But the symptoms of a concussion do not always feel mild. After a concussion injury, you may experience physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms that interfere with your daily activities.
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How Do Concussion Injuries Happen?
Your brain is responsible for controlling your nervous system. It receives sensory signals from your body. It also sends control signals to your body.
The brain sits inside the skull in a pool of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The skull protects the brain from direct impacts. The CSF has a viscosity slightly thicker than water. It cushions the brain and slows down its motion.
Now, suppose that you hit a soccer ball with your head. Your skull protects your brain from the direct impact of the ball. And even if the impact on your head is fairly strong, your brain barely moves because it floats inside of the CSF.
In many situations, the skull and CSF work together to protect your brain from injury. But sometimes, you can experience forces so powerful that your brain sloshes in the CSF.
Envision a boat moving through the water. A pressure wave forms at the front of the boat from the water pushing back against the boat.
The same thing happens when your brain sloshes in the CSF. A pressure wave in the CSF pushes on your brain in its direction of motion. The pressure wave causes widespread but mild damage to brain cells.
These damaged cells undergo a chemical change. Some will die and release chemicals. Others suffer damage. When this happens, the body rushes immune cells and building materials to the site of the injury to repair these damaged areas.
As a result of these chemical changes, the damaged area experiences inflammation and swelling.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion Injury?
Inflammation, swelling, and loss of brain cells combine to cause concussion symptoms such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea or dizziness
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination or dexterity
You will probably experience some symptoms, such as a headache, immediately upon suffering a concussion. But some symptoms might not show up until hours or days after your accident.
How Do Doctors Rate the Severity of a Concussion Injury?
Doctors use many tests to rate the severity of a concussion injury. You have probably seen a version of the most common test, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), used when athletes suffer head trauma during football or basketball games.
The GCS rates a concussion as mild, moderate, or severe. Any patient who experiences unconsciousness, even briefly, has a severe concussion.
Doctors use three tests to rate patients who remain conscious:
- Eye response
- Motor response
- Verbal response
Patients who open their eyes spontaneously, move on command, and answer questions coherently or with only minor confusion are said to have a mild concussion.
Patients are said to have a moderate concussion if they only open their eyes in response to stimulus, move only in response to pain, and provide inappropriate or incoherent answers to questions.
Most accident victims recover from their symptoms after a few weeks. In some rare cases, however, the symptoms persist. If your concussion symptoms last more than two months, doctors might diagnose you with post-concussion syndrome.
Doctors do not know why some patients experience post-concussion syndrome. Some theorize that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder after their accidents have a higher likelihood of developing post-concussion syndrome.
Post-concussion syndrome is defined by persistent, long-term concussion symptoms. It also includes worsening symptoms such as:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Emotional outbursts
- Sleep disorders
Doctors cannot treat post-concussion syndrome. However, they can treat many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome using migraine medication and anti-anxiety medication.
What Are the Primary Risk Factors for a Concussion Injury?
People who have previously had a concussion are more likely to suffer another concussion. People who participate in contact sports, like soccer and football, also have a higher likelihood of suffering a concussion.
Additionally, some accidents have a higher likelihood of causing a concussion, including:
The physics of car accidents create a substantial risk of concussion injuries. Objects that are in motion tend to stay in motion until acted upon by an outside force.
When you get into a car crash, your brain wants to keep moving at the same speed as it was moving before the crash. The CSF must push on your brain with a lot of force to stop this motion. The resulting brain damage and inflammation can cause concussion symptoms.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents have a high risk of concussions. When a vehicle hits you, your brain can slosh inside your skull, leading to a concussion. When you fall to the ground, you can hit your head on the pavement. This head trauma can also cause a concussion.
Workplace accidents can cause a concussion in many ways. A falling object could strike your head. A vehicle, such as a forklift or a tractor, could strike you. You could fall from a height and hit your head.
How Do I Pursue Compensation After a Concussion Injury?
You can seek compensation when you suffer a concussion injury due to someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. Your compensation should be enough to cover your economic and non-economic damages.
While doctors have very few treatments for a concussion, they will often prescribe rest. As a result, you might have to miss substantial time from work after a concussion.
Your economic damages include your medical bills and lost wages or salary.
Your damages will also take into account your non-economic damages. When you suffer a concussion, you might experience pain. You could also experience mental anguish, anxiety, and depression.
Your doctor could restrict your activities. You may not be able to participate in your usual routine. You can seek compensation for each of these non-economic losses.
Contact a Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
If you have suffered a concussion injury due to someone else’s actions, you can pursue injury compensation. Contact our Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers offices for a free consultation with a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer. We’ll discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury and help you to explore your legal options.