A concussion is a kind of brain injury that usually develops as the result of a forceful impact to the head. A bump, blow, or jolt powerful enough to move the brain inside the skull can damage cells and even affect chemical balances in the central nervous system.
Concussions are especially common among athletes, but anyone can develop one in virtually any kind of accident scenario; however, since they are not typically life threatening, a portion of people who suffer them do not seek medical care, making it hard to track their prevalence. The Concussion Legacy Foundation estimates that nearly 4 million concussions occur annually throughout the United States.
Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but because they are so common—and do not usually cause permanent damage—accident victims often brush them off without seeking medical attention; however, any kind of blow to the head warrants a trip to the doctor. The only way to determine how serious a TBI might be is to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation.
If you sustained a TBI because of another party’s negligence, contact a brain injury attorney at The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Our legal team has more than 100 years of combined experience representing clients in catastrophic injury cases. Call 212-421-0300 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York City.
Read on to learn the answers to a few FAQs about concussions:
- What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
Unlike more severe TBIs, the effects of a concussion are usually temporary. They include poor concentration, difficulty retaining new information, difficulty recalling old memories, balance issues, and poor coordination. According to the Mayo Clinic, other common signs and symptoms are:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Slurred speech;
- Dizziness; and
- How Are Concussions Diagnosed and Treated?
To diagnose a concussion, a doctor will evaluate the patient’s signs and symptoms, review his or her medical history, and conduct a comprehensive neurological exam. During this exam, the physician will check the patient’s vision, hearing, balance, coordination, reflexes, strength, memory, and concentration. Patients with severe symptoms may also undergo imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs so their providers can check for any bleeding or swelling in the skull.
If test results are indicative of a concussion, rest and relaxation are usually the best ways to treat it. Patients must take it easy both physically and mentally to facilitate the brain’s natural healing process.
Depending on the severity of the TBI, that may mean missing a considerable amount of school and/or work or at least taking on a much lighter workload until fully recovered. As for treating any physical symptoms such as headaches and nausea, over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and anti-nausea drugs can help.
- How Can I Prevent TBIs?
The most effective way to prevent concussions and other TBIs is to prevent head injuries altogether. You can do this by:
- Putting on your seatbelt and adjusting the headrest whenever you get in the car;
- Wearing adequate safety gear when playing contact sports;
- Avoiding contact sports if you’ve already had at least one concussion;
- Avoiding diving into water that is less than 9 feet deep; and
- Exercising caution at all times when walking or cycling near moving traffic.
Discuss Your Case with a Brain Injury Lawyer in New York City
If you or someone in your family sustained a concussion in a preventable accident, turn to The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. We have recovered more than $100 million for our valued clients in successful settlements and verdicts. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in New York City.