Most people have heard of concussions and know that they are types of brain injuries, but you may not know how a concussion affects your brain and the extent of damage a serious concussion can cause. At the Nielsen Law Firm, we represent people who suffer serious concussions as the result of unsafe sports practices, car accidents, and other accidents that involve a traumatic blow to the head. Even something as seemingly minor as whiplash or being violently shaken can cause a concussion.
WHAT MAKES CONCUSSIONS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER INJURIES?
Concussions—and all brain injuries—are not like broken bones. People do not have one set of distinct symptoms but a variety of symptoms that manifest in multiple ways and at different times. As a result, people with minor concussions may never realize that they have had one. Even serious concussions may not cause serious symptoms until sometime after the trauma occurs.
Depending on the part of the brain injured, a concussion may cause:
- Balance, coordination, and equilibrium problems
- Concentration, memory, and learning difficulties
- Vision problems
- Mood changes
- Sleep difficulties
While physicians can accurately deduce a concussion from the circumstances and symptoms, they often recommend imaging and neuropsychological testing to make sure the brain has not suffered a more serious injury, such as a brain bleed or bruising.
If you recognize the above symptoms or other out of place behaviors after suffering any type of head injury, contact your physician. Most concussions require consistent monitoring after the injury, but some require immediate intervention.
LONG-TERM PROGNOSES FOR CONCUSSIONS
Most concussion damage goes away on its own over time, but a concussion can cause permanent changes in brain functionality. Some people may never recover their memories, ability to concentrate, or fine motor skills. One severe concussion can cause permanent damage as can several small concussions over time. Contact sports players, in particular, face a high risk of permanent damage from repeated concussive trauma.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR MY CONCUSSION?
To determine liability for your concussion injury, we must look carefully at the circumstances of the case. Possible defendants in concussion cases include:
- Caretakers who fail to monitor children and elderly adults in potentially dangerous situations
- Parents who allow other peoples’ children to ride on recreational vehicles, such as ATVs, without consent or proper safety equipment
- Drivers who cause accidents involving other vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles
- Employers who fail to follow industry standards for workplace safety
- Schools that fail to require proper head protection during sports
- Schools that fail to react responsibly after a child suffers a head trauma
In many cases, insurance providers will pay out the terms of a settlement. Watch out for premature settlement offers. If you accept a settlement, you cannot file a claim against the person responsible for your accident. Talk to an attorney if anyone approaches you with a settlement, and do not agree to sign any forms or make a formal statement about the accident.
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A CONCUSSION
Follow the instructions medical professionals provide, and record your experience. Keep track of changing symptoms, all medical records, and how you are addressing the situation. For concussions that cause symptoms that last for more than 15 minutes and any concussion that involves unconsciousness, reach out to an experienced head injury attorney.
Head injury cases require thorough investigations. We may need to involve accident recreation specialists and other trained professionals who can provide insight into your particular situation. Our firm will explore every potential liable party and gather the evidence needed to prove negligent or intentional harm. Contact our Houston, Texas, office for a free case evaluation as soon as you receive a concussion-related diagnosis.