The headline "How Concussion Recovery Time Affects a Settlement" is imposed over an image of a patient resting in a hospital bed.

How Concussion Recovery Time Affects a Settlement

Concussion recovery times are unique to each person. While some people only need a few days to get over mild symptoms, others suffer from brain damage so severe that they never fully recover. In either case, you can still receive compensation for related damages. If you are suffering from a concussion or any other type of traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another party, the attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center can help you receive the compensation you need for recovery.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is the result of blunt force trauma to the head or severe shaking of the brain inside the skull. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, years, or a lifetime. 


Concussions and other types of mild TBI can be caused by different accidents, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries (football, hockey, and soccer have particularly high rates of mild TBI)
  • Cycling accidents
  • Falls
  • Surgical malpractice


Symptoms can appear immediately after an accident, while others may occur after a week or so. Subtle signs can be dangerous, as they are often mistaken as symptoms of other ailments. More immediate symptoms include:

  • Acute pain in the area of contact
  • Severe headache
  • Loss of balance 
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Memory loss about the accident
  • Temporary unconsciousness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures

A man sits with his head in his hands. Headaches are a common symptom of concussions.

Delayed symptoms that can occur hours or weeks after the accident include:

  • Impaired memory and concentration
  • Balance  or coordination issues
  • Irritability
  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Depression or psychological disorder
  • Altered taste or smell

Concussion Recovery Time

Concussion symptoms can persist for months. In more severe cases, they can last over a year. Traumatic brain injury recovery times vary from case to case, and the injury severity plays a crucial part. A number of people experience only the short-term effects of a concussion, meaning their symptoms last for a few weeks at most. Others experience a longer concussion recovery time and their symptoms remain multiple weeks after their accident.

People who have suffered past concussions are more likely to experience long-term effects. This is called post-concussive syndrome (PCS). Those with PCS have concussion symptoms that last for 6 weeks or longer. If you have a concussion, you can take the following steps to decrease your recovery time:

  • Rest — especially on the first 72 hours after the initial accident
  • Keep activities light  to decrease the risk for further injury
  • Limit tasks that require heightened concentration or memorization

The 5 Stages of Recovery

There are 5 different phases during long-term concussion recovery. These stages are:

Acute injury: From the moment a person suffers a mild TBI through the following 72 hours, their brain undergoes chemical changes that alter or worsen symptoms. Rest is important during this stage, as attempting normal activities could delay recovery and aggravate symptoms.

Initial rest and recovery: After a week of rest, doctors run various tests. These include neuropsychology tests, balance tests, and imaging scans like CT scans or MRIs. Doctors then prescribe a treatment plan that includes a recommended sleep schedule.

Hunker down: After initial symptoms have passed, patients must simply rest. This stage begins after their first few weeks of having a concussion and continues until their symptoms begin to dissipate.

Mountain top: At this point, symptoms begin to subside. Patients at this stage become more independent. The “mountain top” stage is an important step for those with long-term concussion symptoms who may have been living with symptoms anywhere between 6 weeks to a year.

Transition: Recovered patients live life with less caution than when they were with symptoms. They might find that they don’t require as much focus to remember things. For example, if light sensitivity was an issue, their eyes may be better adjusted. 

How Does Concussion Recovery Time Affect Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?

The settlement for a concussion is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • Level of impairment as a result of the accident. For example, experiencing memory loss or constant headaches could merit a higher claim amount due to the stressful nature of these symptoms. 
  • Whether or not the concussed seeks medical help. Following professional medical advice is important, as failure to do so could reduce compensation. 
  • Financial stress due to lost wages or medical bills.

A lawsuit can help pay for medical bills related to concussions.

Types of Damages Available in a Concussion Lawsuit

The term “damages” refers to the compensation a person can claim in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit. The two most commonly claimed damages are special damages and general damages.

Special damages: Special damages consist of bill items with monetary value that cause economic stress as a result of the accident. These include lost wages due to time away from work as well as medical expenses like prescription medicines, rehab costs, surgery, and scan tests (X-ray, CT, MRI). Special damages also include the cost of damaged property resulting from the accident (cars, bicycles, etc).

General damages: General damages compensate for noneconomic effects that still cause distress. Examples include pain and suffering, physical or mental impairment, and reduced quality of living. General damages are more difficult to calculate, but a skilled traumatic brain injury attorney can help with this.

Liability for Concussion Injuries

If you or a loved one is injured with a concussion because of the negligence of another party, there may be reasonable grounds to sue for damages. Potential parties that can be held liable include:

  • Motorists in the case of a vehicular collision
  • An attacker in the case of physical assault
  • Negligent coaches, organizations, or schools for sports-related concussions
  • Negligent hospital staff

Contact Brain Injury Law Center

Concussion recovery cases can be complicated to navigate alone. That’s why it’s crucial to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area. Stephen M. Smith and his team at the Brain Injury Law Center have considerable experience in traumatic brain injury litigation. Stephen himself has been handling brain injury cases for over 40 years. His study at Marquette University’s Neuroanatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord program gives him a competitive edge in the courtroom.

The Brain Injury Law Center has won clients millions in concussion settlement amounts for cases ranging from mild TBIs to catastrophic injuries. Their list of successful outcomes includes the largest mild traumatic brain injury verdict in the history of Virginia — a case in which $12.26 million was awarded to a man in Virginia who suffered a mild TBI during a fall.

To learn how to understand the potential damages you are entitled to through a concussion lawsuit, contact us today at (757) 244-7000.

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