5 Hidden Signs That You Have a Concussion After Getting in a Car Accident
Everyone’s body handles trauma differently. Many don’t feel the major effects car accidents
can leave on the body due to the high amount of adrenaline
flowing in the bloodstream after an accident. Because everyone’s body reacts differently after getting into an accident, you may be suffering from a mild traumatic brain injury
, also known as a concussion
, and not even know it. Because of this, it’s important to know the signs so your injury does not worsen.
We covered five of the most common symptoms of a concussion, but you might still be wondering, what exactly is a concussion? You might have received a diagnosis of a concussion in the emergency room after an accident, and you might be living through the symptoms, but knowing what a concussion actually is will also help frame your injury and your potential recovery.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a brain
injury that interrupts your normal brain functioning. This injury can happen after trauma to your head or body causes your brain to move rapidly back and forth. The sudden movement of your brain inside your skull can damage brain tissue.
Damage can include:
- Bruises on your brain
- Stretching or twisting of brain cells
- Intracranial hemorrhage
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury
that doctors categorize as “mild.” This is an unfortunate term, however, as concussion victims know there is nothing mild about this injury. The mild designation refers to the initial presentation of symptoms-not to the injury’s lasting effects.
Concussion victims might not present with life-threatening symptoms right away, such as with a severe brain injury. Periods of unconsciousness might be short, and a victim might feel “fuzzy” or “off” with a dull headache. These symptoms are minor compared to those of a more serious TBI, which can cause lasting coma, fluid draining from the ears or nose, seizures, and more highly concerning symptoms.
The initial concussion symptoms seem mild in comparison, but this injury still damages your brain. Such brain damage can have varying effects on different patients, and these effects often worsen after a few days from when the accident happened. Some people develop post-concussive disorder, which can extend certain effects of the concussion for months or even years.
Concussions Can Be Anything But Mild
While considered mild compared to other brain injuries, the significant implications of a concussion can nevertheless forever change how you live your life.
The “mild” TBI label
can be misleading for both victims and insurance companies handling brain injury claims. Insurance adjusters hear the word “concussion” and assume that someone experienced minor disruptions of their lives. In reality, you might need to take significant time off work or refrain from activities you love. A child with a concussion might fall behind in school, which can have serious consequences into their future.
Have an attorney who understands the nature and severity of these complex brain injuries so they can properly advocate for your rights to the insurance companies. The right brain injury attorney can present evidence of your concussion and its full effects to seek the full compensation you deserve.
A concussion can have a significant impact on how you live, as it can affect your mood, your appetite, your thinking, and your ability to sleep, among many other things. These symptoms are far-reaching and can impact every facet of your life. Your symptoms might even change from day to day. You deserve full compensation for your injuries
and losses despite the consensus that this is not a serious injury.
What Are Common Causes of Concussion?
A concussion can happen from any blow to your head or body that causes your brain to move around within your skull.
Common causes of concussions include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips and fall accidents
are one of the top causes of concussions, as it is all too easy to hit your head on the steering wheel, window, windshield, or even the headrest of your seat in a collision. Even if you do not hit your head, the jolt of the impact can shake your head enough to cause a concussion. Concussions also might accompany whiplash, so look out for concussion symptoms after the accident, as doctors may focus on the neck injury. If you feel any cognitive symptoms, inform your doctor so they can perform the diagnostic tests for a concussion.
The first step you should take following a car accident is to seek medical care if you have any injury symptoms. Having a diagnosis of your concussion is necessary to prove you suffered injuries in the car accident. The liable driver’s insurance company will try to challenge your claim however possible, so you want a complete and timely record of your diagnosis and treatment plan
Once your medical treatment is underway, do not put off contacting a car accident attorney
who understands brain injuries and their effects. We are ready to help you collect everything that you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Do Not Overlook Concussion Symptoms
After a traffic collision, many people feel sore or stiff from any soft tissue damage. You may also feel mentally off and not quite yourself after the accident. Too many car crash victims assume these symptoms are natural and expected after a traumatic event, and you might give yourself some time to rebound from the shock of the crash
, expecting these unusual feelings to self-resolve. However, recognize that the initial adrenaline and other injuries can conceal significant issues like a concussion.
Never try to tough it out at home if you feel like you might have an injury. You might assume that your injuries are mild-if anything-when you risk your future health by not getting a diagnosis of your concussion. If you have a concussion, part of the recovery process is to refrain from any activities that might put you at risk of additional head trauma. If you do not get a diagnosis, and you play sports or do something that results in another blow to the head before your concussion heals, it can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
Here are the five of the most common symptoms of a concussion:
- Trouble sleeping: If you were sleeping well before your accident, sleep issues could indicate that you are suffering from a concussion. Insomnia is a potential symptom, but over-sleeping can be too.
- Confusion: Suffering from symptoms like dizziness, confusion, and light sensitivity after your accident? A concussion could be to blame.
- Headaches: If you experience headaches or blurry vision, you may want to see a physician. Issues like these are common symptoms of concussions.
- Irritableness: Mood changes, increased aggression, nervousness, and even depression could be signs of a potential concussion.
- Change in appetite: Irregular eating habits after your accident or nausea may indicate that you have a mild traumatic brain injury.
Although these are not the only symptoms concussion can bring, they are symptoms that often go unnoticed. Other serious symptoms include loss of consciousness and seizures
. It is important to see a physician as soon as possible after your accident if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
The lesson here is that a concussion diagnosis is essential for your health and safety, as well as for your legal claim. Never overlook the symptoms of a concussion-instead, head to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center right away.
Signs of a Concussion Can Take Time to Emerge
Concussions are complicated injuries, and the effects of a concussion can be fluid. You might feel disoriented and tired at first, but a week later, you might have trouble finding the right words, or you might feel off balance. Some people fail to recognize that new challenges and effects stem from the same car accident injury.
Knowing that these changing symptoms are all connected to your concussion can help with your recovery-both mentally and physically. You can report new symptoms to your medical team, as well as rest assured that you are not going crazy when you have trouble following instructions or putting your thoughts on paper.
Sometimes, no concussion symptoms emerge immediately after the injury but instead, show up days or even weeks following the injury. Common symptoms that might arise over time include nausea, dizziness, and ringing of the ears. Tiredness, as mentioned, is also a common symptom of a concussion that can take some time to emerge after the accident that caused the injury.
When you do not have initial symptoms and do not get medical care right after a car crash, you likely assume that you are fine to move on with your life. When these symptoms emerge at a later date, you might not connect them with your car accident. Many people continue with their lives, struggling with concussion symptoms, but they never get the medical treatment they need or file an injury claim.
Car accidents victims should stay vigilant for potential symptoms of injuries that arise over time following the crash. It is not too late to go to a doctor if you believe you have a concussion in the days after your accident. If you learn that you have an injury and need to pay for treatment or take time off work, you should then contact a car accident lawyer about your legal options
Effects of Multiple Concussions
Perhaps you played soccer or football as a teenager and suffered a few concussions. If you are later in a car accident and sustain another concussion, it can trigger a wide range of serious and debilitating issues.
These can include:
If you develop early-onset cognitive decline due to concussions, it can be disabling and prevent you from working or even caring for yourself. CTE is a condition that has debilitating effects, though doctors can only diagnose it post-mortem. Many people have signs of CTE during life, but a diagnosis is always speculative, as medical professionals must dissect the brain to officially diagnose you.
You probably know about the growing concern in contact sports leagues concerning multiple concussions and their long-term implications on the lives of college or professional athletes.
Doctors diagnosed CTE in the brains of 99 percent of the football players
examined post-mortem for the disease. While doctors can't positively identify CTE in living patients, people living with the condition may exhibit multiple concussion or microtrauma symptoms. These can include anger management issues, violence, poor judgment, and suicidal tendencies, among others. Concussions, while seemingly minor at first for some people, can have major effects on your life
if you sustain more than one.
How To Prevent a Concussion
- Always wear your seatbelt: As a driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that you and your passengers put on seat belts before taking off. Wearing a seat belt cuts the risk of serious injury by 50%.
- Always use size-appropriate car seats: Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Because of this, it is important to use a size-appropriate car seat to decrease the chance of serious injury and death.
- Don’t text and drive: Texting and driving is illegal in many states, but many still take their chances, sending texts and scrolling through their phones in-between destinations. It goes without saying that it can wait.
- Focus on your surroundings: Each day in America, approximately 9 people are killed because of distracted driving. Paying close attention to your surroundings can help you make safe decisions while driving.
I think I may have a concussion. What now?
After a car accident, it is crucial that you assess your health with a licensed physician. You may also benefit from reaching out to an attorney
who is experienced in protecting the best interests of those who suffer brain injuries through no fault of their own.
How Can An Attorney Help Me with My Concussion Claim?
If someone else caused your car accident, you can collect damages to cover the cost of your repairs, medical bills, and the long-term costs associated with your injury.
Who do you reach out to in order to begin the process of collecting your settlement? What party is responsible for paying you-the other driver, their insurance company, their lawyer? How do you get your payment after you agree to a settlement? How long does the insurance company or other party have to pay you?
These are questions that you will undoubtedly be asking yourself after your accident, and the answers are not as easy to come by as you might expect. That is unless you have the right car accident lawyer handling the matter.
An attorney with experience representing car accident victims with brain injuries will have worked with clients in situations similar to yours. They understand the unique challenges of living with a concussion and the challenges of filing an injury claim. They will know how to determine the value of your case, the amount of compensation you are entitled to, and how to begin the process of getting it.
Insurance companies work hard to make the most profit possible by settling claims as quickly as possible for as little as possible. This leaves many claimants who handle their own cases with far less compensation than they need to cover their losses
. Once they realize their settlement was too low, it is too late to request additional compensation because accepting a settlement waives your right to a future claim.
A lawyer can help you in many ways that can maximize your settlement, including:
Following a car accident, seek both the medical help you need for a concussion and the legal help you need for your injury claim.
- Identify all liable parties, which might include drivers or even the employers of drivers on the job. Corporate insurance policies usually have higher limits, so they can cover extensive losses for serious injuries.
- Handle the claims process from start to finish, which includes preparing your claim, presenting evidence, calculating damages for past and future losses, communicating and negotiating with insurers, and reviewing settlement offers for adequacy.
- Advise you when it is wise to accept a settlement offer or possibly file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to seek the full amount you deserve.
At Wyatt Law Firm
, consultations are always
free, so you can speak with an attorney regarding your case today with nothing to lose! Give us a call 210-340-5550
or fill out a confidential form
and we’ll get right back to you! Get a fighter on your side today.