Doctors call a concussion a “mild brain injury.” But anyone who has suffered a concussion knows the symptoms are anything but mild.
A concussion can affect your thinking, memory, and behavior. If you suffer from post-concussion syndrome, you might experience these symptoms for years after your accident.
Here is some information about concussions and the compensation you can seek for a concussion injury.
How Does a Concussion Injury Happen?
The brain sits inside the skull. A layer of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sits between the brain and the skull. The CSF cushions the brain.
The CSF also slows down the motion of your brain, much in the same way an egg white protects the yolk. It does this because CSF has a viscosity that is 30% higher than water. This means that the brain moves slowly when your head moves quickly.
But when your head experiences strong forces, the viscosity of the CSF can cause a pressure wave inside your skull. This pressure wave can cause widespread but minor tissue damage. “Minor” merely means that accident victims rarely die from a concussion. But they can experience severe symptoms.
These symptoms arise because the pressure wave can cause some of the tiny blood vessels in the brain to burst. The bleeding can increase the pressure on the brain and starve some brain cells of oxygen.
The injury to your brain will also cause inflammation. As the brain swells, the brain tissue can squeeze off some of the smaller blood vessels. This will deprive even more brain cells of oxygen.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Some symptoms of a concussion include:
- Loss of balance
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurry vision or seeing stars
- Memory loss
These symptoms usually clear up after a couple of months. If symptoms persist for longer than two months, doctors will often diagnose the accident victim with post-concussion syndrome.
Post-concussion syndrome can also include more severe symptoms such as:
- Change in behavior
- Emotional outbursts
- Sleep disorders
- Difficulty concentrating
Doctors cannot predict which patients will have post-concussion syndrome. But it often arises after a particularly traumatic accident and may have some connections to post-traumatic stress disorder.
What Are the Treatments for a Concussion Injury?
Doctors cannot treat a concussion. Instead, the brain will need to heal itself. But doctors can treat the symptoms and create the conditions that will help the brain heal.
A doctor might prescribe drugs to reduce the pain and inflammation. Doctors will also prescribe rest.
Since concussion patients can develop a sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises, you might prefer to spend your time resting rather than working or doing your other daily activities.
After a few days’ rest, your doctor might allow you to go back to work. But you might not have the ability to perform all of your normal tasks. You might still experience headaches, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or other concussion symptoms.
What are the Risk Factors for a Concussion Injury?
Many activities can lead to a concussion. One of the most common sources of concussion injuries in the U.S. comes from sports and outdoor activities.
Although helmets help reduce the risk of concussions, they do not prevent them altogether. If your helmet was not constructed properly, it might fail to even lessen your risk of concussions.
Here are some of the most common types of accidents that have a risk of concussion:
A vehicle collision can whip your body around. Your head forms a weight at the end of your neck. This can often cause your neck to develop whiplash, but it can also force your brain to slosh around in your skull.
This sloshing can create the pressure wave that causes a concussion. This can happen even if your head does not strike the airbag, steering wheel, dashboard, or side door. The force of the whipping action can cause your brain to slosh around in your skull, damaging the brain tissue.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Pedestrians do not wear helmets to protect themselves from concussions. And while bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by about 50%, concussions can still happen.
In a pedestrian accident or bicycle accident, the accident victim usually endures two impacts. The first impact happens when the car hits them. The second impact occurs when the accident victim hits the pavement. Either of these impacts can jar the brain enough to cause a concussion injury.
Slip and fall accidents and falls from a height can cause head trauma and a concussion injury. In a slip and fall accident, your feet lose traction and you fall backward. With no way to break your fall, your head could strike the ground.
Falls from a height can also cause a concussion. There is an old joke that the fall does not injure you, but the sudden stop at the bottom will. When you hit the ground, the momentum of your brain will cause it to slosh in your skull.
In either case, the stop after you fall can jar your brain enough to cause a concussion.
What Compensation Can I Recover for a Concussion Injury?
When you receive a concussion due to someone else’s action (or inaction), you can pursue compensation for your injury. This compensation will cover your medical expenses and lost income.
Since a concussion usually requires rest to heal, you could miss substantial time from work. Additionally, the cognitive and physical effects of a concussion injury could prevent you from performing many jobs, including office work.
If you received a concussion in a car accident, you will need to overcome Florida’s no-fault system to claim damages for pain and suffering. But if you can prove that you suffered a permanent injury, Florida allows you to seek pain and suffering damages for a concussion injury.
Contact a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
If you suffered from a concussion due to the negligent actions of others, you shouldn’t have to face the consequences on your own. A personal injury attorney can help you to pursue the compensation that you need.
To learn more about the compensation you can claim for your concussion injury, contact Lavent Law, P.A. for a free consultation. Our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys will examine the facts of your case, help you to understand the value of your damages, and work alongside you to fight for the compensation that you deserve.