Americans suffer about two million concussions annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A concussion is a mild form of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is usually a “closed head” injury. What does that mean? Basically, concussions are most commonly caused by blunt trauma or a strong impact to the head, not penetration through the skull. When the brain bounces around in the head, it can become bruised. In some cases, internal bleeding may also occur.
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of concussions. In fact, more than 14 percent of concussions occur in motor vehicle accidents. You don’t have to experience direct impact to the head to suffer a concussion. In car accidents especially, the body may be violently jolted or shaken, causing the brain to slam against the inside of the skull. Concussion symptoms can take hours, days, or even weeks to appear. As such, it is crucial that you seek medical attention after a car accident or any type of blow to the head.
Are Concussions Dangerous?
Concussions can range from mild to severe, and the risk of long-term complications increases with the severity of the concussion. Concussions are evaluated using a grading system to determine severity. The different levels of concussion include:
- Grade 1: No loss of consciousness. Amnesia occurs for less than 30 minutes, or not at all.
- Grade 2: Unconscious for less than five minutes. Amnesia lasts less than 24 hours.
- Grade 3: Unconscious for more than five minutes. Amnesia may continue for more than 24 hours.
Regardless of whether or not you lost consciousness, it is wise to visit the emergency department if you have suffered a head injury. This is especially true if your injury was accompanied by vomiting, loss of balance, or seizures. A common risk with concussion patients is something called Second Impact Syndrome, which occurs when the brain is re-injured before the first concussion injuries have healed. It is crucial to take it easy and avoid any type of impact to the head if you even suspect a mild concussion. Second Impact Syndrome can be fatal. A MA personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve suffered a concussion due to another’s negligence. Continue reading