Concussions: This Often Overlooked Injury Can Lead to Permanent Damage
Concussions are an often overlooked aspect of personal injury incidents. Since the damage is internal, it isn’t as easy to spot as other injuries. The fact that some symptoms of a concussion might not show up until days or even weeks after the accident makes it easy to see how concussions can easily be overlooked.
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How They Occur
The fact that they are often overlooked doesn’t make them any less serious. A concussion occurs when there is an injury to the brain caused by a sudden impact or rigorous shaking. This injury alters the way the brain functions. A mild concussion will might heal on its own with few lasting effects. However, a more serious concussion can have lifelong effects on a person’s physical and mental well being.
A few of the most common physical symptoms of a concussion are:
- Persistent headache or neck pain
- Lightheadedness or problems with balance
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision and sensitivity to light
In addition to the physical symptoms there are many psychological issues that can be the result of a concussion. These include:
- Difficulty recalling things and trouble concentrating or making decisions
- A marked slowness in thinking ability or speaking
- Becoming disoriented easily
- Loss of motivation or becoming tired easily
- Emotional changes like being happy or sad for no reason
In 2010 there were 2.5 million hospital visits because of brain injuries. Concussions caused or contributed to the deaths of over 50,000 people. They contribute to over 30% of all deaths caused by injuries. Many people assume that sports injuries are the leading cause of concussions because of the media attention they receive, but this isn’t the case. Falls are responsible for nearly half of all brain injuries, and car accidents are responsible for about 14%.
Why Concussion Claims Can Be Difficult
Making a personal injury claim due to a concussion can be difficult. Most injuries sustained during an accident are easy to see, and there is little question as to whether the injury is real. Defendants in concussion cases may try to deny that the injury exists, or say that it didn’t occur as a result of the accident in question. Many mild concussions don’t show up on an MRI or Catscan, making it even more difficult to prove the injury. This tactic may be unfair, but it can be effective if the plaintiff doesn’t have proper representation. A Lake County personal injury lawyer can help the victim win or settle the case and get the compensation they deserve.
Neuropsychologists are specialists who look at how injuries and illnesses affect behavior and thinking. These specialists are divided when it comes to concussions. Some of them don’t believe that a mild concussion can cause lasting behavioral or cognitive effects even when test results show changes. Others in the field say that these injuries can cause lasting mental effects.
Medical professionals believe the injured party has something to gain by proving the injury. This leads many of them to write off the victim’s claims, because they believe the victim is just out to gain something from the accident. A Lake County Personal Injury attorney can help an accident victim find doctors who will believe they are injured and look at all the test results impartially.
Many people aren’t aware that not seeking treatment right after an accident can cost them physically and financially. When someone is injured in an accident they have to decide whether or not to seek immediate treatment. If their condition worsens because they didn’t seek immediate medical treatment, the insurance company or judge can reduce the damages they receive. This basically assigns some responsibility for the severity of the injury to the plaintiff.
Because concussion symptoms can show up after the accident or worsen over time, some people don’t seek immediate medical treatment. The insurance company will blame them for failure to mitigate the damages, because seeking treatment sooner could have kept the injury from getting worse.
Steps Someone Who Is Injured In an Accident Should Take
The first step anyone injured in an accident should take is to seek medical care. Because concussions and other injuries don’t always show symptoms right away, they should seek medical attention even if they feel their injuries are only minor. This will prevent any worries about mitigating damages as well as document any injuries the person sustained in the accident.
It is also important for the injured party to take photos or write down anything they can remember about the accident. Details like tripping over something or the floor being wet can be crucial to winning a case, but may be forgotten by the plaintiff if they aren’t documented right away.