A head injury is a very common injury after a car accident, with thousands of Americans visiting the ER every year for car accident-related concussions. A concussion is actually considered a mild traumatic brain injury. While they are generally not life-threatening, they can create some debilitating physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms for several weeks or months. This can lead to thousands of dollars in combined medical expenses and lost wages. The good news is that you can sue for a concussion after a car accident, and a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer can help.
If you have suffered a concussion due to a negligent driver, you can recover financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Baton Rouge car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown have nearly 40 years of experience in helping their clients obtain justice and fair settlements for their injuries. We can do the same for you. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that often occurs after a sudden impact – or sudden blow – to the head. More specifically, a concussion occurs when the brain moves rapidly back and forth inside the skull. It’s basically like whiplash, but for the brain. Brain cells naturally sustain some damage after hitting the sides of the skull. Sometimes, tiny blood vessels on the brain can break during this violent movement.
Even though a concussion is considered a mild brain injury, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t serious. A severe concussion can drastically alter a person’s life for several weeks or months after the original accident. That’s why it’s so important to seek medical attention after any accident that causes you to hit your head.
How Many Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen in the U.S. Every Year?
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 223,000 Americans went to the emergency room for a concussion or brain injury in 2019. The CDC also claims that more than 64,000 traumatic brain injury related deaths occurred in 2020.
Common Causes of Concussions
The most common causes of mild traumatic brain injuries include:
- A motor vehicle collision such as a car accident, a truck accident, a motorcycle accident, a bicycle accident, or even a pedestrian accident
- Being violently shaken or assaulted
- Sports-related accidents
- Slipping, tripping, and falling
- General clumsiness leading to an accidental bump on the head
- Playground accidents (child concussion cases)
- Being in close proximity to an explosion
How Common Are Concussions After Car Accidents?
Most people associate concussion injuries with professional football players. However, athletes are not the only ones who frequently suffer from head injuries. Concussions are one of the most common injuries that people sustain from car accidents. In fact, CDC data claims that 17% of traumatic brain injury-related deaths were caused by car accidents between the years of 2018 and 2019.
There are a couple main ways that a concussion can occur during a car crash. Firstly, a driver’s head could just violently whip back and forth from the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the car during impact. In situations like this, drivers frequently suffer whiplash as well. Secondly, a driver could violently hit their head on the steering wheel or even the driver’s side window.
Common Concussion Symptoms
Common symptoms from a concussion can include:
- Severe headache
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Temporary loss of consciousness (but some people don’t lose consciousness at all with a concussion)
- Short term memory loss
- General confusion
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
- Tinnitus which is ringing in the ears
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Chronic fatigue
- Disruptions in sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
- Difficulty balancing, concentrating, understanding, paying attention, or coordinating movements
- Mental health issues such as increased anxiety or depression
- General irritability
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after a car accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. Additionally, if your symptoms worsen or you experience other symptoms such as seizures, pupil abnormalities, blood/fluid drainage from the nose or ears, and continuous nausea/vomiting, you should go to the ER immediately.
Can Concussions Cause Permanent Brain Damage?
In most cases, a single mild head injury should not cause permanent brain damage. But suffering multiple mild traumatic brain injuries can increase your risks of permanent brain damage or post concussion syndrome.
What is Post Concussion Syndrome?
While most people make a complete recovery from their mild traumatic brain injury, others do not. Instead, they may suffer from classic concussion symptoms for several months or even years. This is called post concussive syndrome, and it affects up to 15% of concussion patients according to a recent study.
Common post concussion syndrome symptoms include dizziness, changes in sleeping habits, chronic fatigue, post traumatic headaches, depression, anxiety, tinnitus, brain fog, and more.
Medical Treatment for Concussions
There is only so much medical care can do to relieve concussion symptoms. Most medical professionals will recommend several days of physical and mental rest. This means no strenuous physical exercise, no computer work, no texting, and no schoolwork. Concussion patients should also keep TV and general screen time to a minimum, especially because one of the main symptoms of a concussion is sensitivity to light and noise.
Medical professionals may also prescribe pain medications during the healing process. If the patient suffered a serious head injury that greatly impacts their ability to think, concentrate, balance, and retain memories, then the doctor may also recommend cognitive rehabilitation.
How to Reduce Concussion Risk in the Car
The best and only way to reduce your concussion risk in the car is to wear a seat belt and always make sure children are strapped into booster seats safely and correctly. Aside from that, just always be vigilant and safe on the roads.
Can You Sue for a Concussion After a Car Accident?
Yes, you can sue for a concussion after a car accident, especially if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence. Common examples of negligence on the roads are texting and driving or drinking and driving.
Concussions – despite being categorized as mild TBIs – are still serious injuries that can drastically change your life for several weeks, months, or even years. Many concussion victims have to take several weeks off work and spend thousands of dollars on medical expenses in order to get back to some sort of normalcy. Even then, some people never fully recover from their concussion. An at-fault driver deserves to be held accountable for this level of physical, mental, and financial damage.
Damages for a Concussion After a Car Accident
Baton Rouge car accident attorneys can help an injured person recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitative bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if the concussion leads to permanent cognitive impairment which prevents a person from accomplishing their normal job duties
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental health counseling bills
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
Call Baton Rouge Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown Today
If you have suffered a concussion due to a negligent driver, you have grounds to contact one of our Baton Rouge traumatic brain injury lawyers. We have the skill and experience necessary to successfully handle all sorts of personal injury cases, including those caused by car accidents. Our legal team has nearly 40 years of experience in helping our injured clients obtain the justice and financial compensation they deserve. We are ready to start an attorney-client relationship with you today. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.