The human skull often acts as a built-in helmet for one of our most valuable organs, the brain. However, head injuries that seem like minor bumps can cause unseen damage like intracranial bleeds, fluid pressure build-up, or concussion. Recognizing concussion symptoms could save your life or the life of someone you love.
We here at The Brain Injury Law Center have created this quick guide to help you identify mild-to-severe concussion symptoms. Early detection of a concussion could mean avoiding permanent, debilitating damage to the mind.
What Is a Concussion? Definition and Description
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this is the medical definition of a concussion:
- A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
Research done on young football players and the brain injuries that can result from crashing helmets during the game reveals important data. Specifically, concussions occur at approximately 90-to-100 g-force, which is roughly equivalent to smacking one’s skull against a wall at 20 miles per hour.Most concussions deliver 95 g’s, meaning 95 times more than normal gravitational force. For comparison, commercial airplane takeoff involves ~1.25 g’s, military fighter pilots experience ~9 g’s, and football players commonly hit ~103 g’s.
What are Common Causes of Concussion?
Concussion injuries can be caused by:
- Falls due to fainting, tripping, or being bumped/shoved
- Vehicular accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bikes, skateboards, etc.
- Sports injuries like football collisions, impact from a hockey stick/racket, or diving accidents
- Violence such as fist fights or blunt object attacks
- High-speed jolts that cause the head to move rapidly back and forth, like sudden stopping and whiplash
Even without an outer impact to the head, high speeds may cause the brain to knock against the inside of the skull. Cases of “shaken baby syndrome” and other forms of abusive head trauma to infants are examples of inner impact brain injuries.
If you have questions about your legal rights after a concussion-causing injury, call The Brain Injury Law Center for a free, professional consultation at (757) 244-7000.
To help prevent severe concussion injury, it’s often important to recognize the signs of brain damage. What are the symptoms of a concussion? Read on to find out.
Concussion Symptoms: Mild and Severe
People often believe that the harder a head is hit, the worse the outcome for the brain, but that is a misconception. Each brain is unique, and the consequences of any head injury can vary greatly. The magnitude of the impact to one’s head does not predict the severity of the damage.
That is why it is important to treat any head trauma as potentially serious. While a doctor may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury, that may only mean that it’s not life-threatening. Mild concussion symptoms can still be life-altering regarding one’s motor abilities, information processing, and communication skills.
Mild-to-severe concussion symptoms may include:
- Slowed reactions to stimuli
- Memory difficulties
- Drowsiness or mental sluggishness
- Slurred speech
- Heightened sensitivity to noise or light
- Blurred or double vision
- Balance issues
- Nausea or vomiting
Whether caused by a concussion or not, these symptoms are crucial signs of brain injury and cognitive dysfunction. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, please seek immediate medical evaluation.
If you need healing resources after a concussion injury, contacting legal counsel at The Brain Injury Law Center may help identify where your recovery support could come from, and the best legal strategy to access them.
The Danger of Delayed Care After Concussion Injuries
One of the most dangerous aspects of concussion injuries is that sometimes there are no symptoms. Unseen damage done to the brain means people may delay or skip medical treatment, which could be fatal.
Concussion signs and symptoms can often have a delayed onset, meaning they might not manifest immediately after an injury. This is why it’s so important to get medical help right away, even if there are no initial signs or symptoms after a head injury — a medical professional may be able to help make a diagnosis and advise follow-up treatment.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are often not detectable through medical scans and x-rays. Diagnosis and recognition of a concussion must often be made by observing a person’s behavior, like their speech or movements. Combined with the delay factor, this is why it’s crucial to know the symptoms of a concussion. For example, while medical experts say it is safe to sleep after a concussion, they specify that it’s only advisable if someone else wakes the person up regularly to monitor their symptoms.
Any time there is a blow to the head or violent back-and-forth motion, a person and their family should be prepared for what could potentially be days and weeks of monitoring. This could mean losses like missing work during this time, or not being able to do certain activities or refraining from important tasks. The cost of these losses may require legal means to account for, and an experienced brain injury attorney like we at The Smith Law Center can help translate those needs for the court.
How Can a Brain Injury Settlement Help Concussion Patients?
Though the human brain can be remarkably resilient, sometimes neurological pathways are permanently damaged. People often wonder, “How long do concussion symptoms last?” While it’s possible to adapt new connections around the damaged areas of a brain, that sort of recovery takes work, treatment, and time — in many instances, a lifetime. Recovery support is crucial after a brain injury.
A legal settlement for those who’ve suffered a concussion could cover:
- Medical bills and the costs of cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Loss of income and job-related benefits like health insurance coverage
- Pain and suffering such as physical and/or emotional anguish, including damaging psychological trauma like grief, anger, and stress
- Punitive or “punishment” damages charged against the wrongdoers behind the cause of injury (like a drunk driver, or dangerous conditions in a workplace or retail store), fees that may then be awarded to you
- Wrongful death support for those who lose a loved one due to brain injury
Property insurance often has areas that address accidental injuries on the premises (whether the injury occurred at work, in a store, or at home). Injuries caused by another’s negligence may also be addressed in court, so that you have what you need to recover.
You need healing resources after a concussion injury. Contacting legal counsel may help identify where that support could come from, and help you secure it quickly.
Contact The Brain Injury Law Center
The human mind is still the most impressive computer known to humankind. It is unmatched when you consider the number of processes running at all times to keep your lungs breathing and heart beating, plus the higher cognitive functions of dexterity, philosophy, and invention.
A blow to the brain that causes concussion can interrupt all of that, and possibly lead to death. If you have questions about your legal rights and resources after a concussive injury, call The Brain Injury Law Center today at (757) 244-7000, or contact us online.
Our firm’s founder Stephen M. Smith is a graduate of Marquette University’s Neuroanatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord program, and carries a vast amount of knowledge and experience specifically in brain injury cases. We have cultivated a fierce dedication to supporting our clients in both body and mind, as well as ensuring that their families stay strong after devastating injury.
Reach out to The Brain Injury Law Center as soon as possible — we’re here to help.