Concussions from Personal Injury Accidents: Causes, Symptoms, and Complications

April 2, 2021 | David Abels
Concussions from Personal Injury Accidents: Causes, Symptoms, and Complications The after-effects of a brain injury can be extremely difficult to manage. Even though concussions are common, they affect everyone differently. Brain injuries like concussions can leave sufferers with long-term challenges and changes that can create all types of difficulties for the rest of their lives. Brain injuries can be caused by a wide range of different accidents. The first thing many people think of when they hear the word “concussion” is sporting injuries. But there are many cases where people experience a concussion due to no fault of their own. In everyday life, people experience events where they are left concussed and have to deal with the life-altering symptoms that follow. An unexpected concussion can be caused by a slip and fall accident while out shopping or from a rear-end car accident while waiting at a red light. When it comes to concussions caused by negligence, or for any reason, it’s important to know the common causes of concussions, symptoms to look out for, and complications you should be aware of so that you can understand and manage the head trauma. If you suffer a concussion because of someone’s negligence, one of the first things you should do is contact an experienced personal injury attorney who has the resources to handle a brain injury case.

Overview of a Concussion

A concussion is a clinical syndrome classified as a traumatic brain injury that alters normal brain functions. Concussion brain injuries usually occur as a result of a violent jolt or force to the head. This causes the brain to forcefully rattle or slam against the inner walls of the skull. Once a concussion has occurred, a person will usually suffer from short-term side effects such as:
  • problems concentrating
  • impaired coordination
  • lack of balance
  • headaches
In some instances, a concussion may cause a person to lose consciousness. However, unlike the way popular culture portrays it, losing consciousness is not a required symptom of a concussion. Concussions are divided into 3 main categories which are graded by severity:
  • Grade I: No loss of consciousness occurs and amnesia is absent or present for less than 30 minutes.
  • Grade II: Loss of consciousness occurs for less than five minutes. And/or amnesia occurs for between 30 minutes and 24 hours.
  • Grade III: Loss of consciousness occurs for more than five minutes, and/or amnesia occurs for more than 24 hours.
In the case of Grade III concussions, where a person is unconscious for a longer period of time and has significant amnesia, more serious brain damage is almost guaranteed. In Grade I and Grade II concussions, other types of brain damage are still possible.

Causes of a Concussion

Let’s now look at what causes concussions and other brain injuries. In everyday life, you're protected from minor bumps to the head by fluid in the skull surrounding the brain that acts as a cushion. Sudden acceleration and deceleration can cause the brain to slide around, knocking into the walls of the skull. The brain is highly susceptible to damage from sudden jolts and movements. When the brain experiences extreme situations that cause it to thrust around, it can result in various injuries. According to Mayo Clinic, the leading cause of concussions are falls. In the event of a violent blow to the head, the brain is at risk of injury. Concussions are not uncommon in situations where someone falls and hits their head against the ground. Or someone may fall from a ladder, stairs, or a tall height. Brain injuries can also be caused by a wide range of other incidents and activities, including sports, motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, and even physical abuse like assault and domestic violence. These situations are not just possible circumstances. They occur on a daily basis. And in a lot of cases, concussion sufferers don’t seek the necessary medical treatment that could help them to make a physical recovery and help them with a future financial claim if necessary. With that being said, most people who experience a concussion make a full recovery after following their doctor’s orders and getting plenty of rest to allow the healing process to take place. In these instances, people are often still left with thousands of dollars in medical bill debt and lost wages that they in no way deserve to be on the hook for. And if things are serious or get worse, those financial struggles can only multiply from there.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Signs and symptoms of a concussion can vary widely from case to case. All people respond differently to injuries. What might take one person two days to heal from could take another person two months. The same is true for how long it takes for symptoms to appear and how long those symptoms last. The symptoms of a concussion could appear immediately. Or they could take days or weeks to appear. Concussion symptoms can also last for days or weeks. In some cases, symptoms may last for much longer than that. It all depends on the person and the severity of the injury. Some common physical symptoms that may point to a concussion are:
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Blurry vision
Other symptoms that can be observed include headaches, dizziness, and confusion. Amnesia is also a common symptom of a concussion, which can often lead to the concussed person forgetting the events surrounding the head injury. Obvious amnesia presents some problems when it comes to an injured victim being able to provide testimony evidence in their personal injury claim. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist with your case to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Complications from a Concussion

Concussions can cause all kinds of lasting and inconvenient problems for a sufferer. Concussions also come with unique risks that some people may not know about. This includes debilitating headaches, vertigo, post-concussion syndrome, and second impact syndrome.


After a concussion, sufferers can experience headaches for weeks, months, or even a lifetime after their injury, which can be debilitating. These serious headaches can make everything from parenting to working to hobbies nearly impossible to do on a regular basis.


Vertigo is a spinning or dizzy sensation experienced by some brain injury victims. It may last for a short period of time or indefinitely following an injury. Vertigo can cause all kinds of unexpected consequences. For example, it may prevent a person from working because of how dizzy they can get and how quickly the vertigo symptoms can set in. If someone operated a forklift or drove an ambulance before they suffered a concussion that led to vertigo, they would need to find another profession.

Post-concussion Syndrome

Some people find themselves still experiencing headaches, dizziness, and difficulty thinking for more than three months after a concussion. Symptoms persisting for longer than three months are considered post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Post-concussion syndromes can cause victims to experience memory and cognitive problems, depression, and anxiety which can hinder their lives in countless ways.

Second Impact Syndrome

Experiencing a second concussion before the symptoms of the first have subsided can lead to a serious condition known as second impact syndrome (SIS). Second impact syndrome can cause more severe symptoms and complications. In some cases, the results can be fatal.

Getting the Compensation You Need After a Concussion

If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion or other brain injury, do not take it lightly. Even mild cases of concussion should be taken seriously. Although brain injury experts recognize that some concussions are less severe than others, there is no such thing as a ‘minor’ concussion. All concussions should be met with the proper caution and medical care. Brain injuries that do not receive proper medical attention may lead to serious complications like internal bleeding, swelling, permanent cognitive impairment, lasting emotional problems, and death.

Contact Abels and Annes For Your Brain Injury Claim

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, the lawyers at Abels & Annes are here to help you understand your legal options. A brain injury claim can be filed to help you receive compensation for any losses or damages you accrued as a result of another person or company’s negligence. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes are ready to help you navigate through these difficult times. Contact us today online or call us at 312-924-7575 for a free case consultation and to start getting your life back.
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David Abels


David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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