Although some people refer to concussions as a mild type of traumatic brain injury, the word “mild” doesn’t accurately describe this condition. In fact, concussions are very serious injuries that can affect a person’s life for several weeks, months, or even years after the accident. Therefore, if you suffer a concussion, you may need Telaré Law in your corner, advocating for you and forcing the insurance companies to listen and understand how devastating these injuries can be.
What is a concussion?
According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a concussion is one of the several types of traumatic brain injury. It is typically caused when a person hits, strikes, or bumps their head on a hard surface or object, causing the brain to bounce around rapidly in the skull. This causes the brain tissue and cells to become altered, stretched out, torn, and even completely damaged. This can lead to the brain cells being unable to work, perform, and send messages to one another. As a result, an individual who is diagnosed with a concussion may suffer for many years, and their life may never be the same as before the accident or injury.
Concussions should be taken very seriously. In fact, a recent article about a podcast called Chasing Life made some good points about concussions that everyone should hear. The podcast featured CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Julie Stamm, the author of a book called “The Brain on Youth Sports: The Science, the Myths, and the Future,” who were having a conversation about concussions.
Stamm stated that concussions should never be brushed off or taken lightly because they are traumatic brain injuries, and although they are considered to be “mild” traumatic brain injuries, the author explains that “even that feels like it minimizes the injury.” This injury “still can have very significant consequences, lasting symptoms, and can very much disrupt someone’s life. So, it is a serious injury,” Stamm expressed in the podcast episode.
Symptoms and signs of a concussion after a Kennewick car accident
If you recently hit your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or even the windshield in your vehicle during a car accident, you may be curious to know if you might have a concussion. While it is great that you are taking the time to find out if you have this serious injury, it is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will run the proper tests, assess your symptoms, and look over your head or skull to see how severe your injuries might be. However, in the meantime, it may be beneficial for you to know if you have any symptoms or signs that may indicate that you have a concussion, which include:
- Experiencing excruciating headaches that won’t go away
- Hearing ringing in your ears
- Feeling nauseous or even vomiting
- Feeling overly tired, drowsy, and less alert than normal
- Experiencing vision issues, especially blurry vision
- Feeling confused or dazed
- Experiencing dizziness
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Experiencing speech or communication problems
- Inability to remember or memorize things
- Feeling aggravated, moody, or irritated easily
- Experiencing sleep issues
- Feeling depressed, sad, or down
- Experiencing issues with your smell and taste senses
- Inability to be around bright lights or loud sounds
How do doctors diagnose and treat concussions?
Whether you are involved in a single-car crash or a multi-vehicle accident, you should always go to the emergency room or visit your primary care physician immediately to rule out serious injuries. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, family and medical history, and look at your bodily injuries. Patients usually know when something feels off or abnormal within their bodies, but it is important to know that concussions can take hours or even days to appear after an accident.
Therefore, if your doctor does not diagnose a concussion and sends you home, you should keep an eye out for anything that may signal that you have a concussion. Schedule a follow-up appointment within a couple of days, and at that appointment, ask for the doctor to re-evaluate your symptoms to see if a concussion is present. However, if any symptoms arise before your follow-up appointment, you should go to the hospital right away. Some of the methods that a physician may use to diagnose a concussion include:
- Neurological tests: Neurological tests check certain functions that may be affected by a concussion, such as your balance, coordination, muscle strength, hearing, reflexes, senses, vision and more.
- Cognitive tests: Cognitive tests are very important, as they assess if any damage has been done to your brain or affected your thinking skills. Some of the things that cognitive tests check for are your ability to remember, concentrate, focus, and memorize certain information.
- Scans and images: If you have symptoms of a concussion, the doctor will likely order scans and images. This will be done by CT scans, X-rays, and MRI tests, which will provide your doctor with an up-close look of what is going on in your brain.
- Hospitalization or admittance: Sometimes, doctors will admit you to the hospital if they think that you need to be watched more closely. This gives the doctor and nurses more time to analyze your symptoms, give you an accurate diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. This is also common for individuals who are diagnosed with concussions as your healthcare provider may want to make sure that you wake up, function normally, and that your symptoms do not become worse.
While some doctors may recommend mental and physical rest and relaxation after a concussion, Stamm mentioned on the podcast episode that “We now know that light exercise is helpful for concussion recovery.” She believes and recommends that patients begin with “an easy exercise such as light walking or riding a stationary bike 24 to 48 hours after a concussion.” They should try to push themselves to “a level that either does not — or only mildly — exacerbates symptoms (no more than two points on a 10-point scale) because that increases blood flow to the brain and can help the brain recover faster,” which is also written in her book.
If you or a loved one suffered a concussion due to another driver’s negligence, a Kennewick car accident lawyer from Telaré Law will fight for the fair compensation you need and deserve to get back on your feet and rebuild your life again. Our team is committed to helping our clients who are going through this tough time, and we will always have your best interests in mind when it comes to any legal decision or steps in this process. Contact our firm or call our Kennewick office today to learn the various ways we can legally assist you. We serve all of Washington State and will do everything we can to help you take care of your medical and financial burdens that have emerged since the accident.