What Are Signs I Have a Concussion After a Car Accident?

car accident victim with possible concussion

Concussions can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are not always obvious. It is not unusual for someone to be in a car accident and not take their injuries seriously because they might only be feeling a bit dizzy or sore. It is essential to recognize the signs of a concussion after a car accident because it could develop into something more severe without a diagnosis or the proper care.

A concussion happens when the brain suddenly, traumatically shifts within the skull. It can occur when someone bangs their head into something and also in car accidents. When a vehicle stops unexpectedly, the body keeps moving at the same speed the car was going until a safety belt or other obstacle contains it. The violent back-and-forth motion can cause the brain to come into contact with the interior skull walls.

There are three grades for concussions:

  • Grade 1: There is no loss of consciousness with grade 1 concussions, and the symptoms are mild. The individual might experience temporary amnesia, confusion, headache, nausea, and problems focusing.
  • Grade 2: With moderate grade 2 concussions, people can have the above symptoms but always lose consciousness.
  • Grade 3: This includes a loss of consciousness, plus additional symptoms like severe amnesia, blurred vision, and difficulty speaking. Grade 3 concussions increase the chances of having permanent brain damage.

If your car accident caused your head to suddenly jerk back and forth, you could have a concussion. This could be in addition to other injuries, like broken bones and wounds. These are the common symptoms that indicate a concussion:

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability
  • Brain fog that makes it hard to concentrate
  • Drowsiness or insomnia
  • Inability to remember things or retain new information
  • Increased light and sound sensitivity
  • Noticeably dilated pupils
  • Ongoing headaches, dizziness, nausea

The main risk of an undiagnosed concussion is the chance of developing second-impact syndrome. This is when a second head injury occurs before the first one has healed – this can be fatal.

How Is a Concussion Diagnosed?

In emergency rooms, physicians who evaluate patients for concussions test for alertness, attention, and short- and long-term recall. There will be an exam and, if the situation warrants it, a CT scan. Fortunately, people with mild concussions are usually sent home the same day. Their family members or caregivers are instructed to monitor the patients, looking for changes in behavior for up to 48 hours.

It can take up to four weeks for concussion symptoms to go away, but every patient is different. Some have pre-existing conditions like previous head injuries, and others have complications like seizures.

Bowie Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Clients With Head and Brain Injuries

Concussions can turn into complicated medical issues that affect people’s lives for the long term. If you need legal help following a collision, contact our Bowie car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Call 202-331-1963 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.