Concussions are a type of brain injury. Doctors sometimes refer to them as a “mild” traumatic brain injury, but the truth is there is nothing mild about them. They are serious injuries that can cause long-term health and life consequences.
Concussions can cause a wide variety of symptoms, but some symptoms are more common than others. We discuss the symptoms of a supposedly “mild” concussion below.
Common Symptoms of a “Mild” Concussion
If you suffer any sort of blow or jolt to your head or body and experience any of the following common signs of a “mild“ concussion, then seek immediate medical treatment:
- Temporarily losing consciousness (for seconds) at the time of the concussion;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Nausea or vomiting;
- Drowsiness or fatigue;
- Blurry vision;
- Amnesia surrounding the time of the concussion or the event that caused it;
- Delayed response to questions; and
- Dazed appearance.
Doctors may diagnose a “mild” concussion if some of these symptoms resolve in a matter of days after the bump, jolt, or blow that caused them. Make no mistake, however, that does not necessarily mean the brain has healed, or that the victim will not continue to feel adverse effects from the concussion. Even a concussion diagnosed as “mild” can nevertheless lead to persistent headaches, confusion, fatigue, light sensitivity, and other symptoms for months or more.
Common Causes of “Mild” Concussions
A concussion, like any traumatic brain injury, typically results from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, which in turn causes the brain to shift inside the skull in a way that can damage brain tissue, blood vessels, and nerve cells. Those initial injuries, as well as any secondary injuries resulting from subsequent bleeding or swelling, cause the symptoms we associate with concussions and other brain trauma.
It is a common misconception that to suffer a concussion, you have to hit your head. In fact, although hitting your head can certainly lead to a concussion, any sharp movement of your head relative to your body can cause the brain damage associated with a concussion, even if your head is untouched. Never assume that just because you do not have a lump or cut on your head, that you cannot have sustained a concussion.
Common causes of concussions include any incident that can cause you to either hit your head or take a violent jolt, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Truck accidents
Always seek medical attention immediately after any incident that inflicts a violent blow or jolt to your head or body. Although the symptoms above frequently appear soon after that sort of incident, that is not always the case. Plus, if you have suffered a concussion, then you cannot necessarily rely on your own judgment to assess your condition. A doctor can diagnose a concussion with simple tests, and by catching and treating a concussion early, you may avoid some of the more severe and long-lasting consequences of the injury.
Groups At-Risk for Concussions
Anyone can suffer a concussion. However, some groups face a higher-than-average risk:
- Athletes, especially those who play contact sports in which the head and/or body sustain repeated, jarring blows.
- Children, who tend to fall more often than adults and have an underdeveloped appreciation for risk; and
- Older adults (65+) who are more likely to fall and hit their heads, and frequently take medications (such as blood thinners) that can increase brain injury complications.
In other words, the groups above tend to sustain more than their fair share of the types of blows to the head and body that can cause a concussion.
Unfortunately, all three groups also share another common characteristic: it can be difficult to spot concussion symptoms in them because:
- They may downplay the severity of a collision or fall, or of their subsequent symptoms;
- They may be too young to express their symptoms effectively, or may have other health conditions (such as age-related cognitive decline) that can mask concussion symptoms;
- Others tend to assume that the incident that causes the concussion, or the symptoms that follow, are common and not a big deal.
If an athlete, child, or senior citizen you know exhibits the symptoms above, ask them about any recent incidents that could have caused a concussion.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
It may not occur to many people to speak with a lawyer after suffering a concussion. However, the fact is that many concussions occur because someone else failed to take necessary actions to keep the victim safe from harm. The concussion victim may have the right to seek compensation from that party, and may very well need compensation to treat long-lasting, debilitating, concussion symptoms.
An attorney experienced in representing brain injury victims can represent a concussion victim in seeking money damages from parties with legal liability. The public might think suffering a concussion is no big deal but lawyers for concussion victims know that there is nothing truly “mild” about a concussion. It can severely disrupt a person’s life, and it deserves meaningful compensation if it resulted from someone else’s unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions.
Every concussion case has unique characteristics that determine what a lawyer can do for the victim.
However, in general, a lawyer can:
- Investigate the incident that led to the concussion and determine who faces legal liability for failing to take reasonable steps to keep the victim safe;
- Evaluate the extent of the victim’s injuries and the ways they have impacted the victim’s life through review of medical records;
- Negotiate with parties who have a legal liability to the victim, and their representatives, to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement of the victim’s legal claim; and
- If necessary, litigate in court to achieve a fair resolution of the claim.
Concussion, even so-called “mild” ones, are serious injuries. If you suffered a concussion because of someone else’s dangerous decisions or actions, then contact an experienced concussion injury attorney to learn about your rights to compensation.