Understanding Concussions and How They Are Caused
A concussion is a form of brain injury. This mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen when a person receives a blow to the head, face, neck, or other part of the body that causes their brain to move back and forth inside their skull. During this trauma, if the accident victim’s brain collides with the interior of the skull, they may experience symptoms of a concussion, or a more severe TBI.
Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. In Nova Scotia, approximately 2,700 patients per year are diagnosed with concussions. If treated properly, most concussions can be resolved without complications. However, even mild or moderate TBIs can have a substantial impact on an accident victim’s quality of life. In certain circumstances, concussions can even cause a person to sustain long-term disabilities.
Because concussions can shear nerves in the brain, affected brains cannot produce enough energy to function normally. As a result, victims suffering from concussions may experience a wide range of disruptive symptoms. These may include:
- Physical Symptoms: Dizziness, nausea, difficulties with balance, vomiting, headaches, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, fatigue, sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual, difficulty falling asleep.
- Cognitive Symptoms: Difficulty thinking, remembering, concentrating, and staying focused.
- Behavioural Symptoms: Increasing irritability, extreme mood swings, anxiety, depression.
If treated incorrectly, concussions can result in chronic symptoms that persist for years. That is why, after an accident, people experiencing certain signs of concussions should seek immediate medical attention. These warning signs may include:
- Neck pain
- Double vision
- Weakness or tingling in extremities
- Severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Restless, argumentative, or agitated behaviour
- And possibly more
Accidents That Might Cause Concussions
Acquired brain injuries like concussions can occur during any kind of accident where the soft tissue of the brain collides with bone inside the skull. Concussions can be sustained if an accident victim’s head makes forceful contact with another object, or if their bodies are jarred to one side with enough speed and velocity.
Common examples of accidents that could result in concussions include:
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Sports injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falling objects
- Boating accidents
- Accidents caused by defective products
- And more
If you sustained a concussion in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, a Nova Scotia personal injury lawyermay be able to offer useful legal assistance and advice. To discuss the circumstances of your accident and learn if you are eligible to pursue damages from the at-fault party, book a consultation with Preszler Injury Lawyers today.
Long-Term Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Depending on their severity, acquired brain injuries sustained through traumatic events can have profound, devastating effects on accident victims and their family members. Brain injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 35 and the primary cause of chronic disability for Canadians of all ages. On average, a Canadian sustains a traumatic brain injury every three minutes.
Even accident victims who have sustained mild TBIs could feel the symptoms of their concussions for months, or even years. If concussions go unnoticed and therefore untreated, their symptoms could worsen and persist over time. Athletes in particular– especially those who play high-contact sports like hockey or football– are vulnerable to sustaining multiple concussions in their lifetimes. Repetitive blows to the head and multiple concussions over time can cause permanent brain damage, like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Furthermore, if a concussed accident victim does not properly treat their initial brain injury and, instead, engages in normal behaviour, they could be vulnerable to repeat injuries. Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) can occur when a person suffers a second concussion before the symptoms of their initial injury have subsided. Typically, this occurs if a concussed person sustains a second TBI within two weeks of their initial concussion. Young athletes are most likely to be affected by this syndrome. Whether they try fighting through the symptoms of their concussions or do not even realize that they have sustained a mild TBI, athletes are liable to continue playing their sport despite worsening concussion symptoms. If they sustain another blow to the head during gameplay before the symptoms of their initial concussion have been resolved, the consequences can be devastating. The effects of SIS can be fatal. Within two to five minutes of sustaining a second impact injury, an accident victim can experience brain herniation, and rapid deterioration causing death.
When a person survives repetitive traumatic damage to the brain, they may endure the effects of severe TBIs. That means they may be required to make profound alterations to their lifestyles and their relationships to their loved ones.
In addition to coping with physical symptoms stemming from their brain injuries, the cognitive and emotional changes accident victims often endure may cause them to experience social difficulties. They may have trouble interacting with family members, friends, co-workers, and romantic partners. Often, people who have sustained severe brain injuries find themselves in financial distress. In fact, approximately half of Canada’s homeless population is made up of people suffering at least one form of brain injury.
Pursuing Financial Compensation for Brain Injuries
Although concussions are considered mild TBIs, they can still have a prolonged impact on the life of an accident victim. The symptoms of a concussion could prevent an accident victim from returning to their place of work. Depending on the severity of the TBI sustained, costly medical expenses, treatments, and lifestyle adjustments may be required to adequately cope with the injury.
If you have sustained a TBI in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a Nova Scotia personal injury lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Doing so might help you receive financial compensation for the costs you have incurred or will incur as a result of your injury. With the assistance of a lawyer, you may be able to pursue damages for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Attendant Care
- Ongoing medical care/in-home care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Adjusted living expenses
- Pain and suffering, depending on the severity of your TBI
- And possibly more
To prove the degree to which a victim’s life has been negatively impacted by the brain injury they sustained in an accident, a lawyer may compile and present various forms of evidence. These types of evidence may include:
- Medical records
- Attending physicians’ reports
- Testimonies from medical experts
- Medical prognosis
- Psychiatric assessments
- Personal impact statements
- Statements from family members
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the accident
- Video surveillance footage or photographic evidence from the accident scene
- And possibly more
By presenting a thorough collection of evidence, a Nova Scotia personal injury lawyer may be able to help their clients recover the financial compensation to which they are entitled from the party responsible for causing their brain injuries.
Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one sustained a concussion in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation. To discuss the circumstances of the accident and learn if you’re eligible to pursue damages, contact us today.