Imagine you were enjoying a Sunday drive on US 62 after a wonderful day at Franklin Park, only to be clipped by a sedan that neglected to stop at a stoplight, the driver distracted by their phone. When you are able to get your wits about you, you’re pretty sure you weren’t injured in the accident. While you may think you got out of this accident lucky, do not be too hasty to rule out any injuries just yet.
It is important to be sure about any possible injuries. Despite the absence of visible head wounds, the impact of the collision abruptly brought your body, traveling at 50 miles per hour, to a sudden stop. This force caused your brain, a delicate organ, to slam from the front to the back of your skull. In cases like these, injuries resulting from car accidents or falls are not always immediately apparent. Therefore, it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, which can occur after experiencing a blow to the head.
What is a concussion?
While the term and definition of concussion has seen some debate over whether or not it is seen as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), recently, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine has determined that a concussion is the same as a mild TBI. It is not just a bump on the head that you should ignore, but a possibly life-threatening condition if it goes untreated. TBIs are a leading cause of fatalities in car accidents.
As mentioned above, a concussion happens when your brain hits the inside of your skull due to a sudden jolt. Concussions most often occur in car accidents, construction site accidents, sports accidents, and premises liability accidents, such as slip and fall accidents.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
The Mayo Clinic provides a list of signs and symptoms associated with concussions, cautioning that not all of them may manifest immediately following the accident. Some symptoms may persist for days, weeks, or even longer.
These signs include:
- Pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or a foggy feeling
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or seeing spots
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed responses
- Appearing dazed
Even if you didn't suffer a head wound or lose consciousness, it's crucial to seek medical attention promptly when you begin experiencing any combination of these symptoms. Timely treatment increases the likelihood of preventing long-term effects.
If you or anyone else involved in a car crash displays these symptoms, it's imperative to seek immediate medical attention. Surviving a collision can be a traumatic experience that triggers an adrenaline rush, potentially masking the initial symptoms of a concussion. Therefore, it's essential to promptly seek medical care to rule out any potential traumatic brain injury, as its consequences can be devastating.
What can happen if you do not seek immediate medical attention?
If left untreated, a concussion can pose various risks, including the potential development of early-onset dementia. In cases where the brain injury is severe enough to cause internal bleeding, the resulting pressure can lead to unconsciousness, coma, or even death.
Untreated concussions can give rise to several potential complications, such as:
- Confusion or brain fog
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Personality changes
- Digestive problems
- Impaired coordination
- Decreased concentration
- Irregular heart rate
These physical symptoms don't encompass the financial, emotional, and relational consequences that can follow an injury.
Cognitive or concentration difficulties may render you unable to perform your previous job, and the fatigue you experience might hinder your ability to sustain full-time employment. Changes in personality, including an increase in aggressive behaviors that can occur after a concussion, can strain your relationships with friends and spouse.
The more concussions a person experiences throughout their lifetime, especially multiple concussions within a short period, the greater the likelihood of enduring serious and long-lasting effects from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Given the multitude of unknown risks associated with brain injuries, seeking early medical intervention is essential.
Types of concussions
Concussions can manifest in various ways, with some types emphasizing physical symptoms, others affecting cognition, and some influencing emotions and sleep patterns.
- Cognitive/fatigue. This type of concussion results in difficulties with prolonged mental tasks, complex subjects, and increased fatigue as the day progresses. Symptoms include decreased concentration, increased distractibility, trouble learning and retaining new information, and decreased multitasking abilities.
- Vestibular. This type of concussion affects balance, motion, and vision. Impairments in the vestibular system, responsible for maintaining balance, can lead to challenges in interpreting motion, coordinating head and eye movements, and maintaining steady vision during head movements.
- Ocular. This type of concussion affects visual tasks, such as reading long passages and looking at screens. It impairs tandem eye movements, making it challenging to bring the eyes together or track motion accurately.
- Post-Traumatic Migraine. This type of concussion leads to changes in daily routines, such as avoiding loud events or sleeping in. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, and sensitivity to light or noise.
- Cervical. This type of concussion causes issues with stress or pressure on the neck, spine, or spinal cord. It often results in ongoing headaches, and activities like slouching or carrying heavy backpacks can exacerbate symptoms.
- Anxiety/Mood. This type of concussion affects mental well-being, making it difficult to control thoughts and causing excessive worry or concern. It can interfere with social interactions and may worsen if routine activities are avoided due to the concussion.
Understanding the specific clinical path of your concussion is crucial for providing appropriate care and achieving full recovery.
How can a Columbus car accident attorney help me?
After a car accident, concussions are common and can have significant impacts on individuals' lives. Nearly half of all TBI survivors require surgery to address ruptured blood vessels and contusions. These injuries can prevent victims from returning to work or supporting their families as they did before the accident, leading to long-term financial strain. When someone else's negligence causes harm, you have the right to seek compensation.
At Soroka & Associates, we are dedicated to advocating for your rights and pursuing full compensation for all the damages you have suffered. This includes:
- Medical expenses, including travel costs associated with necessary care.
- Lost wages, income, and benefits, as well as the loss of future earning potential.
- Property losses resulting from the accident.
- "Human" damages, such as physical pain, anxiety, mental distress, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, and the inability to perform everyday activities.
We understand the challenges and emotional hardships that TBI victims face, including job loss and mounting medical bills. Our experienced lawyers are committed to holding the negligent parties accountable for your injuries. We strive to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered a concussion due to a car accident, our legal team can help. To set up a free consultation, call us or use our contact form. Our Columbus accident lawyers serve clients throughout Central Ohio.