The types of injuries sustained from a car accident are numerous and vary greatly in severity. Injuries to the head during a car accident are common and can be quite serious. Whether your injury involved hitting your head against a surface inside the car or was the result of abrupt head movement during impact, you may have suffered a concussion.
Whether or not you experience concerning symptoms right away, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. In this blog, we discuss symptoms of a concussion and Post Concussion Syndrome, treatment for these conditions, and what compensation you could be eligible for following a concussion.
How Can a Car Accident Cause a Concussion?
A common misconception about a concussion is that you must have hit your head in order to suffer from one. While a violent blow to the head can certainly result in a concussion, a concussed brain can also be the result of the brain shifting inside the skull and colliding with bone. Your head may appear fine from the outside, but if you were to look inside, the evidence of a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) would show.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
Symptoms of a concussion may not be immediately apparent. It is all too easy to focus on visible injuries, such as bleeding, bruises, and blunt trauma to the body following a vehicle collision. While the adrenaline is coursing through your system, you may not even be aware that your head is injured. It is important to be on the lookout for any symptoms of a concussion after an accident.
Symptoms of a Concussion:
- Problems with balance
- Dizziness and/or nausea
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Difficulty focusing
- A general feeling of being unwell
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Sleep difficulties
- Ringing in the ears
If you experience any of these concussion symptoms after a car accident, consult a doctor immediately. You may also need to schedule a consultation with an Indianapolis car accident lawyer who is experienced in this type of injury and who can advise you on your next steps.
What Is Post Concussion Syndrome?
Post Concussion Syndrome is when the symptoms of a normal concussion last longer than the expected time period. In other words, if the head injury symptoms last beyond an average time of 7-10 days, this can be classified as Post Concussion Syndrome or a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). People who are especially at risk of PCS include women, younger people, older people, those with PTSD, and those who have experienced previous concussions.
How Is Post Concussions Syndrome Diagnosed?
If the concussion symptoms above last for more than two weeks, you should return to the doctor who treated you after the initial accident. There are no definitive tests for Post Concussion Syndrome. Concussions don’t show up as structural damage; they are characterized by the inability of neurons to signal for the required amount of blood to complete an action, and this isn’t visible on an imaging test. However, you will probably receive a CT scan, MRI, or other tests to make sure that your brain isn’t bleeding or that there isn’t a secondary injury to your brain, such as inadequate blood supply (ischemia) or build-up of excess fluid (cerebral edema).
According to the NIH, 15% of patients with these mild traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed with PCS, although the NIH cautions that the percentage may be higher since some sufferers remain undiagnosed.
Treating Post Concussion Syndrome
Although each case is different, a doctor will generally diagnose PCS if the patient is still experiencing at least 3 of the concussion symptoms listed above 3 months after the initial impact. Depending on the individual’s symptoms, the doctor may recommend any of the following treatments:
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Psychotherapy or counseling for mood disorders
- Medication for headache pain
- Avoidance of alcohol
- Referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) for dizziness problems
What Compensation Can I Recover for Post Concussion Syndrome?
Unfortunately, if you experience concussion symptoms, you may find yourself unable to work. This can negatively affect your life the longer it persists. Cognitive issues will hinder your ability to concentrate, mood issues may prevent you from being able to face people or accomplish tasks, and physical issues may hinder many everyday functions. When you also factor in the negative financial outcomes of not being able to work, it’s obvious that Post Concussion Syndrome can have serious negative effects on all aspects of your life.
This is why it is crucial to consult with an Indianapolis traumatic brain injury lawyer. If someone else has caused your vehicle accident through negligent actions, you have the right to pursue compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Poynter & Bucheri are experienced in these types of persistent injuries and know how to gather evidence and fight insurance companies to make sure that you are adequately compensated.
Eligible accident claim damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses (if it is necessary to travel long distances for specialist visits or therapy)
The pain of being involved in an accident that results in persistent concussion symptoms can be depressing and debilitating. It’s bad enough to experience pain and discomfort in the weeks immediately following a vehicle accident. Still, when symptoms last for more than 3 months – or even up to a year, as can happen with PCS – it can disrupt your financial well-being as well as your physical and emotional state.
Don’t let Post Concussion Syndrome disrupt your life without speaking to a qualified attorney. For expert legal assistance in Indianapolis, contact the Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys at Law.