Concussion Complications After an Accident
Traffic crashes, construction accidents, workplace accidents, and other negligently-caused injuries often involve significant head trauma. Knocks on the head can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Concussions are the most common form of TBI, and although they are less severe than other brain injuries, concussions can carry a host of complications that can make life difficult for the victim of an accident. Read on for an explanation of the dangers of concussions, and contact our experienced West Virginia traumatic brain injury lawyers with any questions or if you have been injured and need help fighting for what you are owed.
Signs and Complications of Concussions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “concussion” as a type of TBI that can be “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.” When the brain is jostled inside the skull, this trauma can cause chemical changes to the brain as well as stretching or damaging brain cells. Even a “mild” concussion can be dangerous and harmful.
Signs that you may have suffered a concussion include:
- Headache or head pressure
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or “fogginess”
- Concentration or memory issues, including amnesia surrounding the accident
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Irritability, depression, or other personality changes
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Trouble sleeping
- Taste and smell disorders
Some of these symptoms occur immediately after a TBI, and others may be delayed. While many of these symptoms are temporary, concussions can carry additional, lasting complications. People who have a concussion may suffer from ongoing headaches or vertigo for months after an injury. Moreover, some people experience Post-Concussion Syndrome, which involves experiencing the symptoms of a concussion such as dizziness, trouble thinking, or noise/light sensitivity, for months after the injury. The Mayo Clinic notes that the cumulative effects of multiple brain injuries can lead to lasting, progressive impairment and functional limitations.
Second Impact Syndrome
Second Impact System (SIS) is a rare condition that may result from concussions. SIS is more prevalent among certain sectors of the population, such as athletes. SIS can occur when the person sustains multiple concussions within a short period of time, such that a second concussion happens before the first heals. This can also happen where, for example, someone is involved in multiple car accidents within a few days of each other or when they have some other head trauma shortly after a crash. Crash victims often experience a surge of adrenaline in an accident and may not immediately notice the symptoms of a brain injury, or they may ignore the symptoms rather than reporting them or having them examined.
If a second traumatic head impact occurs, the second concussion can lead to cerebral swelling, brain herniation, or death. For this reason, it is essential that anyone who experiences any type of head trauma, whether from sports or from a car accident, immediately see a doctor to make sure they do not have a concussion or other lasting injury. If they do have a concussion, it is vital that they avoid activities that can lead to further head trauma.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion due to someone else’s negligence in West Virginia, contact the skilled and passionate Martinsburg personal injury attorneys at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson at 304-263-0900 or (304) LAWYERS for a free consultation.