant brain injuries, following an unexpected torrential storm.
Just before the fall, the fire department had responded to the scene and a marshal found a drain clogged with debris that he cleaned out with a six foot firefighter’s hook, allowing the accumulated water to drain off.
Higgins, then a 32 year old freelance make-up artist of some renown, was immediately transported by ambulance to the local hospital, where she underwent minor treatment and was released.
Ultimately, though, she was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries.
In the ensuing lawsuit against the owners and managers of the building, there was evidence that the defendants violated a local code requiring unobstructed drainage from roofs.
Thus, on February 4, 2011, a Manhattan jury found that the defendants were negligent in allowing the water to accumulate thus creating a dangerous condition.
The jurors then awarded Ms. Higgins, for pain and suffering damages, the sum of $2,500,000 ($1,500,000 past – 6 1/2 years, $1,000,000 future – 43 years), and other economic damages.
What Causes a Concussion?
The main causes of cerebral concussion are falls or a direct blow with some object at the head level.
It can also occur when there is an acceleration with a sudden deceleration, as it normally happens during a car accident, during a jolt, or in sports practices like some martial arts, boxing, or the frequent accidental head-on clashes that are observed in football.
The concussion can have several degrees, depending on its severity.
In mild cases there may be a temporary disorientation of which the affected person recovers completely after a few minutes.
An intermediate level corresponds to a state of disorientation that lasts more than twenty minutes and is accompanied by difficulty thinking clearly, sometimes the person cannot remember what happened to him.
In severe cases the main manifestation is the alteration of the state of consciousness; the person faints and upon awakening does not remember what happened.
A great movement of the brain (called discordant) in any direction can cause loss of mental lucidity (unconsciousness) in a person.
The amount of time the person remains unconscious may be a sign of how severe the concussion is.
Concussions do not always cause a loss of consciousness. Most people never lose their sense.
They can describe that they see everything white, all black, or even “stars”.
A person may also have a concussion and not notice it.
How is a Concussion Diagnosed?
To diagnose TBI, doctors can perform one or more tests to evaluate a person’s physical injury, brain and nervous functions, and degree of consciousness.
Some of these tests are the following:
- Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).
- TBI degree measurement.
- Speech and language tests.
- Neurophysiological and cognitive tests.
- Imaging tests.
- Tests to evaluate BITs in military settings
Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
The GCS measures the functioning of a person in three areas:
- Ability to speak; that is, if a person speaks normally, speaks without meaning, or does not speak at all.
- Ability to open the eyes, including when the person opens their eyes only when asked.
- Ability to move, ranging from moving the arms with ease, up to not moving, even in response to painful stimuli.
A physician classifies a person’s responses into these categories and calculates a final score.
A score of 13 or more indicates a mild TBI, from 9 to 12 a moderate TBI, and 8 or less a severe TBI.
However, there may be no correlation between the initial GCS score and the recovery or abilities of the person in the short or long term.
Can You Get a Concussion From a Car Accident Without Hitting Your Head?
Well, not necessarily. Concussion is one of those terms which can generate some confusion when used in popular language.
And, it is true that there are blows to the head that give rise to concussions, but there are also shocks that come after a collision that can cause a concussion, even if the head has not hit anything.
When we suffer a sudden deceleration in our vehicle, our brain is subjected to certain forces.
The encephalon has the bad habit of moving when subjected to great accelerations. And, be careful, because a brain contusion does not have to occur in order for it to move.
In the moment of a sudden deceleration, as happens when a vehicle collides, linear, rotational or angular forces in different combinations act on our brain (diencephalon and middle brain, basically), and in fact a sudden movement is enough to cease part of their functions for a few minutes.
It’s like a transient blackout in our higher functions.
All this can lead to a clear structural damage to brain or a transient dysfunction of the neurons derived from the abrupt traction, to which the brain has been subjected.
This is a dysfunction that affects accordingly to which zones of the brain are damaged, so it becomes difficult to detect with the naked eye, as it happens with the neurons that are in charge of controlling the state of alertness.
For example, when they undergo a blackout they can make the affected person lose consciousness.
But there are commotions with and without loss of consciousness, and when the victim is aware at all times it is very common that he might not know who he is or where he is, for a few moments; it is even possible for him not to remember what happened.
What is a Concussion Test?
A blow to your head, neck or upper body can cause a concussion, which may include symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, nausea, or loss of consciousness.
If you suspect you or your child has had a concussion, contact your doctor.
Your doctor will evaluate your signs and symptoms, review your medical history, and conduct a neurological examination.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may not appear until hours or days after the injury.
Tests your doctor may perform or recommend include:
- Neurological examination
After your doctor asks detailed questions about your injury, he or she may perform a neurological examination.
This evaluation includes checking your:
- Strength and sensation
- Cognitive testing
Your doctor may conduct several tests to evaluate your thinking (cognitive) skills during a neurological examination.
Testing may evaluate several factors, including your:
- Ability to recall information
- Imaging tests
Brain imaging may be recommended for some people with symptoms such as severe headaches, seizures, repeated vomiting, or symptoms that are becoming worse.
Brain imaging may determine whether the injury is severe and has caused bleeding or swelling in your skull.
A cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan is the standard test to assess the brain right after injury.
A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your skull and brain.
Magnetic resonance imaging may be used to view bleeding in your brain, or to diagnose complications that may occur after a concussion.
An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of your brain.
You may need to be hospitalized overnight for observation after a concussion.
If your doctor agrees that you may be observed at home, someone should stay with you and check on you for at least 24 hours to ensure your symptoms aren’t worsening.
Your caregiver may need to awaken you regularly to make sure you can do so normally.
How to Recover From a Concussion?
Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process for a traumatized patient.
During the acute stage, patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may receive care and be treated in a hospital intensive care unit.
Once stabilized, a patient can be transferred to a less urgent care unit, or to a medical center of an independent rehabilitation hospital.
From this stage, patients can follow divergent paths in their recovery because there are a great variety of options for recuperation.
The widespread goal of rehabilitation after brain trauma is to improve the patient’s ability to function at home and in society.
Therapists help the patient adapt to their disabilities, or change the space where the patient lives -called environment modification- to make daily living tasks easier for them.
Some patients may need medication to treat psychiatric or physical problems caused by brain trauma.
Great care should be taken when prescribing medications because patients with brain trauma are more susceptible to their side effects and may react adversely to some medicines.
It is important for the family to provide the patient with social support by getting involved in the rehabilitation program.
Patients’ relatives can also benefit from psychotherapy.
Concussions in Sports
Chris Borland is a smart guy intending to stay alive for a long time. He was scared of his job, scared of the profession that would make him a billionaire.
Borland was afraid of American football: “I wondered if that was how I wanted to spend my adult life, hitting my head.
I decided that I only wanted to have a long life, without brain damage or a premature death”.
And at age 24, with a great future after being one of the NFL’s top rookies last season, he retired.
With his unexpected decision, Borland resigned to $2.3 million already insured for the three years remaining on the contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
And, save for an injury or unexpected drop in performance, a player of his level and position (inside linebacker) would have signed a second contract of about $40 million.
More fame, announcements and the comfortable retirement of former players awaited him, but he wanted none of it.
And he was not the only one.
Last year, three other professionals withdrew by surprise: Patrick Willis (50 years old), Borland’s teammate in the 49ers , expected to collect 15 million the next two seasons;
Jason Worilds (27), with offers of 40 million for five years; and Jake Locker (26), with four million annually as bait.
They all left their successful careers, though only Borland clearly explained his motives: “We know too much.” He said.
What do they know? That American football can kill.
Let us stay with two concepts: CTE and concussion.
CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the accumulation of brain trauma that leads to dementia, memory loss, depression, aggression, and confusion. Concussion is a daily routine in football.
Stats on Concussions
According to the National Brain Injury Association, more than 2,000,000 brain injuries occur in the United States each year.
Approximately 75-100,000 people die each year from brain injuries and more than 500,000 have injuries severe enough to require hospitalization.
Trauma is the most common cause of brain injury in the United States and random things like tire blowouts can cause horrible car accidents.
Given these statistics, it is clear that there are a large number of potential TBI claims, and that those claims represent a large potential liability for insurers.
Therefore, it is important for people who are regularly involved in adjusting personal injury claims to have a good understanding of how brain injury occurs and the potential long term effects of TBI.
It is only in recent years that the long term effects of concussions have become more widely recognized.
Slowly, the true picture of how brain injuries can affect an individual has emerged, as more research in the area has been conducted.
Settlement Value of a Head Injury Claim
If you or a loved one suffered a head injury after an accident, you need to speak to Avrek Law and the understand if you’re eligible for compensation.
Once you discuss your situation with Avrek and hire us we can help you with medical expenses, and portions of lost income, etc.
In many cases, when our personal injury lawyer reviews your case, we will find negligent decisions that led to the accident that caused your injury.
Since labor compensation will almost never cover all the expenses the victim had to incur in, you will need to sue a third party for full compensation.
The damages for which you can receive compensation are: medical expenses, lost profits, physical pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
If the brain injury caused the victim to die, their loved ones might be eligible to get death benefits from negligence.
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