While concussions are often viewed as some of the mildest traumatic brain injuries a person can sustain, they often cause lasting medical complications for the victim. Even when a person seems to recover from a concussion relatively quickly, they may later develop brain injury symptoms that can pose severe problems with their everyday life.
When most people think of concussions, they imagine blunt force trauma to the head. However, while most reported concussions result from objects striking victims’ heads and vice versa, it is possible to suffer a concussion without hitting your head on a surface or object.
If you or a loved one sustains a head injury, or if you experience symptoms of a concussion without actually having hit your head on anything, it’s essential to understand the value of prompt medical care. Immediate treatment could mean the difference between excruciating symptoms and an easier recovery. You should also expect to consult a brain injury attorney if another party is responsible for causing your concussion.
How Do Concussions Happen?
A concussion is a brain injury that results from the brain shifting inside the skull and striking the inside of the skull. The brain is suspended in fluid inside of the skull, effectively floating. Sudden momentum shifts and traumatic impacts with surfaces or objects can cause the brain to move suddenly, hitting the inside of the skull. When this occurs, the strength and location of the impact typically dictate the overall severity of the injury.
Some of the most commonly cited causes of concussions include:
- Sports accidents. Contact sports like football and ice hockey inherently carry high risks for concussions, but it’s possible to sustain concussions when playing other sports due to falls, impact from equipment, or collisions with other players.
- Car accidents. One of the most commonly reported causes of concussions in the US is vehicle accidents. Crash impact forces can easily result in traumatic brain injuries. Even if the victim’s head does not collide with a surface or object in a crash, the sudden shift in momentum from the force of the crash impact can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull.
- Workplace accidents. Many people work in industries that pose an inherent risk of head injury, such as construction. If you sustain a concussion at work in California, you likely qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim, but you may have grounds for further legal action depending on how the accident happened.
- Slip and fall incidents. When a person slips and falls, they may strike their head on the ground or an object or surface as they fall.
Ultimately, it’s possible to suffer concussions from a wide range of possible causes, and hitting your head on something is not necessarily a prerequisite for a concussion.
Symptoms of Concussions
Concussions range in severity based on many different factors, and it can often be difficult to predict precisely what symptoms a victim will experience. Two people who appear to sustain identical head injuries can have vastly different symptoms and recovery experiences. Typically, concussions cause several adverse symptoms shortly after they occur, and symptoms gradually improve with rest and appropriate treatment. Some of the most commonly reported concussion symptoms include:
- Headaches and migraines.
- Sensitivity to light and sound.
- Sensory changes, such as disrupted sense of smell or blurred vision.
- Mood swings and personality changes.
- Memory loss.
It’s also possible for concussions to cause more severe symptoms, such as partial or total blindness or deafness. Some concussion victims will even fall into comas from these incidents.
Beyond the initial possible symptoms many victims experience, it is also possible for concussions to cause long-term or permanent complications. For example, post-concussion syndrome is a condition characterized by persistent concussion symptoms. Some people struggle with these symptoms for years or even the rest of their lives. As a result, a concussion can lead to extensive ongoing medical treatment and other losses in the form of lost income from diminished ability to work.
Q: How Do I Check Myself for a Concussion?
A: You might sustain a head injury and not immediately realize you have been concussed. Look for any sudden changes over the days following your injury, such as headaches, changes in sleep, neck pain, difficulty focusing, or excessive fatigue. If you think you sustained a concussion, even a mild one, it is essential to seek medical care as soon as possible.
Q: Can You Get a Concussion Without Being Knocked Out?
A: Some people fall unconscious after head injuries, but this is not always the case. A person can sustain a concussion and remain conscious through the experience. However, they are likely to initially feel intense pain and other symptoms, and prompt medical treatment is essential for any serious head injury.
Q: What Are the Most Common Concussion Symptoms?
A: The most commonly reported symptoms following concussions include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and memory loss. The victim may also be sensitive to light and noise and may have trouble articulating. Initial symptoms typically diminish gradually, but some individuals will develop new symptoms days, weeks, or even months after the incident that caused their concussion.
Q: Can I Sue for a Concussion?
A: If any other party is responsible for causing your concussion, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against them and seek compensation for your damages. Brain injuries often pose various complications and lasting effects on victims, and the right personal injury attorney can assist you in securing compensation for the medical expenses and other losses you incurred from this experience.
Sustaining a concussion can potentially be a life-changing event. If another party is responsible for your concussion, you have the right to hold them accountable with a civil claim. The attorneys at Chris and Frank have extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of personal injury claims, including those pertaining to concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and find out how we can assist in your recovery.