How to Tell if You Have a Concussion from a Car Accident

Posted On December 10, 2019 Personal injury

A concussion from a car accident can be severe if left untreated. They qualify as mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and can warrant legal compensation even if they do not result in long-term damage. Do you know how to tell if you have a concussion and the steps you can take to aid your recovery? Brain injuries can be scary and hard to diagnose, so if you or a loved one suffers a car accident concussion, you can trust the experts at The Flood Law firm to help claim your settlement.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes adverse effects on the brain’s functioning. They result from blunt impact or a rapid change in head or body motion. Either can cause the brain to move inside the skull, which can damage brain cells and affect brain chemistry. Concussions are a mild form of TBI because they are not life-threatening. Regardless, they can still cause severe injuries and long-term effects.

Concussion Symptoms

It’s common for people to receive a concussion from a car accident. Accidents that result in brain injury include side-impact collisions (t-bone crashes), rear-end crashes, and head-on or multi-vehicle collisions. Symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Mood changes
  • Altered sleep pattern

A woman sits with her hands to her temples with a doctor at his desk due to concussion symptoms.
People typically experience a combination of these symptoms immediately after an accident. In more severe collisions, drivers may pass out. One in ten people experiences seizures, though they are more common among children and older adults. Loss of consciousness or seizure is a sign of severe traumatic brain injury. If a person shows any of these symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately.
Symptoms can also occur hours or days after the car accident and persist for more than a year, such as:

  • Severe mood changes
  • Sleep disorder
  • Depression 
  • Irritability
  • Altered senses
  • Coordination problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Migraines

Diagnosing Concussions

Concussions can be difficult to diagnose, especially since they can happen without physical impact. Each TBI is unique. Specialists might need to run multiple tests to identify symptoms, like imaging tests to assess brain activity (MRI scans) or visible tissue damage (CT scans). Cognitive tests help doctors determine whether a person’s behavior reflects the information shown on the scans.

Medical practitioners often use the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to screen for TBIs. The GCS measures a person’s verbal, motor, and eye-opening responses and determines a total score. Latent symptoms can change a person’s score hours or days after the initial accident, so it’s essential to use the GCS scale periodically to determine the best treatment path. 

Concussion Recovery

Ninety-eight percent of people with minor TBIs make a full recovery within three to six months after their accident. Post-concussive syndrome (PCS) is the experience of symptoms for longer than six weeks past the initial injury. Though symptoms of PCS do eventually go away, they can cause months of pain and frustration. PCS can force people to take time off work or spend thousands of dollars on medical bills, causing financial strain. Seeking legal compensation can help ease this stress during recovery.
A woman takes a brisk walk down a leafy path of a park. She shows recovery following a concussion from a car accident.

What to Do If You Have a Concussion from a Car Accident

Getting a medical professional’s diagnosis will help identify brain trauma, preventing further damage. People can have concussions without showing initial symptoms and should seek medical attention and pursue legal action immediately after their accident.

Seeking medical attention doesn’t just influence recovery time; it can also directly impact a person’s potential settlement amount if they choose to file a lawsuit. Failure to seek or follow a prescribed treatment plan could reduce your compensation.

Recovery time can be reduced by:

  • Getting adequate rest following the injury
  • Avoiding physical activities that could cause further injury
  • Limiting activities that require critical thinking or memorization 
  • Decreasing overstimulation, such as with loud music or bright screens

Remember, these points are not tips for self-treatment or diagnosis. Whether you have noticeable symptoms or not, it’s vital to seek medical help after experiencing a car accident.

Filing a Concussion Lawsuit

If you or a loved one were injured with a concussion in a car accident, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. Pursuing legal help is essential, as the damages earned can provide relief for crash survivors in recovery.

People can claim special damages to make up for lost capital as a result of the accident. These damages makeup for costs like medical bills, time away from work, and car repairs. Plaintiffs can also make claims for general damages, which give monetary compensation for distress, impairment (physical or mental), or overall reduced quality of living. Receiving damages can provide financial relief for various injury-related costs. More importantly, seeking legal retribution can give those injured a sense of justice and closure, possibly preventing the liable party from endangering the lives of others. 

Contact The Flood Law Firm

Navigating a car accident lawsuit can be stressful, especially with a concussion. That’s why it’s critical to work with an attorney who has experience in handling car accident and traumatic brain injury cases. The Flood Law Firm has more than 30 years of combined experience in personal injury cases.
Connecticut car accident attorneys Brian and Chris Flood of The Flood Law Firm
With over 150 jury trials and thousands of settlements under our belts, we have won clients millions in successful verdicts and settlements. Our firm is well known for trying jury cases and securing clients with significantly more than what insurance companies offer. In one such case, we won a client over $1.1 million in a trial where the insurance company made no compensation offer. We’ve even successfully represented individuals with cases previously turned down by other law firms.

If you are suffering from a concussion due to a car accident, please contact us to receive a free case evaluation. We can even come to you if you aren’t able to make it to our offices.

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