Signs You May Have a Concussion After an Accident
If you have been involved in an accident, be it a car accident,a slip and fall, or any other incident in which you sustained trauma to the head,it is important to check whether you have a concussion. A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury caused by a sudden blow to the head, neck, or body.
The symptoms of concussions can vary. . Some people experience dizziness or even loss of consciousness. Others have a ringing in the ears, slurred speech, or nausea. Some people experience symptoms only after hours or even days have passed.
With proper treatment, most people recover from a concussion within a few weeks. However, there are factors that could contribute to potential complications. Understanding concussions and how they are caused might help to prevent serious long-term repercussions and speed up recovery times following an accident.
What Causes a Concussion?
A sudden blow can cause the brain to crash against the inner walls of the skull. Such an impact can damage brain function. While this damage is usually temporary, it is important to seek medical attention and monitor your symptoms in the ensuing days.
Common causes of concussions include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Sports accidents
- Physical abuse, including sexual assault
Symptoms of a Concussion
If you have experienced a violent jolt to the head or body, there is a chance you might have a concussion. A person experiencing the following symptoms should seek immediate medical attention:
- Seizures and/or convulsions
- Headache that is severe or increasing in intensity
- Double vision
- Recurrent vomiting
- Loss of consciousness, or declining consciousness
- Severe pain and/or tenderness in the neck
- Tingling, burning, and/or weak limbs
- Severe mood changes, including restless, agitated, or aggressive conduct
- And possibly more
Different people experience concussions very differently. Children, for instance, may not be able to articulate their symptoms in the same way an adult might. For that reason, it is important to be mindful of any changes in a child’s behaviour following a hit to the head.
Common concussion symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of balance
- Lack of coordination
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Changes to taste and/or smell
- Ears ringing
- Disturbed sleep
- Light sensitivity
- And possibly more
Even if you have no symptoms, it is advisable to see a doctor within one or two days of the accident.
Long-Term Effects of a Concussion
Depending on the injury’s severity, a person could experience life-altering, or even fatal complications. Traumatic brain injuries are a common cause of chronic disability, and have been reported to be the leading cause of death for young people in Canada.
Some people experience post-traumatic headaches that last months or even years after the incident. Others develop post-traumatic vertigo, which involves the sensation of dizziness or spinning.
Ongoing studies are investigating the impacts of repeated concussions. It is not yet clear whether multiple traumatic brain injuries over the course of a person’s life can have cumulative effects. However, returning to vigorous activity (such as sports) before properly healing from a concussion can lead to fatal second impact syndrome.
Diagnosing a Concussion
A doctor will usually conduct a neurological examination and cognitive testing as part of a patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. This typically includes physical tests of balance, vision, hearing, and reflexes, as well as questions designed to test a patient’s memory, concentration, and information recall.
For people experiencing severe symptoms, a doctor might order brain imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI. Sometimes a person with a concussion might be required to stay overnight in the hospital for observation.
Recovering From a Concussion
With proper rest, most concussions resolve on their own within a few weeks. It is important to follow the advice of your doctor, as each situation is different. Typically, it is advisable to rest for the first few days after a concussion. This means avoiding looking at screens and reducing activities that require mental concentration or physical strain.
However, complete isolation from stimuli – such as lying in a dark room for days – is not always recommended. Isolation could contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression, which may lengthen recovery time.
After a few days of rest, it might be acceptable to begin reintroducing regular, everyday activities such as screen time, light exercise, and modified forms of school and/or work. A doctor may recommend various forms of therapy. These can include rehabilitation therapy for vision, memory and thinking, or balance problems.
There are a number of resources available to help recover from concussions in Nova Scotia, including concussion clinics, education sessions, and support groups.
The Financial Impacts of Recovery
Recovering from a concussion can take a financial toll. Some people lose wages as a result of having to take time off work to rest. Occupational and physical therapy may not be covered by an accident victim’s insurance policy. Depending on the severity of the concussion, a person may no longer be able to continue working in their current occupational field. The symptoms of their brain injury could be so severe that an accident victim is no longer able to work at all.
If you have sustained a concussion as a result of an accident, there may be financial support available to you. This might go towards covering lost income, paying for medical care in your recovery, potentially reimbursing you for the loss of your future earning potential, and more. Our Nova Scotia personal injury lawyers may be able to help. Contact us today to discuss your case in a free, no-obligation, initial consultation.
Contact Our Nova Scotia Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Recovering from a concussion can be a long and difficult process. There is no need to suffer alone. Our Nova Scotia personal injury lawyers offer dedicated, compassionate service, beginning with a free initial consultation to address any questions you may have. Contact us today through our online booking form or via phone at 1-800-JUSTICE.