How Do I Know if I Have a Concussion After My Car Accident?

by Staff | January 4th, 2021

No two car accidents are the same, and no two car accident injuries are the same. While some victims may have obvious, painful injuries like deep cuts or broken bones, others may have injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. Those injuries may not show up for hours or even days after victims have returned home from the crash scene or the hospital.

One of the most common “hidden” injuries after a crash is a concussion. Concussions have entered the public consciousness in recent years due to their damaging effects and frequent occurrence in many sports, including football, boxing, and hockey. But they’re also extremely common in auto accidents, and many go undiagnosed.

What Is a Concussion?

First, it’s important to define what a concussion is. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define a concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.”

When the brain is suddenly and forcefully moved inside the skull, chemical changes and anatomical damage occur, which can lead to serious side effects and complications. Although concussions are often viewed as “mild” brain injuries, their effects can be debilitating, especially for people who have already suffered one or more concussions in the past.

Be on the Lookout for These Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

Car accidents are traumatic. They can be physically and psychologically shocking for victims. It’s common for people who have been through car crashes to suffer from memory loss of the events immediately leading up to and after impact. But psychological trauma should never be confused with actual traumatic brain injury, which can include the following psychological symptoms:

  • Extensive memory loss that includes events that occurred long before or after the crash
  • Anxiety and depression that persist long after the crash
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems focusing and maintaining concentration
  • Irritability and a “short fuse” to anger
  • Forgetfulness
  • A feeling of being in a “haze”

Not everyone experiences the symptoms of a concussion the same way. Some people have fewer psychological symptoms and more physical symptoms, which may include:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Slurred speech and difficulty talking
  • Problems with balance and coordination

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Concussion?

Always get immediate medical attention after a crash. Many concussions can be identified during the initial post-crash evaluation at a hospital, doctor’s office, or even at the scene by paramedics. But because shock can often mask the symptoms of a concussion, you may not suspect you’ve suffered one until many hours or days later.

As soon as you notice any of the symptoms listed above, call your doctor or visit a walk-in clinic. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 or go to your local emergency room as soon as possible:

  • Severe headache
  • Blurry vision that worsens
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Problems walking or talking

Concussions can range from mild events that involve short recoveries to more severe brain damage that can cause permanent effects, especially when victims suffer multiple concussions in short succession. If you’re diagnosed with a concussion, it’s important to do everything in your power to avoid suffering an additional concussion, as the effects of a second or third TBI can be much more severe and even life-threatening.

We Help TBI Victims Get Compensation After Crashes

Unfortunately, concussions don’t receive the attention they deserve, even after being brought to the public eye by many prominent sports figures and documentaries. Even a single concussion can have debilitating effects for victims, leading to prolonged time away from work and expensive medical treatments.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Indiana auto accident lawyers help victims get full damages after crashes that weren’t their fault. When we take on new claims, we look at all the ways our clients were hurt, including concussions and TBIs, and we work hard to ensure they’re paid a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your loved ones.

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