September 17th is Concussion Awareness Day, a day set aside to educate workers, teachers, coaches, and parents about the importance of recognizing the signs of a concussion, the proper treatment, and how to live with the long-term effects.
While concussions are typically mentioned in the media and are related to football players and other high-impact sports athletes, concussions are also common in car accident victims. Since concussions can be hard to recognize, many car accident victims are completely unaware they’ve suffered a concussion.
If you were in a car accident, it’s important to understand the signs of a concussion and why you should seek medical attention immediately, even after a fender bender. Concussions can interfere with your daily routine and activities. With proper treatment and care, you can get back to normal safely and quickly.
Signs of a Concussion After a Car Accident
Concussions are a form of a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from a blow to the head or a violent shake of the head and body. While concussions are usually associated with sports injuries and physical activity, car accidents can also lead to concussions. Even minor fender benders with speeds of 30 mph can cause a head injury and concussion.
If you were in an auto accident, be aware of concussion symptoms such as:
- Loss of Consciousness: This is the most obvious sign of a concussion. If the force of the impact was great enough to cause you to blackout, your brain may have suffered damage. Although blacking out is a sign of a concussion, know you do NOT have to lose consciousness to get a concussion.
- Headache: Headaches are one of the most common pain conditions in the world and can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain remedies. For car accident victims with a concussion, though, headaches may be persistent, worsen over time, and even be accompanied by blurred vision.
- Confusion: Concussion victims can feel “foggy” or dazed and stunned. They may also be unable to recall events immediately before or after the trauma that caused the concussion. If you were in an accident and don’t quite feel like yourself, this could be a sign of a concussion.
- Dizziness: Because a concussion is the result of your brain being jostled, you may experience dizziness. If you feel light-headed when you try to stand or move about, even if you did not lose consciousness after the accident, be sure to mention this to your medical team during care.
- Lethargy: It is very common for concussion victims to feel tired and lethargic. After your brain is injured, it has less energy to spare than it normally does. Everything your body does takes a little more time after a concussion which can make you feel tired or sleepy.
Oftentimes, many auto accident victims do not realize they have a concussion after an accident. The signs and symptoms may be subtle and can sometimes take 24 hours, and even up to more than a week to emerge.
If you’ve been in a car accident and suffered a concussion, seek medical attention and consult with a personal injury attorney. Your injuries may result in expensive medical bills and lost wages, and you have the right to file a personal injury claim to get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Think You Have a Concussion? Seek Medical Attention Immediately
If you were in a car accident and suspect you have a concussion, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Your brain needs time to heal, and a medical provider can help you understand the severity of the injury and what to do next to ensure a complete recovery.
You can expect the following from your medical provider during your visit:
- Neurological checkup: Your provider may examine your reflexes, vision, hearing, balance, mobility, and other neurological abilities to assess if you have a concussion.
- Cognitive exam: Because a concussion affects the brain, your provider will assess how well your cognitive abilities are functioning. They may ask you a series of questions to examine your memory, motor skills, awareness, and other critical brain functions.
After your exam, your provider will guide you on the proper care and treatment for your concussion. Standard treatments for a concussion include:
- Physical and mental rest: In the immediate days following a car accident and a concussion, rest is the most important way to allow your brain to heal. While physical rest is important, so is “relative” rest, which is limiting the amount of thinking and mental concentration. This includes limiting television, video games, reading, texting, and going to work.
- Gradual return to activities: Depending on the severity of your concussion, your provider may recommend a gradual return to normal activities after several days or a week. Slowly reintroducing your normal routine will help your brain continue to heal as you get back to your lifestyle.
- Pain relief: Headaches are very common after a concussion. Your provider will recommend what over-the-counter pain medications are safe to take. Not all pain relievers are recommended for concussions since some can increase the risk of bleeding. Discuss your options directly with your provider.
With proper rest and care, concussion victims can recover in 2-3 weeks. Although rare, undiagnosed and untreated concussions can be fatal.
If you were in a car accident and suffered a concussion, it’s important to get a personal injury attorney on your side to fight for your rights. Medical bills can add up, and you may lose time at work because of your injury. Car accident attorneys can seek the compensation you deserve from the insurance company to cover your expenses.
Car Accident Injury Law Firm in York, PA
At Dale E. Anstine Personal Injury Law firm, we understand the trauma car accident victims go through, especially if they experienced a concussion or other injury. Our team of personal injury lawyers has been fighting for the rights of injured car accident victims in York and Adams counties for decades. We know how the legal system works and can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
We offer free consultations for car accident victims and are available 24/7. Recovering after a car accident should be your top priority – let us handle your personal injury case for you. We never charge a fee unless we win for you!