How to Recognize a Concussion | KNR
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Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of concussions in the U.S., with some victims reporting symptoms for days, months, and even years.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
May 16, 2023

A concussion is a type of brain injury that results from a sudden impact or jolt, causing the brain to move rapidly back and forth within the skull. This movement can damage the brain, leading to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory problems.

A car accident can cause a concussion if the head or body is violently shaken or struck. For example, if a person is involved in a collision, their body may be thrown forward, and their head may hit the windshield or dashboard, causing a concussion. Similarly, if a person is hit from the side, their head may be violently shaken, leading to a concussion.

Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of a concussion may be hard to recognize.

How to Recognize a Concussion

If you suspect you got a head injury from a car accident, seeking medical care right away is crucial. Learn some of the indicators to look out for and get started on your claim today with the help of an experienced Ohio brain injury attorney.

Here are eight common signs you may have a concussion after a car accident:

1. You’re Struggling to Read This

You might experience blurry vision, headaches, or trouble thinking if you have a concussion. These symptoms can worsen when you read or concentrate. Additionally, looking at a screen can cause discomfort if you have sensitivity to light—another sign of a concussion.

Do not push yourself.

Your brain is extremely fragile – and precious. If you have difficulty reading this article or notice any changes to your eyesight or cognitive abilities in general, take a break task and see a doctor immediately.

2. You Lost Consciousness After the Crash

You should get medical care immediately if you lose consciousness after your car accident. Severe concussions can lead to a loss of consciousness on impact or even later. You may have a life-threatening traumatic brain injury (TBI) from your crash if you experience a blackout.

3. You Can’t Quite Remember the Accident

If you were involved in an Ohio car accident, look out for any memory issues. Perhaps you forget what happened right before the accident or how you got back home afterward. These are red flags that you could have a concussion, as traumatic brain injuries can cause amnesia and problems remembering new information.

Your doctor can assess your memory impairment through questions and tests. They may ask you basic questions, such as where you are currently and what you remember from the accident, yet you might struggle to answer them due to your condition.

Luckily, amnesia is often temporary and resolves during concussion recovery. However, severe concussions can result in permanent amnesia, according to the Mayo Clinic.

4. You Fail a Balance Test

Doctors may evaluate a patient they suspect of a concussion by asking them to perform a Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) test. This is because concussions often lead to dizziness, vertigo, or other balance issues.

Doctors may ask you to close your eyes and stand with your feet together, stand with one foot in front, or stand on one leg. They will check for symptoms of imbalance, such as swaying or stumbling.

You can try to perform a balance test at home with help from a friend or loved one. However, this tool is not a diagnostic measure but simply a way to gauge whether or not you can hold your balance. Passing the test does not mean you are not concussed, and failing does not technically mean you are. Regardless of how well or poorly you perform, you should visit a doctor after a car accident.

5. Your Sleep Habits Have Changed

Concussions can impact sleep in numerous ways. You may find it difficult to fall or stay asleep (insomnia) or feel that you are sleeping too much (hypersomnia). Regardless, any changes to your sleeping habits, sleep schedule, or fatigue levels are a reason to worry.

Studies show that 30-70% of individuals experience sleep disturbances after a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, the effects of altered sleep patterns can be pervasive and last for months. If you are concussed, you may be unable to work due to excessive fatigue.

6. Your Mood is Lower

Concussions can cause depression and other cognitive changes. About half of the people who suffer a TBI experience depression within the first year, growing to two-thirds within seven years.

However, various other injuries could mimic the emotional symptoms of a concussion. You may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression unrelated to a concussion, or another mental health disorder.

These injuries are just as valid as physical ones, and you can recover compensation for your pain and suffering in Ohio.

7. You Fail an Eye Movement Test

You or the people around you may notice changes in your visual movements if you sustained a concussion in a car crash. A brain injury may cause your eyes to dart uncontrollably back and forth, up and down, or in a circular motion. This is known as nystagmus.

You may also fail to smoothly “track” or follow an object when you have a TBI. If someone moves a finger in front of your face, your eyes will typically follow their direction smoothly. However, with a concussion, your eyes might make several adjustments (called saccades) that lag behind the finger or fail to focus.

A doctor can perform ocular functioning tests to see how smoothly you track a pen, light, finger, or object. They may also observe signs of rapid eye movement, issues with depth perception, and varying sizes in both pupils, known as anisocoria.

8. You Feel Fine After a Crash

Arguably the most sinister sign of a concussion is no indication at all.

You may not experience symptoms of brain trauma immediately after a car accident. In some cases, concussive signs and symptoms do not appear until hours or even days after the impact. You could leave your car accident feeling fine and decide not to seek medical treatment until it’s too late.

If you were recently involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, there is a chance you have a concussion. The causes, signs, and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can look different from person to person, so it is imperative to get help from a doctor who can evaluate and treat you accordingly.

Contact an Ohio Brain Injury Attorney Today

If you suspect you have a TBI after a car accident in Ohio, do not hesitate to seek immediate medical care and contact a brain injury lawyer to help you recover compensation.

Treatment may be lengthy and strenuous, but the experienced attorneys at Kisling, Nestico, & Redick are prepared to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve to cover your damages, including the cost of your concussion.

Contact KNR today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated and compassionate legal team.