Central Illinois Since 1895
Car Accident Concussions
Concussion Symptoms After Car Accidents
Trauma to the head is a common and potentially severe injury following an automobile wreck. Most people generally group post accident head injuries under the term, “Concussion.” Concussions are sometimes referred to as Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBI.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons defines a concussion as:
[A]n injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function.
Concussions are a clinical syndrome characterized by immediate and temporary variation in brain function. This means that a concussion victim may have a change of mental status or level of consciousness. Concussions, in particular those stemming from a car accident, are generally the result of head trauma.
Car accidents provide a wide range of possible head trauma. These include:
including impact against the windshield, airbags, or other parts of the car.
The feelings of pain, discomfort, and impaired mental function are known as Post Concussive Syndrome. Because post-concussion syndrome involves a long recovery time, symptoms can persist for weeks or months after the car accident.
What are Common Symptoms of Concussions?
- Headaches: Headaches that occur after a concussion can vary and may feel like tension-type headaches or migraines. Most, however, are tension-type headaches, which may be associated with a neck injury that happened at the same time as the head injury.
- Loss of concentration and memory
- Noise and light sensitivity
Concussions are considered by the medical community to be a mild traumatic brain injury, regardless of whether someone loses consciousness. This does not, however, mean that the injuries and pain and suffering related to ANY head injury is “minor” or “not severe.”
Can Concussions and Head Injuries After Car Accidents Result in Behavioral Changes?
Yes, in some cases, people experience behavior or emotional changes after a head injury after a car crash. It is not uncommon for friends and loved ones to notice that the victim has increased irritable, suspicions, outbursts of anger, and in some very serious cases acts of violence or self-harm. What makes matters worse for car accident victims is that these symptoms may not manifest until weeks, or even months, after the crash. This is why it is vital to seek medical care IMMEDIATELY after a vehicle crash–even if you think it was just a “fender-bender.”
Furthermore, when concussion sufferers develop changes in behavior, their friends and loved ones may become accustomed to the changes and forget about the impact over time. Koester & Bradley’s accident team recommend that accident victims, as well as their family, try to document the behavioral changes as they progress. This process allows you to give a more detailed history to you doctor, and can assist your personal injury attorney in your legal case.
What is Post-Concussive Syndrome?
Post Concussion Syndrome may be one of the more subtle, but equally debilitating injuries resulting from an accident. If you think that you lost consciousness during your accident, seek medical treatment immediately. The chance of having post-concussion syndrome doesn’t seem to be related to the severity of the initial injury, but rather to whether or not the accident victim struck their head. Consequently, post concussion syndrome is likely when any head injury occurs in an vehicle wreck.
Post-concussion syndrome occurs most commonly within the first seven to ten days and usually goes away within three months. However, it may last longer for some people. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose post concussive syndrome. You may not be able to either get better, or receive the full value of your case, if you do not receive a formal diagnosis. Usually, this initial diagnosis is performed at the follow-up doctor’s appointment after your initial trip to the emergency room.
Few local law firms in Central Illinois have the experience to handle Post Concussive Syndrome cases. Koester & Bradley has been handling injury cases for decades and has successfully handled many concussion cases.
Koester & Bradley Content Team
Updated November 27, 2021
By: Ryan Bradley, Partner
Our in-house Legal Content Team is made up of writers, editors, journalists, and actual attorneys. Our case managers and lawyers constantly update information. Our website is intended to serve as a relevant resource for legal information for our clients and the Illinois Community at large.