Why Are Concussions So Dangerous?
Time is always of the essence when dealing with any type of Traumatic Brain Injury, and no blow to the head should ever be left untreated simply because the victim isn’t actively experiencing a “headache”. Concussions are silent killers, and any blow to the head whether on the football field or from a car accident, requires transport to the hospital as soon as possible.
Sometimes these injuries occur while playing football. Sometimes a victim sustains injuries in a car or motorcycle accident. No matter how the victim sustains injuries, the severity requires determination by a physician. People don’t usually associate concussions with TBI, however, that is exactly what they are. Concussions require the same duty of care by doctors as a TBI. When a person suffers a concussion after an accident, they require transport to a hospital. There, determination can be made whether or not to send them home or perform further medical intervention.
Not every head injury is visible. Thorough imaging is necessary to rule out permanent injury after a blow to the head. This Shaked Law Resource article explains what, exactly, a concussion is.
What are the causes of concussion injuries?
The CDC defines a concussion as follows:
“[…]A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or 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. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”
Now that we have a clear picture of a concussion, let’s look at the specific accidents that cause them:
- Contact sports in which helmets are not worn or properly secured
- Motorcycle accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents in which the head moves rapidly back and forth. These accidents can also cause whiplash and spinal cord injuries
- Hit and run accidents in which a pedestrian is struck
Why are head injuries time sensitive?
When it comes to assessing and treating head injuries of any kind–time is of the essence. Traumatic Brain Injuries are some of the most time sensitive injuries that paramedics attend to in the field. These injuries can cause lifelong, permanent injury in the best case scenarios, but if left untreated, can ultimately be fatal.
Concussions from car accidents and contact sports such as football are the two most prominent. Any blow to the head, no matter the severity, can cause a concussion. That’s why it’s so important not to forget that invisible injuries are still severe injuries. Accidents such as minor falls while children are roughhousing can be equally severe as a concussion from a car accident.
Who is susceptible to concussion injuries?
The short answer is everyone! When a person hits their head during an accident, they become susceptible to a number of injuries.
Concussions can affect people of all ages. However, these injuries are especially harmful to children with developing brains.
Children’s brains are still growing, requiring extra care. If parents miss signs of concussion it can lead to more serious injuries such as TBI. Concussions can become severe quickly, even fatal when the signs are missed. Never “wait out” a concussion just because the victim isn’t complaining of pain. Concussions are an invisible but extreme threat. They must receive treatment as quickly as possible.
What are physical symptoms of concussions?
Next, let’s look at signs and symptoms that may be missed, resulting in a concussion with TBI. Concussions can happen on the football field, or due to a reckless driver. Concussions may be invisible at first glance, but knowing what to look for can save a life.
Physical symptoms a victim may present with hours or even days after hitting their head:
- Balance problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Blurry vision
The mental symptoms those caring a person with a head injury should be aware of:
- Memory and speech problems
- Difficulty with concentration
- Loss of focus
- Loss of balance
Furthermore, there are less obvious symptoms such as sleep disturbances and changes in mood or behavior. Alone, these are not symptoms that indicate a concussion. However, after a fall or blow to the head, doctors associate them with possible concussion.
What is “Post Concussion Syndrome”?
Another factor determining the severity of head injuries happens days or weeks following the initial hit to the head. “Post Concussion Syndrome” is a long term problem facing those who sustain head injuries. The symptoms mimic those of a concussion.
Headache, dizziness, nausea, mood changes and anxiety may last months after sustaining a concussion.
What happens after sustaining a concussion?
After sustaining a head injury in an accident it’s important to seek expert legal advice. A lawyer with experience in TBI injuries will know the next steps to take in cases with invisible injuries. Each TBI case is unique. Litigation depends on how the injury was sustained. Only a lawyer who has seen multiple TBI trials to verdict should take point as the Senior Lawyer on these cases.
What is legal recourse for head injuries?
Credibility is key. It’s important that a capable family member documents everything. Head injuries can cause memory lapses. It’s important someone close to the victim to take accurate notes.
- Time and date of the accident.
- Cause of the accident. This must include photos if at all possible. Documenting the scene of the accident on a phone may help with litigation down the road.
- Symptoms presenting immediately following, and for a time post accident.
Any prolonged symptoms should be noted. Head injuries may cause temporary, partial, or permanent memory loss. These are long term injuries and have lasting effects. Victims must receive compensation accordingly for any injury involving the brain.