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How Does the Law Define Concussions?

How Does the Law Define ConcussionsLike any head injury, a concussion can change a person’s life. It can lead to monetary losses and have long-term effects on someone’s health. Thousands of people suffer from concussions every year, and car accidents cause many cases.

Depending on the circumstances, a lawyer can take matters to court for a proper settlement.

A Concussion Is a Serious Brain Condition

A concussion, also known as a traumatic brain injury, affects the brain’s function. The injury occurs when a sudden movement causes the brain to shift inside the skull. As a result, the brain experiences chemical changes and damaged cells. Usually, concussions are not life-threatening.

Medical professionals often describe a concussion as a mild brain injury. However, “mild” is a misleading term and does not refer to the outcome. It only describes the initial presentation of symptoms. The effects of a concussion are severe and can lead to a lifelong impact on brain function.

Common Causes of a Concussion

A hit to the head is the source for many concussion cases. Falls and contact sports are common causes. A person has a higher risk if they do not wear protective gear in a bicycle or motorcycle accident. Violently shaking the head and upper body may lead to a traumatic brain injury as well.

Car accidents are the second most common cause of concussions. The CDC reports vehicle crashes accounted for roughly 20 percent of traumatic brain injury-related hospital visits. Even a low-speed collision can result in a concussion.

People tend not to think about any sort of head-related injuries due to the lack of physical damage. Despite the vehicle only moving at 10 mph, sudden movement of the head may still occur. If you were in a minor car accident, you must be aware of any symptoms possibly developing.

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

Signs of a concussion do not always appear immediately. Each injury is unpredictable, and symptoms can last for years. In some cases, patients may experience the effects worsen over time. The complexity of a concussion makes diagnosis difficult to determine the duration and intensity of symptoms accurately.

Concussions have a wide range of symptoms you should observe.

Possible signs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity

Signs fall into other categories other than physical. A witness should look out for cognitive and emotional symptoms as well.

They include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Memory problems surrounding the traumatic event
  • Changes in sleep patterns

As mentioned before, the effects can severely impact brain function. You should not take any of them lightly. Patients must seek emergency care if they display any of these symptoms.

Warning Signs of a Concussion After a Car Accident

If you suffered from a car accident, common danger signs are headaches not going away and repeating vomiting. Ringing in the ears is an indication of a possible concussion. You may find yourself having a hard time concentrating.

Some people reported one pupil becoming larger than the other. Restlessness or changes in mood after the accident are effects of a concussion as well. The warning signs can take days or weeks to appear. People may seem well at first, so they may overlook problems early on.

Recovering From a Concussion

Fortunately, people can recover from their concussions. However, the speed of recovery can depend on various factors. While rest is necessary after a head injury, patients need to consult with a doctor for proper guidelines. If you ignore the symptoms, then the effects may become worse.

The CDC provided some general tips to help aid recovery. The tips should not replace the assistance of a healthcare professional. Besides getting enough rest, you should avoid physically demanding activities. Even an intense house cleaning routine may slow the healing process. Those with a concussion must refrain from activities requiring heavy concentration.

Some people report they experience difficulties performing their daily routine. Only return to everyday activities gradually when a health professional advises that you can do so. Avoid the constant use of computers early in the healing process.

Can I File a Claim?

You may have the right to file a brain injury claim if the concussion stems from someone else’s negligence. On the road, every driver has a duty of care to you. You will need to show proof the other party violated their duty of care because of reckless behavior. A valid claim requires that traumatic brain injuries result from someone else’s negligence.

You must document who else contributed to the accident since more than one party can be at fault. Other parties include multiple drivers and possibly the car manufacturer. A reason why you should seek treatment soon after a vehicle accident is for evidence. Medical records show the insurance company the accident caused the concussion.

Recovering Damages After a Concussion

If a person seeks a brain injury settlement for a concussion, they could receive compensation for damages.

An attorney could help them obtain compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. Expenses include past, present, and projected treatment and other related health care costs.
  • Lost wages. Income lost as a result of the recovery time.
  • Mental anguish. The mental and emotional effects of the concussion.
  • Physical pain and suffering. The physical symptoms of the injury.

You will need records of lost income and medical expenses to determine the amount of damage. Each case is different, and compensation will vary. Reimbursement will depend on multiple factors, like the severity of the injury and who caused it.

How a Lawyer Could Help You

George Salinas
Attorney, George Salinas

The right attorney can help clients who received a concussion due to a car collision. Insurance companies may contact you to settle outside of court. You should hire a lawyer to avoid getting less than you deserve.

Brain injury lawyers will work to prove who is responsible for the concussion. Head traumas of any kind are a serious matter and require specialized care. Attorneys understand the stress of managing a head injury. If you or a loved one suffered a concussion from another person’s negligence, contact a brain injury attorney today.

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