Car accident victims unaware of their injuries often try to “walk it off” as they would for a bruise or a scrape, but a concussion can have serious and lasting effects on cognitive function.
If you’ve recently suffered through a car accident, you may have a concussion and not even know it.
New Jersey individuals adversely affected by a car accident caused by another’s negligence or recklessness could face serious loss of income, not to mention costly medical bills and emotional distress, as they work through weeks or months of recovery.
An experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer can support you through an insurance claim and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
What is a car accident concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), usually caused by a blow to the head. Concussions can also happen through violent shaking of the upper body when the force of a collision causes sudden and violent head movements.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, car accidents were the second most common cause of all TBI-related hospitalizations as of 2014.
Concussions may range from mild to severe, and are graded based on factors like equilibrium and loss of consciousness.
Below are the three grades:
- Grade 1: This is a mild concussion with no loss of consciousness. The person, however, may suffer from temporary amnesia for less than 30 minutes.
- Grade 2: Under a moderate concussion, the person may suffer from a loss of consciousness and amnesia anywhere between 30 minutes to 24 hours.
- Grade 3: When a person suffers from a severe concussion, they may lose consciousness for more than 5 minutes or be afflicted with amnesia for more than 24 hours.
How do you know if you have a concussion after a car accident?
The signs and symptoms of a concussion are not the same for every person. In fact, some people may not even display any of the usual symptoms, or develop them only after a few hours or even days after the incident.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Loss of consciousness: This can happen after the person strikes their head against the steering wheel or windshield.
- Pain in the back, neck, or head
- Increased sensitivity of touch, noise, or light
- Loss of memory or confusion
- Anxiety attacks
- Changes in personality, frequent mood changes, or sudden emotional outbursts
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Seeing stars or having ringing in the ears: This also usually occurs after a blow to the head, and is indicative of mild trauma.
If the person develops any of these symptoms immediately or sometime after the car accident, they may have experienced brain damage should make sure that they get checked by a doctor right away.
How Are Car Accident Concussions Usually Caused?
Even minor car accidents can cause all kinds of injuries, including concussions.
Here are just a few examples of how car accidents cause head injuries:
- In a rear-end collision, the driver or passenger’s head can be snapped backward and then forward quickly, and exacerbated by the seat or headrest.
- In a head-on collision, the person gets propelled forward. The shoulder restraint of the seatbelt limits the movement, but the person may still get thrust forward considerably.
- A person’s head may make contact with the steering wheel, the side window, or the windshield.
- Deployed airbags can produce an enormous amount of force, resulting in a concussion.
What should you do if you suffer from a concussion after a car accident?
While most people will experience distinct symptoms indicating a concussion after a car accident, some don’t see any signs at all.
If a concussion is left untreated, it can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.
After a car accident, anyone involved should seek medical treatment right away, even if there are no apparent injuries.
How long does it take to recover from a car accident concussion?
Sometimes, even expensive therapy and treatment may not work to make things right.
Mild concussions typically go away after a few weeks, but recovery can be challenging and require days or weeks of full rest.
Many auto accident victims in NJ need ongoing therapy as a part of their recovery. For a concussion, this may require complete abstinence from normal activity for a matter of weeks or longer.
You may need someone to assist you and watch over you, especially in the first few days after the accident.
Even if your injuries are mild, recovery can be emotionally and financially costly.
Should you get a lawyer after a minor car accident?
Even if you don’t think you’re injured seriously or at all, symptoms of car accident injuries can take some time to show up.
That’s why the best course of action is to get a thorough checkup by a doctor as soon as you can after a car accident. Document all injuries and symptoms at the time of the accident and through your recovery period.
The worst thing you can do is not see a doctor, then end up with massive medical bills after it’s too late to file a claim. Go to a doctor immediately.
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
A concussive injury can change someone’s life in an instant. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a car accident and the other driver is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
Grossman Law has been representing countless victims of car accidents for years. If we find the other party at fault, we will fight for your right to appropriate compensation.
Call us at (732) 625-9494 for a free consultation.