Concussions are one of the most common forms of brain injury. When somebody suffers a concussion, his or her brain stops functioning normally for a brief time. The brain loses some of the support that holds it still—so it may stretch or lose cells when it moves. Sometimes, head trauma that leads to concussions can also damage blood vessels and cranial nerves near the brain.
Here are some important things to remember about concussions:
- Concussions are commonly caused by a shaking of the head or upper body; they are also caused by blows to the head.
- Someone does not need to lose consciousness to suffer a concussion.
- Many concussions do not cause symptoms.
How Are Concussions Caused?
Reckless or negligent actions can cause a concussion. Oftentimes, innocent people suffer concussions because of the negligence or recklessness of someone else.
Some examples of accidents and scenarios that may lead to concussions include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Sports injuries
- Violent assaults
- Slip and falls
Mild Concussion Symptoms
Some mild concussions cause very obvious symptoms. Others may cause no visible symptoms at all. It is important to look out for the signs that a concussion has occurred, but a lack of symptoms does not mean that a person has avoided a concussion.
Many symptoms stem from concussions.
Mild concussions may cause:
- Thinking and/or memory impairment: Amnesia, temporary loss of consciousness, trouble answering questions.
- Sleep disturbances: Insomnia.
- Emotional, mood instability: Mood swings, aggravation, sadness.
- Physical symptoms: Blurry vision, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, lethargy, problems balancing, light sensitivity.
If you believe that you or someone else has suffered a concussion, contact a medical professional right away. A doctor or other care provider can help ensure your physical safety and health. If you are experiencing mild concussion symptoms, remain in a secure place and prioritize your health and safety.
Signs of a Concussion in Children
Children oftentimes present different concussion symptoms than adults.
While there is some overlap, and no concussion symptoms are totally predictable, many children with concussions may display:
- Unusual or excessive crying
- Exceptional tiredness
- Loss of balance
- Unusual eating or sleeping patterns
How Long Do Mild Concussion Symptoms Last?
There is no one answer to this question.
Different people experience different symptoms after a mild concussion, and their symptoms may last for anywhere from a few moments to a few days or weeks.
- People with mild concussions generally experience symptoms for less time than people with more “severe” concussions, but this is not always the case.
There are even instances where people live with concussion symptoms for months or years after the initial injury. This phenomenon, known as post-concussive syndrome, can have serious impacts on someone’s quality of life.
Does Everyone Lose Consciousness After a Concussion?
A person does not need to pass out or lose consciousness to sustain a concussion. Many people do not lose consciousness at all when they experience concussions. While others may be unconscious for several minutes, individuals are not at less risk just because they remain alert and aware.
Secondary Injuries Alongside Mild Concussions
Sometimes, concussions come along with secondary injuries. These injuries may or may not be as severe as the actual concussion itself.
Some examples of common secondary injuries that occur alongside concussions include:
- Scalp wounds: Injuries that cause concussions can also use scalp wounds. Scalp wounds may range from small lacerations to very deep cuts.
- Secondary concussions: Secondary concussions take place when someone has already suffered one concussion, and then they experience another. When an accident shakes the brain before it can heal from the initial concussion, a second concussion occurs more easily.
- Closed injuries: Closed injuries are injuries that occur inside of the head. Many of them are difficult to detect, which makes them especially dangerous.
Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Mild Concussion?
It can be helpful to hire an attorney after a concussion, even if you believe (or have been told) that the concussion was mild. So-called mild concussions can still cause considerable damage, and you deserve compensation for your experiences.
Recovering Damages After a Mild Concussion
Many clients (and potential clients) approach us with similar questions: What can I recover after a concussion? A skilled lawyer can help answer this query, but here are the basics.
You may recover:
- Medical bills: Past, present, and projected medical bills associated with the concussion; including emergency transport, therapies, customized equipment, specialized care, and so on.
- Physical damages: Some concussions also come along with physical damages, like damage to a car or someone’s belongings.
- Emotional anguish: Pain and suffering account for some of the time after a concussion, but emotional anguish is also common. There is compensation available for emotional anguish in many cases.
- Pain and suffering: It is common to experience pain and suffering after accidents that cause concussions; pain and suffering damages help to compensate for some of this.
- Lost wages: Many people need to miss time from work because of their concussions. If this is your situation, you could pursue compensation to account for lost wages after your injury.
- Diminished earning capacity: Lost wages can help account for the temporary loss of paid employment, but some people need to pursue compensation for diminished earning capacity after a concussion. This could permanently affect their ability to earn money and work.
When to Call a Lawyer After a Concussion
Ideally, you should contact an attorney as soon as you think you may need one. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you can meet with several to ask basic questions about your circumstances and find out more about your legal options.
Some scenarios would prompt legal professionals to tell you that you may benefit from an attorney’s help more than many people:
- Your concussion caused financial loss.
- Your concussion impacted your ability to perform daily tasks.
- Your concussion happened because someone else was negligent or reckless.
- Your concussion has caused emotional or physical pain.