Brain Injuries: What to Know About Concussions September 11, 2018 Discussions about the long-term effects of concussions are most often centered on their occurrence among athletes in the news today, but anyone can sustain a concussion that can permanently change his or her life. Even a seemingly insignificant head bump may, in fact, cause a concussion, with effects that may not be evident for quite some time. Greater awareness of the facts surrounding concussions and other brain injuries can be helpful in recognizing symptoms and seeking early treatment. What is a concussion? According to information on traumatic brain injury and concussion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a concussion is “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” Although a concussion may be described as a mild brain injury, per the CDC, “The effects of a concussion can be serious.” While signs and symptoms most often appear soon after the head injury, “Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury,” according to MedlinePlus, the National Institutes of Health’s website produced by the National Library of Medicine. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your health after experiencing any type of bump or jolt to the head. Common concussion signs and symptoms The CDC groups concussion symptoms into four general categories: physical, emotional, thinking/remembering and sleep. There can be a wide range of concussion symptoms, including: Headache Blurry vision Trouble thinking clearly Difficulty concentrating or retaining new information Dizziness, nausea or vomiting Noise and/or light sensitivity Balance problems Fatigue Irritability Sadness, anxiety or nervousness Significant changes in sleep habits Even while experiencing some of the above symptoms, a person may look perfectly fine. This may keep family and friends from encouraging the injured person to seek medical attention. According to WebMd.com, concussions are graded on three levels: Grade 1 (mild): The injured person does not lose consciousness and symptoms last for less than 15 minutes. Grade 2 (moderate): The person remains conscious, but symptoms last longer than 15 minutes. Grade 3 (severe): The person loses consciousness (even for just a matter of seconds) Danger signs of a concussion Although a concussion is considered the mildest form of traumatic brain injury, any injury to the brain is potentially serious, and there are instances in which a concussion can cause life-threatening conditions, such as a blood clot. If you experience any of the following signs after sustaining a blow or bump to the head—or a jolt to the body that causes a sudden movement of the head—seek emergency medical care immediately: Slurred speech Repeated vomiting or nausea A headache that continues to get worse and does not go away Decreased coordination, numbness or weakness If you are monitoring someone else who’s suffered a possible concussion, these signs indicate the need for immediate emergency care: Convulsions or seizures Loss of consciousness Pupils of different sizes A loss of recognition of places or people Increasing agitation, restlessness or confusion Increasing drowsiness (or you cannot wake up the person) Leading causes of concussions and other brain injuries According to Brainline.org and the CDC, these are the three leading causes of traumatic brain injury: Falls account for approximately half of all hospitalizations, emergency department visits and deaths related to TBI. Being struck by an object or making an impact with an object is the second-leading cause of TBI. The third-leading cause of TBIs is auto accidents or other vehicular- or traffic-related accidents. How a brain injury attorney can help you. When a concussion or other type of TBI is the result of an accident or other event caused by someone else’s negligence, you or your loved one may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. While many accident victims who have sustained concussions are able to fully recover, some victims are not. Ongoing physical, emotional and mental problems that resulted from the concussion can interfere with the ability to work or return to normal activities, and may last indefinitely or even permanently. Having an experienced brain injury attorney on your side is critical to getting the full compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured in an accident. When seeking compensation, an attorney will work to build a comprehensive case on your behalf that shows that an individual or other entity acted in a negligent manner and that negligence resulted in you being injured. If that negligence is proven, the person or entity may be liable to you for damages. Some of the damages that your personal injury attorney can help you recover include: Loss of earnings: These include wages you have lost to date due to your injuries. Lost earning capacity: If your ability to earn an income is proven to be diminished or impaired by the injuries you sustained due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover what you might have earned had you not been injured. Medical bills: Damages may include all of the medical- and health-related costs that you’ve incurred due to your injury, such as emergency care, hospitalization, medication, doctor visits, medical equipment and more. Future medical care: You may recover future medical expenses if it can be proven that you will require continued medical care as a result of your injury or accident. Pain and suffering: Taking into consideration the nature of your injury, how long you may be expected to be in pain in the future, and the severity of that pain are a few of the factors that go into placing a monetary value on pain and suffering damages. Mental anguish: Damages may be recovered for emotional or mental suffering that resulted from your injury. Permanent disability: In most cases, permanent disability must be proved by a medical professional’s testimony. Losses related to wrongful death: If you lost a loved one due to a brain injury suffered in an accident due to negligence, a surviving family member or loved one may be able to seek wrongful death damages, such as funeral experiences, loss of the deceased’s services and support, and more. When seeking compensation for your injuries, our experienced concussion accident attorneys will help you reach an appropriate settlement prior to taking your case to trial or, if necessary to protect your rights to receive all of the compensation you deserve, go to trial. Incidents leading to traumatic brain injury or concussion Many types of activities and incidents can involve an impact to the head or violent movement of the head that leads to concussion: Car accidents: Traffic accidents are among the most common causes of head injuries. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, keep in mind that injuries such as concussions may not be immediately evident. We encourage you to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our expert auto accident lawyers if you’ve sustained any injuries in a traffic accident. Truck accidents: Accidents between passenger cars and trucks—particularly large commercial trucks that may carry thousands of pounds of cargo—can result in devastating injuries for occupants of the car. If your head injury was sustained in a traffic accident with a commercial truck, it’s important to be represented by a truck accident attorney who has a thorough understanding of the federal laws that regulate trucking. Slip and fall accidents: Falls are a common cause of concussions and other types of brain injuries. The owners and/or operators of stores, restaurants, offices, and other public spaces have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for the visiting public. If you’ve been injured in a fall at a public place that you believe was caused by the owner’s or operator’s negligence, consult an experienced slip and fall attorney who can help determine if you have a case. Workplace accidents: Injuries are common on construction sites, in manufacturing plants, and in the workplaces of other industries that are known to be dangerous. Types of accidents that can result in concussions include falling off of scaffolding or from other great heights, slipping, or being struck by heavy items. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Harrell & Harrell, P.A., are well-versed in the regulatory requirements involved with making a claim. Motorcycle accidents: Serious head injuries are unfortunately all too common in motorcycle accidents, since riders have little protection in traffic. Even when wearing a helmet, a rider can suffer a concussion when he or she is thrown from the bike or strikes another vehicle. If the negligence of another driver, defects in motorcycle, or an unsafe roadway led to your head injury, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Harrell & Harrell, P.A., can help. Contact us for a free consultation. If you’ve had a concussion or any other type of head injury due to an accident that you believe was caused by another’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our legal experts are standing by around the clock, ready to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Complete the form above or call us now at 800-251-1111 or 904-251-1111.