Signs of a Concussion After an Auto Accident
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and should always be taken seriously. When there is a force against the head or a sudden deceleration of the head, your brain moves and hits the inside barrier of your skull. Auto accidents often lead to concussions because people collide with the window, steering wheel, windshield, or ground if they are thrown from the vehicle. Even impacts at lower speeds like 30 mph can result in a significant force on the head and neck, leading to a concussion. If you suffered a mild TBI in a crash, contact the experienced Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates P.A. for help.
Signs of a Concussion
Normally the brain is cushioned by fluid within the skull that allows it to move slightly and remain undamaged from small bumps and blows. However, a strong force causes the brain to move violently back and forth against the skull. This trauma affects how the brain functions for a period of time. It disrupts normal brain activity, which leads to the various symptoms of a concussion.
A concussion is not life threatening, but individuals can suffer from its effects for weeks or months. The symptoms of a concussion can make it difficult for a person to work, attend school, or participate in physical activity.
Symptoms of a concussion include:
- Loss of consciousness: A concussion is often, but not always, preceded by loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes.
- Amnesia: Few people suffer severe memory loss after a minor TBI, but some individuals lose memory of the event that caused the brain injury. People can also suffer memory issues in the days or weeks following the accident.
- Headaches: People may feel pain or pressure in their head for days after a concussion. If the headache persists for days or gets worse, it is sign of a concussion.
- Dizziness: Concussions can cause people to feel unsteady on their feet or lose their balance.
- Nausea: Mild TBIs can upset a person’s stomach and cause vomiting. Repeated vomiting signals a concussion.
- Speech issues: Victims of a concussion might have slurred speech or trouble answering questions.
- Confusion: People who suffer a concussion may be confused immediately after the event or easily confused in the days following the accident. They can appear dazed and be slow to answer questions. They might have trouble concentrating.
- Personality changes: Concussions can cause shifts in a person’s normal demeanor, such as by causing irritability or depression.
- Sleep disturbances: Concussions can lead to trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep.
- Heightened sensitivity: Victims can become more sensitive to light and noise. Depending on the individual and injury, this can last for weeks.
- Dilated pupils: Physicians are able to see if an individual’s pupils are larger than normal, unequal sizes, or if eye movements are abnormal.
You should see a doctor after any type of car accident, even if you believe it was minor. What might have been a bump on the head could actually have caused a concussion. A physician will be able to notice the signs of a concussion and offer you the best advice for recovery. Some signs of a concussion are immediate while others may take days to appear. Even if it has been two or three days since the accident, if you notice any of symptoms of a concussion, go to your doctor or emergency room immediately.
Signs of Concussions in Children
Diagnosing a mild TBI in a small child is much different than in an adult who is more likely to be able to articulate how he or she feels. An adult’s awareness of his or her physical and mental capabilities allows physicians to notice even small signs of a brain injury. However, children are often less aware of specific symptoms and just feel sick or bad.
Symptoms of concussions in children include:
- Large bump or bruise on their head;
- Looking dazed;
- Easily tired;
- Falling over;
- Trouble walking;
- Changes in eating;
- Changes in sleeping; and
- Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
How well and quickly an individual recovers from a concussion depends on many factors and cannot be predicted. Some people recover fairly well and are back to their old selves in a couple of weeks. However, others develop post-concussion syndrome. During this syndrome, concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and cognitive issues appear days after the collision and take months or up to a year to recover.
Post-concussion syndrome cannot be predicted based on the original injury and the underlying cause is not known. Physicians believe it occurs for various reasons, including psychological factors or structural brain damage.
A Personal Injury Claim
If you suffered a concussion in a car accident or developed post-concussion syndrome after a crash, you may be able to recover damages. This often involves working closely with insurance companies by filing a formal claim and then negotiating a settlement. While many people try and tackle the claims process themselves, it can be complicated and difficult to work with insurance adjusters while you are trying to heal and manage the costs associated with the accident. An attorney who has worked with car accident victims before understands personal injury and insurance law and will fight to gain you a beneficial settlement. A lawyer will protect your rights against insurance companies and ensure you are not taken advantage of.
Contact a Charlotte Auto Accident Lawyer
If an insurance settlement is not possible, your attorney can help you file a claim against the personal responsible for your injuries in court. The lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates P.A. will tenaciously fight to prove the other individual’s negligence was the cause of the crash as well as the cause of your injuries. You may be able to recover compensatory and noncompensatory damages. Compensatory damages cover expenses like your medical costs and lost wages. Noncompensatory damages include your pain and suffering.
To learn more about your options following a car accident, call the experienced Charlotte NC car accident legal team Ted A. Greve & Associates P.A. at for a free consultation.