Even a Minor Brain Injury Can Have a Major Impact
The term “brain injury” carries with it an assumption of a serious and debilitating injury, but the word “concussion” does not have the same weight. However, a concussion is a brain injury, and as such, deserves prompt medical attention and proper care. While concussions may be mild in comparison to other brain injuries, they can seriously disrupt a patient’s life and cause symptoms that linger for months.
Make sure you visit a doctor as soon as you can if you suffer a concussion—and reach out to a lawyer as well. These injuries can disrupt your life for weeks or even months, and you deserve fair compensation if someone else caused your accident. We have helped many clients in your situation. We want to know how we can help you, too.
Call Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP at (800) 900-0863 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We proudly serve the San Jose community.
When Accidents Cause Concussions
When someone suffers a concussion, there is typically no wound or bleeding to show they have been injured. Loss of consciousness is also rare, and when it does occur, may only be a few seconds long. Therefore, it’s difficult to spot these injuries through physical signs alone. Knowing the causes can help you determine when there may be danger of a brain injury.
Concussions can be caused by a blow to the head or by any force that causes the head to rapidly accelerate and then decelerate. When a car accident causes whiplash, the same harmful motion may cause the brain to collide with the skill. This can stretch and bruise brain cells, leading to chemical changes within the brain.
Aside from motor vehicle collisions, concussions can also be caused by slip and falls, violent assault, or other accidents.
Concussion symptoms may vary between individuals, but the most common signs of injury include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue and/or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
The chemical changes spurred by a concussion can also cause psychological symptoms like:
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes and depression
- Changes in taste or smell
Not all of these symptoms are immediately noticeable—some may not show up for hours after the original injury. Other symptoms may develop or appear only when the injured individual is engaged in cognitively demanding activities.
When to See a Doctor After a Concussion
If you believe you or a loved one may have suffered a concussion, you should visit a doctor promptly. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and medical advice.
The following symptoms necessitate a trip to the emergency room:
- Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or lack of coordination
- Severe nausea and/or repeated vomiting
- Lasting or recurring dizziness
- Loss of consciousness that lasts longer than 30 seconds or an inability to wake up
- Behavioral changes or confusion and disorientation
- Fluid or blood draining from nose or ears
- Vision problems
- Ringing in the ears that does not fade
- Appearing extremely pale for over an hour after the injury
- A headache that worsens or does not go away
- Symptoms that worsen over time
Additionally, anyone who has previously suffered a concussion should visit the ER if they believe they may have another one. While a single concussion typically does not cause lasting brain damage, multiple such injuries can have serious long-term effects.
What You Should Know About Post-Concussion Syndrome
Symptoms that persist beyond the three-month mark are considered a sign of post-concussion syndrome, or PCS. The number of patients who experience this condition is fairly significant; around 15% of individuals may still be experiencing symptoms a full year after the injury.
Needless to say, these persistent symptoms can make it difficult for a patient to return to their prior life. Common PCS symptoms include:
- Hypersensitivity to light, noise, or other stimuli that would typically not cause a distraction
- Dizziness, vertigo, or balance problems
- Blurred vision or difficulty focusing vision
- Difficulty sleeping and/or fatigue
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Reduced tolerance for stress or strong emotions
- Apathy or reduced interest in prior hobbies
After receiving a post-concussion diagnosis, patients may be able to undergo targeted therapies to address certain symptoms. However, some of the effects of PCS cannot be treated by any current medicine.
Patients often have to drastically change their lives, cutting down on activities including:
- Screen time
- Physical activity
This may make it difficult or even impossible for an individual to return to the job they had before the accident. It can also interfere with socializing and general enjoyment of life.
We Can Help You File a Concussion Claim
Concussions may not come with as many medical costs as other injuries because the main “treatment” is rest—but they can result in missed wages or even a retreat from the workforce during the recovery process. They can also cause pain and discomfort among individuals simply trying to live their lives as they did before the accident. Our lawyers can help you make an injury claim that addresses these damages.
To learn more about concussions, we recommend the following resources:
- Mayo Clinic: Concussion
- Cleveland Clinic: Concussion
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): What Is a Concussion?
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons: Concussion
Brain injuries are complex, medically, but our lawyers have a good understanding of how to support concussion claims. Reach out to our team to maximize your settlement.
Get your claim started with a free consultation: Just call our San Jose offices at (800) 900-0863. Our experienced lawyers can provide the support you need.