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Signs of a Concussion After Car Accidents

By Butler Prather LLP on December 12, 2019

There are a range of injuries that can occur in a car accident. Some of these may seem minor, and there are times when a car accident victim decides not to seek medical treatment. This could be a mistake because many car accident injuries do not have immediate signs and symptoms. One of the most commonly ignored injuries is a concussion.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or forceful shaking, both of which can occur in a car accident. Even those involved in slow-speed car accidents can suffer from a concussion.

How common are concussions?

Concussions are a common injury. When a person receives proper medical care when they have a concussion, there are usually no long-term effects. However, not receiving treatment can cause a person to suffer from lasting brain damage. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that falls and car accidents are the two most common causes of brain injuries (including concussions) that resulted in hospitalization.

The signs of a concussion

The signs and symptoms of a concussion may not display the same for every person. Importantly, you need to understand that adults and children may show signs differently. Many signs or a concussion can be immediately apparent. However, some concussion symptoms may not appear for hours or even days after a car crash.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common signs and symptoms of a car accident concussion include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling “foggy”
  • Amnesia about the car crash
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech

Beware of delayed concussion symptoms

After a concussion, a person can experience “post-concussion syndrome.” These signs and symptoms are the same as those for a concussion, but they last for longer periods of time. Not everyone who suffers from a concussion will experience post-concussion symptoms.

Treatment for a car accident concussion is important

If you are involved in a car accident, you should always seek medical care immediately. If you choose not to seek medical care, you could be putting your life at risk. Many people assume they are not injured because they feel no pain immediately after a crash, but this is often due to a release of adrenaline and other natural pain killers by our bodies when a crash occurs.

A doctor will conduct a neurological exam after a car accident to determine whether or not a crash victim has a concussion. If a person is diagnosed with a concussion, the most common treatment is rest. A person with a brain injury needs time to recover. This includes both mentally and physically. All major physical activities should be avoided, as should any activity that requires prolonged concentration and thinking.

As a persons’ concussion symptoms begin to abate, they can gradually add more activities to their daily schedule. Concussion victims should always communicate with their doctor and wait until medically cleared before continuing strenuous physical activities. If a person suffers another blow to the head before they have had a chance to heal, they could suffer from prolonged symptoms or an even more serious brain injury.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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