What is a concussion?

A concussion is a blow or shake to the head, causing trauma that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions may also be called a mild traumatic brain injury, frequently occurring because of a car accident. Most people who sustain a concussion are back to their normal lifestyle in a matter of months, while others may take much longer to heal.

The term concussion describes an injury to the brain resulting from an impact to the head. A concussion is not a life-threatening injury, but it can cause both short-term and long-term problems. A concussion is not an injury in which there is bleeding under the skull or into the brain. A mild concussion may involve no loss of consciousness, in which you feel stupefied or confused, or a brief loss of consciousness, in which you are knocked out for a short time. On the other hand, a severe concussion may involve prolonged loss of consciousness with a delayed return to normal.

Concussions can occur even in minor of car accidents and a serious concussion can be missed because the patient or doctor may think of the accident as being too minor to cause serious injury. An experienced accident attorney will make sure to explore all possible diagnosis and treatment options for concussions.

MRI scan


What Are The Symptoms of a Concussion?

  • Loss of consciousness after the injury to the head
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Perseverating (repeating yourself over and over)

What to do after an auto accident

After an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Tell your healthcare practitioner if you have been struck on your head, and if you have experienced mild dizziness or nausea, loss of memory, or a mild headache with no vision disturbances. However, you should go to the emergency room directly following the injury if you experience a severe head trauma with resulting bleeding or lacerations. If a child was involved in an accident and loses consciousness as the result of a head injury, go to the emergency room. If you have prolonged loss of consciousness, a delayed loss of consciousness (or multiple bouts of loss of consciousness), vomiting more than once, extreme drowsiness or weakness, amnesia, seizures or convulsions, slurred speech, or if the injured person fails to regain consciousness after two minutes, these are all reasons to seek immediate medical attention.

When you see a medical provider, they will make sure that you have no life-threatening injuries, and then evaluate your concussion. They will ask about the details of how the injury happened, such as the speed of travel in a car accident, the height of a fall, or the size of the person or object that hit the victim. Next, they will assess your past medical history, including current medications, allergies, prior head injury or concussion, neurologic injury, or surgeries, and bleeding disorder or history of easy bleeding or bruising. During the medical examination, your doctor will consider normal neurological function such as reflexes and mental status, examine you for other associated injuries, such as a neck injury or whiplash (common with head injury), inspect for bleeding from the ears or nose as well as bruising around the eyes or behind the ears (common with skull fractures). If your doctor is unable to fully evaluate your injuries, they may use X-rays , an MRI, or a CT scan to see what’s going on inside your head.

Treatment for a Concussion

Getting diagnosed as early as possible and then seeking treatment is the most important thing you can do after an injury. Many times, simple physical and cognitive rest will be all the injured needs to recover. However, for more serious concussions, physical therapy to strengthen your physical abilities, occupational therapy that may include monitoring the patient and intervening in their behaviors, vocational therapy including rehabilitation back into the workplace, cognitive therapy to help manage your memory, acupuncture, and many different forms of medications are all used to get the person back to their normal lives.

Each concussion case is different, which is why it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. An attorney can make sure you are finding the right treatment for your injury, help you work with medical providers and insurance companies, and draw from years of experience in helping clients who have suffered from injuries like yours. While concussions are not life-threatening, an untreated or undertreated concussion and impact your quality of life for years, so it is vital that you receive adequate treatment, which an injury attorney can help you receive.

Second Impact Syndrome

After a concussion from an auto accident, the recovering from the injury can be stressful enough for the victim. However, making sure you are careful not to get injured again is very important, or you could suffer second impact syndrome. Second impact syndrome is a situation in which a person sustains a second concussion before the symptoms from the first have gone away. A second brain injury, or cumulative concussions, can be much more dangerous than the first one.

If you have been injured in a car accident and have sustained a concussion, seek medical attention immediately. Having a personal injury lawyer walk you through the steps to retrieving your damages will make the process easier.

If you were injured in an accident, you may have questions about recovering from a concussion or other injuries. Please call us at 206-285-1743. We will be happy to provide resources to help you make a full recovery.

Further reading:

Center for Disease Control: Concussion
WebMD Concussion Overview
Concussion – Wikipedia

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