Concussions may be a relatively common injury, especially as they related to sports like football, but that does not mean they are inconsequential. In fact, concussions are in every way a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and they can create devastating short- and long-term consequences for victims.
At Crumley Roberts, our personal injury lawyers have worked with many victims who experienced preventable concussions and other severe brain injuries as a result of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, workplace injuries, hazardous property conditions, and more. While every brain injury is unique, and although every victim can experience different challenges, all concussions have the potential to upend the lives of victims and their loved ones, and make recovery and daily living a challenge.
While we always offer our support to injured victims and their families who wish to navigate the personal injury claim process, we also want to reiterate the importance of having the right information when it comes to concussions – as it can make the difference for one’s health and future legal journey. Below are a few important things you need to know about concussions.
- Concussions should always be taken seriously – The first and most important thing anyone should know about concussions is that they should always be taken seriously. Although we may have been instilled with the concept of being tough and “playing through the pain,” a common sentiment in sports, the fact is that concussions are traumatic brain injuries that pose severe consequences and risks for dangerous complications. As such, you should always seek immediate medical attention following a head injury in order for medical professionals to conduct a thorough examination and identify any potential complications that need immediate intervention, such as hemorrhaging, which can be fatal when left unaddressed. Medical evaluations can also help you better understand and cope with symptoms, plan your recovery, and obtain any treatment you may need.
- Mild trauma does not mean mild consequences – Concussions are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs). However, do not be misled into thinking that consequences are mild simply because a concussion is classified as such. The term “mild” in mild traumatic brain injury refers only to the initial injury – meaning that the trauma one sustained was mild in nature, resulting in no loss of consciousness or minimal loss of consciousness. It does not refer to the symptoms and consequences victims can experience following the trauma, which can vary and become serious or even life-threatening, depending on the circumstances.
- Symptoms can vary – Concussions are notorious for being unpredictable in nature, and for affecting victims in drastically different ways. Whether symptoms present themselves immediately or after some time passes after an injury, the severity and duration of symptoms will vary from person to person. These include a range of cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms that limit one’s ability to work, handle daily tasks, and enjoy their lives – sometimes for a matter of days or weeks, or for months. Common symptoms may include headaches, confusion, mood changes, anxiety, fatigue, depression, sensitivity to sounds or light, dizziness, nausea, and more.
- Concussions can have long-term consequences – While many victims notice concussion symptoms dissipating in the days or weeks following an injury, they can still face long-term consequences. For example, having one concussion makes a person more likely to experience another. Additionally, repeated concussions can increase risks for the development of serious neurological disorders, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, and others. These long-term consequences have been the main thrust of controversy surrounding NFL athletes and other former football or contact-sport athletes, and they serve to highlight the importance of prioritizing recoveries and safety following a concussion.
- Concussions can occur without blunt force trauma – Many people associate concussions with direct blunt force trauma to the head, which can occur during falls, auto accidents, and other incidents where a victim’s head collides with an object. While this is a common way to suffer a concussion, it is not the only way. This is because concussions can occur any time the brain rapidly accelerates and decelerates as a result of applied forces, which can cause it to collide with the skull even when no direct impact to the head occurs. This is why victims who suffer whiplash injuries in car accidents can also suffer concussions. If you feel you experienced rapid and sudden forces in an accident, or feel concussion-like symptoms even if you did not hit your head, you should still seek a medical evaluation for possible brain injury.
Concussions are nothing to take lightly, which is why your health should always be a top priority following any head injury or accident that results in concussion-like symptoms. Remember, as a victim of negligence, you can recover the costs associated with treating your concussion, including medical expenses, and other damages that result from your injuries, such as lost wages and pain and suffering. If your injury occurred while on the job, you can also recover medical benefits and wage supplementation through your workers’ compensation insurance.
Don’t let the costs of medical care prevent you from taking steps that protect your health. Learn more about your options, concussions, and how Crumley Roberts may be able to assist you with your legal journey by calling (866) 691-0607 for a FREE consultation.