Car accidents are scary for many reasons. Someone hitting you while you're driving opens you up to injury. Injuries can range from mild to severe, and some affect your way of life. Concussions are all too common during car accidents. If you or a loved one recently received a bump or jolt to the head, read on to find out if it could be a concussion and what you should do.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury. It can be either mild or traumatic, but it happens when the brain bounces around or twists inside the skull. The skull is designed to protect our brain, and the chances of this happening while going about our lives is very slim. Instead, you would need to experience a sudden jolt, bump, or blow to the head. When an impact that hard hits the skull and moves around your brain, cells are damaged and chemical changes take place. The sad news is that you can have a concussion even if you are not hit in the head. Enough force to the body could move the brain if you’re hit hard enough.
What causes a concussion?
A fall or sporting injury could cause a concussion. But, one of the most common ways people get them is from a car accident. According to the CDC, "falls and motor vehicle crashes were the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations (52% and 20%, respectively)" just five years ago. However, these statistics are more for adults. Children can experience concussions, and they don't always happen in car accidents. For children, they occur while on the playground, riding a bike, or playing other sports
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
The first warning sign of a concussion is a headache. After you or a loved one has received a blow to the head and complains of a headache, you need to get to a hospital as quickly as possible. You should be even more concerned if the headaches get worse. A terrible headache could be a sign of internal bleeding. Other symptoms of a concussion include:
- Trouble with balance
- Blurry vision
- Feeling drowsy
- Restlessness when sleeping
- Issues with concentration or comprehending
- Irritability or nervousness
Server warnings exist too. If you or a loved one has a seizure after being hit in the head, you more than likely suffered from a concussion. Something that can happen and is a little frightening is when you forget people or places. Also, take note of other unusual behaviors.
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How quickly will signs of a concussion appear?
It's hard to define when you notice the signs of a concussion. Everyone is different. Take note of behavior immediately after hitting your head. Some signs are visible within minutes. Other symptoms take time to develop. It could be several hours before some start to show. In other instances, added pressure or force are when symptoms to appear. Reading is an excellent example because it requires concentration. Running is another. If you participate in any of these activities after hitting your head, contact your doctor immediately.
Does age matter when it comes to a concussion?
Age can absolutely play a role in the development of concussions. The younger the person, the higher their risk is for having one. A child is at a higher risk than a teenager. Comparatively, teenagers are at a higher risk than adults.
How soon should I go to the doctor if I suspect a concussion?
If any of the symptoms are present after you or someone you love has hit their head, you want to seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes you can call your doctor's office, and they can ask you questions to let you know if going to the ER is more critical than scheduling a doctor's visit. Any time severe symptoms like confusion or passing out occur, you should go to the emergency room promptly.
How do they test for a concussion?
A doctor can perform external testing to confirm whether or not there is a concussion. Health care professionals rely on physical signs, mood changes, thinking, and capability during their assessment. What they are trying to decide is if it's a concussion or maybe a fracture. However, these tests don't let the patient know if there is cell damage. A CT scan or MRI looks for internal bleeding. Sometimes doctors require patients to remain in the hospital overnight for observation.
Can a concussion be treated?
Most health care teams recommend rest to recover from a concussion. Taking time away from work to do so isn't uncommon. As your brain heals, the symptoms will start to go away. But, that could take close to two weeks depending on the intensity of the blow. More severe concussions could have permanent damage.
Can I sue if I received a concussion after a car accident?
If you've been involved in a car accident where you received a concussion, you might have a case for a lawsuit. Tennessee and Kentucky residents have the option to file suit against the driver or their insurance company to get compensation when they are required to not work due to injury. Each state has laws about who and when you can file. The best thing you can do is contact a personal injury lawyer. Together, you can review the events of the accident and determine whether or not you have a case.