If a distracted driver rear-ended your vehicle while you were heading home along Route 126, you might be tempted to forgo medical treatment if you thought you had nothing more than a few bruises and a headache. Seeing a doctor is always recommended after an accident, and in your case the need may be urgent because headache can be a sign of a concussion.
Concussions are a common form of injury with motor vehicle accidents. The impact of your head hitting the dashboard, steering wheel, or other hard surface can cause your brain to shift or bounce around inside your skull. A concussion can also happen when your neck moves violently due to whiplash, causing your brain to strike the inside of your skull.
Sometimes the symptoms of a concussion are severe, such as prolonged unconsciousness. In other
There are three primary types of concussion:
- Grade 1: No loss of consciousness, although you may experience amnesia for less than 30 minutes.
- Grade 2: Loss of consciousness for less than five minutes or amnesia for anywhere between 30 minutes and 24 hours.
- Grade 3: Loss of consciousness for over five minutes or amnesia that lasts more than 24 hours
Although concussions are regarded as a milder form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), they are still an intracranial injury and, as such, can result in permanent and life-changing disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 153 people die every day in the U.S. from injuries that involve TBI, and those who survive can struggle with negative effects that last anywhere from hours to the rest of their lives.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
Here are some common signs of a concussive injury.
- Seizures. If the head injury is especially severe, seizures may result.
- Loss of consciousness. Losing consciousness is one of the most obvious signs that you have a concussion. Even if you were only out for a matter of seconds, your brain still suffered injury.
- Headaches. If you have a headache that won’t go away, worsens over time, and/or is accompanied by blurred vision, you may have a concussion.
- Amnesia and confusion. A head injury can cause you to experience difficulty recalling things or concentrating on the task at hand.
- Visual and auditory distortion. A blow to the head will often cause you to see stars or experience a ringing sensation in your ears.
- Nausea. If you feel nauseous and even vomit after a collision, may have suffered a concussion.
- Change in
mood. A noticeable change in your mood, such as listlessness, anxiety, or violent bursts of anger are all signs of a concussion.
Other problems that may manifest over time include difficulty concentrating, light sensitivity, ongoing memory problems, and loss of taste or smell. In extreme cases, complications such as personality changes and constant headache may affect the ability to maintain gainful employment.
Treating a Concussion After a Car Accident
If there is reason to believe that a car accident left you with a concussion, your treating physician may conduct a neurological examination to assess your hearing, vision, reflexes, coordination, and other abilities. If you are exhibiting signs of a severe concussion, such as seizures, intense headaches, and prolonged loss of consciousness, the doctor may order diagnostic imaging tests such as an MRI.
Treatment will vary depending on the extent of the injury. Recommendations to temporarily abstain from reading, using a computer screen, and even working or going to school are not uncommon. Although these measures are key to recovery, they can also result in financial hardship. Someone who suffers a concussion in an accident that was the fault of another driver may be entitled to compensation for losses such as:
- Current and future medical treatment costs
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of past earnings and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
What’s the Bottom Line?
If you or someone you loved suffered a concussion in a Maine car accident and were left with painful and even permanent physical and cognitive impairments, contact Fales & Fales, P.A. Our experienced traumatic brain injury team has years of experience in demonstrating how a severe concussion affects the rest of a person’s life. We will help you seek compensation for losses caused by someone else’s negligence.