Concussions are a relatively common form of injury that some people take for granted as being not very serious, but few things could be further from the truth. Any blow to the head can be serious and become deadly, even if there’s no apparent bruising or broken skin. What exactly is a concussion, and how can it affect the brain and even the long-term health of a victim? Here’s what you need to know about concussion injuries, and how to get legal help if you have been hurt.
Concussions Are Brain Injuries
A concussion is not just a blow to the head; it is a form of traumatic brain injury that is often seen in professional and school sports, slip and fall accidents (especially in nursing homes), car or motorcycle accidents, and child daycare injuries.
A concussion may be caused by a direct hit to the head, such as when someone slips and strikes his or her head against the floor when falling, or slams against the dashboard in a car crash. The sudden impact can cause the brain to shift inside the head and strike against the inner boney surface of the skull. There may not be any evidence on the outside of the head that there was an impact, and the victim may not lose consciousness immediately or even at all. Some concussions happen even when the head has not been struck. When the head is subjected to a rapid acceleration or sudden stop, the force involved can cause the head to whip back and forth or side to side. In this situation, the way that the brain is suspended inside the skull can cause it to slam against the inside of the skull, causing injury.
Whether a contact concussion or one caused through a sudden start or stop, there are times when the brain not only strikes the forward surface of the skull. When the force is great enough, the brain may bounce inside the skull, causing another injury on the opposite side of the brain. This is called a coup-contrecoup injury, which can worsen the symptoms of a concussion and prolong healing time.
The Symptoms of Concussion After an Accident
Certain signs and symptoms can show if someone has suffered a concussion, including the following:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Mental confusion
- Delayed or sluggish speech, responses, or movement
- Inability to focus, pay attention, or concentrate
- Trouble staying awake or trouble falling asleep
These are not all of the symptoms of a concussion, and some or all of the symptoms may even be delayed, so it is important whenever there’s a suspected head injury to see a doctor as soon as possible afterward and get tested for a TBI. Many of the symptoms of a concussion can also mimic those of other types of TBI that are deadly if left untreated, such as bleeding on the brain or uncontrolled swelling. Diffuse axonal injuries and neurochemical cascades are also hallmarks of concussion.
After a concussion, follow your doctor’s recommendations on how to best recover and when it is safe to partake in physical activity again. A second blow to the head while still healing from an initial concussion may lead to what’s known as “second impact syndrome,” which causes rapid, uncontrollable swelling of the brain. Second injury syndrome can cause permanent disability or death very quickly.
Get Legal Help After a TBI
If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, you may be able to receive compensation from the person or parties responsible. By pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you could be eligible to have the costs of your injury covered, including your medical bills, rehabilitation and physical therapy costs, behavioral or psychological treatment expenses, and more, as well as compensation for your loss of function and your pain and suffering, too.
To speak to an experienced attorney who cares about finding justice for the victims of traumatic brain injuries and their families, the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger is here to help you today. Our office is conveniently located in Columbia, and we proudly serve the Lexington, Florence, and Myrtle Beach areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina and beyond. Reach out to us by phone, send us an email, or just click the live chat box on this page and arrange a free consultation with us today.