Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Explained
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Head impacts, sudden jolts, and whiplash movements that cause shaking of the brain are quite common in car accidents. Even with proper helmet use, the risk of concussions and brain injuries is a significant concern for those hurt in bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents. Edmonton lawyers at McCourt Law Office have expertise in dealing with concussion and traumatic brain injury claims. Our clients often report that concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries were overlooked or went unnoticed in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, particularly if the accident caused other more “obvious” injuries such as orthopedic fractures. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a concussion and mild traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle accident ensures proper treatment and can have a significant impact on recovery.
Know the signs and symptoms of concussion if you have been injured in an accident
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury which affects brain function. A concussion can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity and duration of symptoms, which for an adult can include:
- Loss of consciousness.
- Balance problems or dizziness.
- Ringing in the ears or blurry/double vision.
- Loss of balance or coordination.
- Sensitivity to light or noise.
- Feeling sluggish, foggy, or groggy.
- Concentration or memory problems.
- Slowed reaction time.
In some cases, symptoms are immediate and obvious. In other cases, concussion symptoms can be delayed for hours, if not days, after the vehicle accident before becoming apparent. Be aware that more “general” or “subtle” symptoms such as insomnia, oversleeping, depression, anxiety, apathy, and irritability can also be signs of a concussion.
Know the signs if your child has been injured in a car accident
It is important to understand that the signs and symptoms of concussion and brain injury for an adult are not the same for babies, toddlers, and children. Symptoms can include the ones discussed in the section above, but they can be more difficult to identify in a child who is not yet of speaking age or who has difficulty explaining how they feel. Be on alert for changes in behaviour and other symptoms such as excessive crying, sluggishness, or loss of interest in favorite toys. The best course of action if a child is injured in a motor vehicle accident is to take them to a doctor or emergency room for a full assessment and to continue to carefully monitor the child for concussion symptoms in the days and weeks after the accident
Common misconceptions about concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries
Concussions may go unnoticed or be underreported due to some common misconceptions about brain injuries. For example:
- “I have to hit my head very hard to sustain a concussion.” This is not true. Concussions can happen even after a minor bump to the head and can happen if you struck your head but have no outward physical signs such as cuts or bruising.
- “I can only get a concussion if I hit my head on something.” This is not true. A concussion can be sustained without physically striking your head on any object such as a car window, vehicle frame, or the road. A concussion can be caused by whiplash. Edmonton lawyers at our firm have represented many accident victims who sustained concussions due to the force of the accident which caused their brain to shake within their skull.
- “If I did not lose consciousness, I do not have a concussion.” This is false. Concussions can occur with or without loss of consciousness. In fact, it is estimated that over 90% of concussions do not result in loss of consciousness.
- “Once symptoms like dizziness and sensitivity to light are gone, I am fully recovered.” This is not entirely true. A concussion is a very individualized injury with no clear-cut way of determining when someone is fully recovered. Many people with mild brain injuries do appear to recover fully, but it can take time. And whether symptoms subside or not, you are forever more susceptible to future brain injury and at risk for amplified symptoms if a subsequent concussion or brain injury is sustained.
In relation to that last point, a brain injury – even a mild one – can cause ongoing cognitive, emotional or physical deficits. Symptoms may resolve in a matter of days or weeks, or they may last longer, leading to a diagnosis of Post-Concussion Syndrome (or “PCS”). Post-Concussion Syndrome can be extremely disruptive to a person’s life, resulting in problems in relationships with family and friends, forcing the accident victim to restructure their life to avoid activities and situations that intensify their symptoms, and making it difficult or impossible to return to work.
Get compensation for your car, pedestrian, motorcycle, or bicycle injury
Edmonton lawyers at McCourt Law Offices exclusively represent personal injury claimants, including those who have suffered concussions, mild traumatic brain injuries, and whiplash. Lawyers at our firm can help you if you have been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident or a bicycle accident. We offer a free initial consultation and if you decide to retain us there is no fee until you collect your cash compensation. Call 780-448-0011 today to schedule your free consultation and find out how our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you get the money you deserve.