Imagine you’re in a car accident and you hit your head during the crash, leaving you feeling woozy and sensitive to light and sound. Or maybe you’re playing sports and took a big hit and now you’re drowsy and have trouble balancing. You’ve heard of concussions, but don’t really know what they are or what to do about one.
Don’t find yourself in a situation like this without the knowledge you need to respond to a possible concussion properly. Keep reading to find out what concussions are, what to do if you suffer from one and what your legal options are.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head that causes the head and brain to move quickly backward and forward. The speed of the movement causes the brain to move in the skull causing chemical changes in the brain and can cause stretching and damaging brain cells.
Concussions can make the sufferer fall unconscious, but not always.
The most common way to suffer from a concussion is from a fall, but concussions are also common when playing contact sports like football or soccer. They can also occur from car accidents or workplace accidents.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Concussions symptoms can be subtle, short-term or in some cases delayed. But sometimes symptoms can be just the opposite—lasting for weeks and creating major problems in a person’s life.
Watch out for symptoms in yourself after a head injury, but it’s also important to have other people keep an eye out for symptoms you may not notice.
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness, confusion or even amnesia regarding the event
- Slurred speech
- Appearing dazed
- Delayed response to questions or forgetfulness
Symptoms that occur days later can be a little different. But if things like trouble sleeping, taste or smell changes, light and noise sensitivity, personality changes or concentration or memory issues start cropping up, it may also be a sign of a concussion.
Keches Law Trial Attorney Sean Kiely says most people with a traumatic brain injury have a general feeling that they aren’t well.
“Some people feel tired or drowsy, some people experience sensitivity to noise and light,” he says. “If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, over 95% of people experience headache-like symptoms.”
What Are My Legal Options with a Concussion?
You have various options legally, depending on how your head was injured. If it happened through the negligent behavior of another person, you may have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. If the injury came at work, while performing typical work functions, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
“When you’re dealing with long-term pain, it affects every aspect of your life,” Kiely says.
Pain and suffering can’t be used for workers’ compensation claims, Kiely says. But if a client is looking for a personal injury settlement, it’s crucial to show how the injury has affected their life.
“It’s about trying to compensate the individual as best we can so they can get on with their life,” he says. “It’s about getting them the justice they deserve.”
When Should You Return to Work after a Concussion?
After suffering a concussion, you may need to take time off work, athletics, or other physically or mentally straining obligations. In this situation, make sure to listen to the doctor’s orders and to follow up with a doctor’s note for wherever it may be required.
Common medical advice when recovering from a concussion includes:
- Avoid intense lighting or excessive noise.
- Don’t look at computers, cell phones, and TVs for any extended period of time.
- Exercise can put you at risk of a slow recovery through unnecessary movements. Also through the increase of your blood flow to the brain which may spike headaches.
- And of course, work with your medical provider to treat your injury appropriately.
Sometimes workers who suffer concussions feel obligated to rush back to work as soon as they start feeling better. This is due to guilt or even pressure from their employer. We can’t emphasize enough that it’s important to rest for as long as your doctor recommends to avoid long-term complications or further injuries as a result of returning to work too soon.
If You’ve Suffered a Concussion, Keches Law Group Can Help
Reach out to our skilled and experienced workers’ compensation lawyers and personal injury lawyers if you suffered a concussion at work or if your head injury was due to the negligence of another person.