Concussions from a Car Accident: Symptoms and Compensation
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of head injuries in the United States. According to the CDC, car accidents accounted for 18.7% of all deaths and 20% of all hospitalizations related to brain injuries in 2014. Concussions are a common type of brain injury that can result from a car accident.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they have suffered a concussion from a car accident. This is because the symptoms may be subtle and difficult to self diagnose. Knowing what symptoms to look out for can help you avoid long term complications.
What Is a Concussion?
Concussions are usually caused by impact to the head, such as in contact sports or from a fall. While concussions can be mild, they are still a form of traumatic brain injury that should be taken seriously. The effects of a concussion are usually temporary, but there is increasing research that repeated concussions cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
How Do Car Accidents Cause Concussions?
Aside from a bump to the head, concussions can also be caused by violent shaking. In a car accident, you may experience a concussion from hitting your head on the window, the dashboard, or even the airbags.
Concussions are separated into three grades based on their severity:
- Grade 1: Symptoms are mild and usually last 15 minutes or less with no loss of consciousness;
- Grade 2: Symptoms are moderate and may last longer than 15 minutes with no loss of consciousness; and
- Grade 3: Symptoms are severe, and loss of consciousness occurs even if only for a few seconds.
Whiplash, which is the sudden overextension of the muscles in the neck and shoulders, is also common in car accidents. Depending on the severity of the accident, the whiplash may be violent enough to cause a concussion as well.
What Are Concussion Symptoms After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of a concussion. These symptoms are often subtle and may not show up right away. In some cases, concussion symptoms may not become apparent until several days after the accident.
The most common concussion symptoms from a car accident are headaches, memory loss or forgetfulness, and confusion. Confusion and forgetfulness may not be obvious to a concussed person, but a friend or family member might notice them.
Concussions also cause a number of physical symptoms, including:
- Blurry vision,
- Dilated or asymmetrical pupils,
- Trouble concentrating,
- Nausea and vomiting,
- Ringing in the ears,
- Slurred speech, and
- Trouble sleeping.
In children, a concussion may result in the symptoms listed above along with crankiness or a change in habits. Regardless of the severity of the accident, if you experience a concussion from a car accident, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible.
How Will a Concussion Affect My Settlement?
Even in a fairly minor accident, a concussion can be a serious problem. You will likely have to seek medical care and may even have to miss work as a result. If you experience a concussion after a car accident, a lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
Damages in a concussion case can include past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. In some cases, a concussion after a car accident lasts beyond the expected recovery period. Patients with post-concussive syndrome have symptoms that can last a year or more. If this happens, you may be able to recover damages for your rehabilitation and reduced earning capacity as well.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer After an Accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. In addition to injuries and other medical needs, you will also have to deal with insurance claims. If you or a loved one suffered a concussion from a car accident, hiring a car accident lawyer is crucial to making sure you get the maximum settlement possible.
While you could handle your car accident concussion claim on your own, an experienced lawyer will know how to work with insurance companies. If necessary, a lawyer can also assist you in filing a claim in court.
Injured in an Accident?
The Peace Law Firm prides itself on providing competent and compassionate representation for car accident victims. Contact the Peace Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation regarding your car accident claim.