A concussion usually causes mild symptoms. But even a mild traumatic brain injury can require weeks or months of recovery. People who suffer from concussions may need medical treatment, physical and mental health therapy, and medication during their recovery. A severe concussion can even interfere with a victim’s ability to work.
Here are the things you should know about concussions so that you can answer the question, “Do I have a concussion?” after an accident.
All About Concussions
Doctors define a concussion as widespread brain trauma that results from your brain sloshing in your skull. Cerebrospinal fluid cushions the brain inside of the skull. When an accident jars the head, the brain moves around in the fluid.
As the brain moves, the pressure of the fluid can bruise the brain. This bruising is often mild, but widespread. This is the essence of a concussion.
Occasionally, the brain strikes against the inside of the skull. The bruising and bleeding inside of the brain that results from the impact is called a contusion. Contusions usually produce much more serious symptoms than concussions.
Causes of Concussions
Concussions can occur at work, on the road, around the home, or in nearly any other setting imaginable. Some of the most common include:
Car accidents, particularly front-end and rear-end collisions, can cause concussions. When the head whips forward and backward in a collision, the brain will slide forward and backward in the skull. A concussion can result from this movement.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls cause about half of all traumatic brain injuries. The falling accidents counted by the CDC include both falls from a height and slip-and-falls.
A fall can cause a concussion when the head hits the ground. A concussion can also result from the head and neck whipping backward and forward as the body hits the ground, even if the head itself is not struck.
Concussions can result from many incidents that happen in the workplace. Syracuse worksite accidents that cause concussions include:
- Falling objects striking the head
- Work-related vehicle accidents
Sometimes, workplace accidents can cause multiple workers to suffer from concussions. For example, explosions can create a pressure wave that can cause a concussion to anyone within the blast radius.
Do I Have a Concussion? Symptoms You Might See
Concussions can manifest in a number of ways. Some of the common and short-term symptoms of concussions can include:
- Neck ache
- Ringing in the ears
- Seeing stars
- Loss of balance
These symptoms often clear up as quickly as a few hours after the incident. In some cases, though, these symptoms might last as long as a few weeks. If they last longer than a few weeks or get worse over time, you might have a severe concussion that requires close monitoring by a physician.
There are also several symptoms that indicate a severe, potentially debilitating concussion. Those symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in behavior
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Memory loss
- Mental fog
- Difficulty concentrating
These symptoms might indicate that you suffered brain damage from your accident. To determine the severity of the traumatic brain injury, you may need to consult a physician and have images taken of your brain. An MRI can often identify permanent brain damage resulting from a concussion.
Compensation for Concussions
There are several factors attorneys when determining how much their clients are owed because of a concussion. Damages generally include:
Your compensation for your concussion should include the cost of your medical treatment, physical therapy, mental therapy and counseling, and medication. The compensation will cover both your past medical bills and your future medical costs related to this concussion.
Your compensation should cover at least a portion of your lost income due to your concussion. For example, suppose that you experience a loss of balance for a few weeks after your concussion. You may need to either take fewer shifts or miss work altogether while you recover. Your compensation should include your lost income for this time period.
Diminished Earning Capacity
If your concussion results in permanent brain damage, you may need to quit working or change jobs. If your new job pays less than your old job did, you may include your diminished earning capacity in your compensation.
Your concussion might change your life forever. When you need to battle an insurance company or the person or business at fault for your concussion, remember that Catalano wins for victims of traumatic brain injuries.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident case.