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

Posted On May 15, 2023 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?

Sustaining a concussion after a car accident can be a terrifying experience. Moreover, head injuries can be hard to diagnose, leading to delayed treatment that could cost you down the line. 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.

Why Choose The Flood Law Firm?

When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a concussion from a car accident, you need legal representation you can trust. Here’s why The Flood Law Firm should be your first choice:

Esteemed Leadership

Our attorneys are not just practitioners but recognized leaders in the legal community. They are trusted by their peers, who frequently refer their clients to us for representation, reflecting the high regard they have for our firm.

Active Involvement

Our partners are deeply committed to the legal profession, serving in various executive roles and on boards of legal organizations at both the local and national levels. This involvement keeps us at the forefront of legal developments and trends, allowing us to serve our clients better.

Educational Contributions

We believe in giving back to our community and the legal profession. Our attorneys often lecture on trial advocacy and civil justice across the state, sharing our expertise and promoting a more in-depth understanding of these crucial aspects of the law.

Recognized Excellence

The Flood Law Firm and our attorneys have been consistently acknowledged by both legal and community organizations for their outstanding work and commitment to justice. When you choose us, you’re choosing a team with a proven track record of excellence.

At The Flood Law Firm, we’re not just lawyers – we’re advocates for justice, leaders in our field, and dedicated community members. Trust us to fight for your rights and help you navigate the legal landscape after your car accident.

What is a Concussion?

concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes adverse effects on the brain’s functioning. Concussion injuries typically 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.

Car accidents frequently result in some type of head injury, whether due to blunt trauma from a collision with the steering wheel or other foreign objects or the sheer change in velocity that occurs at impact. Regardless of how the injury happened or its severity, all head injuries require evaluation and immediate medical attention.

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 from car accident.

People typically experience a combination of these symptoms immediately after an accident. In more severe collisions, drivers may pass out. However, failing to lose consciousness does not indicate that your head injury is not severe.

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 After a Car Crash

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 medical treatment options.

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 from a concussion or brain injury.

Economic Damages

These are the tangible, out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and subsequent injury. They include medical bills for diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care related to the concussion; lost wages if you’ve had to take time off work; reduced earning capacity if your injury prevents you from returning to your previous employment; and any other financial losses directly attributable to the accident, such as costs of rehabilitation or property damage.

Non-Economic Damages

These are the intangible losses that don’t have a clear-cut dollar value, but significantly impact your quality of life. Even a mild traumatic brain injury can have a significant impact on a victim’s quality of life for months or years to come. Non-economic damages seek to acknowledge this and may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium, which refers to the impact of your injuries on your relationship with your spouse.

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which aim to compensate the victim, punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for particularly reckless or negligent behavior and deter similar conduct in the future.

Determining the value of compensable damages in a concussion case can be complex, given the potential for long-term effects and the subjective nature of non-economic damages. Therefore, it’s crucial to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can accurately calculate your damages and advocate for your rights.

Every case is unique, and the types and amounts of compensable damages will vary based on the specifics of your situation. Your attorney can provide guidance tailored to your case.

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 injury claims 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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