What to Do After a Concussion

concussionIf you get into a car accident and get injured, most of the injuries you sustain you can see and feel. Concussions, however, are a serious threat and can be very dangerous if not treated properly. If you suffered a blow to the head, seek medical treatment immediately and contact a personal injury attorney to see if you qualify for compensation.

What Is a Concussion?

Our skulls provide excellent protection to our brains. And spinal fluid surrounding the brain acts as a cushion, protecting your brain from slamming into the inside of your skull. But if you suffer any kind of blow to the head, that blow may shake your brain. If severe enough, this shaking can cause your brain to hit the hard inner shell of your skull, causing a concussion. In extreme cases, you might black out—but you don’t have to pass out to suffer a concussion.

What Are Common Concussion Symptoms?

Not every blow to the head will cause a concussion, so it’s not always easy to tell when you sustain one. However, common symptoms should cause you to investigate further:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Headaches that worsen
  • Nausea and vomiting

Concussion victims might also have trouble thinking clearly or remembering facts and details. Their sleep might also become interrupted, and they might quickly rise to anger or fall into sorrow. Only a qualified physician can diagnose whether you suffered a concussion, so don’t delay seeing a doctor or visiting an emergency room.

What Should You Do Immediately After a Blow to the Head?

If a loved one suffers a blow to the head, immediately stabilize that person. After a bad accident (like a car wreck), you’re probably better off calling emergency services, which can come out and make sure you don’t do more damage during transportation to the hospital. Otherwise, you should take your loved one to the hospital as soon as possible.

At the hospital, a doctor will review your medical history and the details of the event (if you remember them). Tell your doctor if you suffered a blow to the head before or if you are on medication that thins your blood, since both of these facts put you at a higher risk of complications.

As part of the diagnosis, the doctor will ask you questions about the injury, which test your ability to remember information and focus. A doctor may also schedule neuropsychological tests or a CT scan to look at an image of your brain. During diagnosis, answer your doctor’s questions honestly so that your doctor can make a realistic assessment of the situation.

The Importance of Rest

Some concussions clear up within seven to 10 days, but other people need more time to fully recover. It’s important not rush your recovery. If you are involved in strenuous activities, slow down as soon as you begin to feel dizzy or unwell. Rest is the best way to improve your condition, so take it easy until you feel well. Your doctor may also prescribe the following:

  • Stop taking alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Don’t play video games
  • Stay home from work, if possible
  • Place a cold or ice pack on any swelling
  • Take pain medication
  • Get enough sleep at night so that you feel fully rested
  • Avoid emotionally draining activities or those that require intense concentration

Rest is particularly important so that you don’t suffer a second concussion soon after the first, which could result in more serious brain trauma. In all instances, follow your doctor’s directions closely and call if you notice that your symptoms are not improving. Your doctor might need to perform additional tests to see if your condition is worse than originally assumed.

Watch for Worsening Symptoms

Not every concussion is mild. In a bad accident, for example, you might suffer a more severe traumatic brain injury. The symptoms resemble those of a mild concussion, but they don’t get better with time, even with rest. Instead, people with more serious traumatic brain injuries suffer long-lasting problems with movement, speaking, and learning.

Serious brain trauma will require more intensive therapy and rehabilitation. For example, you may need to meet with a speech therapist to learn how to talk again. A counselor can help you cope with your emotions. You may also need medication to relieve chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, and headaches. Victims of severe brain trauma also frequently need occupational therapy to allow them to return to some sort of work and take care of themselves.

Consider Legal Action

Someone else’s negligence may have caused your concussion by creating a dangerous condition or intentionally causing the concussion. Depending on the circumstances, you might sue the party at fault and get monetary compensation for your injuries. For example, people sometimes suffer injuries in the following ways:

  • Someone intentionally strikes you—for example, in a bar fight
  • Someone accidentally rear-ends your car
  • You slip and fall on a wet floor
  • You trip over some other hazard, such as a crack in the floor or sidewalk, a loose step, etc.
  • You suffer an injury at work when equipment or cargo slams into your head

If you win your lawsuit, you can get reimbursed for medical expenses such as hospital bills and prescription drug costs. You also might earn compensation for lost wages and for pain and suffering. Only a qualified attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding your concussion to pinpoint the party at fault and estimate how much you are likely to receive in compensation.

The brain is highly sensitive, and concussion victims should take their recovery seriously. If you were injured through no fault of your own, then seek out compensation to help make you whole. At MWLO, we fight for accident victims to get the compensation they deserve. Contact us at 701.241.4141. Consultations are free.

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