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Spot the Signs of Concussion After a Car Accident

Posted on: August 10, 2018

There is considerable media attention focused on the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in professional sports, but one specific type of head injury rarely makes headlines: Concussion and other traumatic brain injury (TBI) from motor vehicle accidents. You do not have to be a celebrity athlete to suffer from a concussion in a car, truck, or motorcycle collision, as recent statistics show the alarming frequency of these injuries.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in 2013, concussions and TBIs were diagnosed in more than 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million visits to the emergency room.
  • Concussion and TBI contributed to the deaths of almost 50,000 during that same year.
  • Car accidents are the third-leading cause of concussion and TBI, and place second for head injury-related deaths.
  • Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of concussion hospitalizations for victims aged 15 to 44 years old.
  • Of the more than 55,000 teen drivers and their passengers who were seriously injured in a car accident, 30% sustained concussion and TBI.
  • From 2007-2013, there was a 47 percent increase in the number of emergency department visits due to TBI and concussion injuries.

These figures are astounding, but even more shocking is that many victims of car accidents do not even realize they have suffered a concussion right away. Considering the seriousness of an injury to the brain, it is critical for a person to seek treatment as soon as possible after an auto crash.

Overview of Concussion Injuries

A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs when the brain makes contact with the inside of the skull. For the most part, the brain is protected from damage by the fluids surrounding it. However, this material is insufficient cushioning for an extremely forceful impact like a car crash. When the head and brain move violently, the fluid is displaced and the brain strikes the hard bone tissue of the skull. Tearing, bleeding, and bruising of brain tissues is common. In an extremely intense collision, the brain may even twist slightly within the skull. The disruption of a concussion causes chemical changes within the brain, and there may be damage to the brain cells and nerve fibers.

Classification of Concussion Injuries in Auto Accidents

Medical professionals group concussions into three grades based upon their severity.

  • Grade 1: The victim does not lose consciousness, but there may be temporary memory loss that last less than 30 minutes.
  • Grade 2: There is a loss of consciousness, and bouts of amnesia may occur from 30 minutes up to 24 hours after the incident that caused the injury.
  • Grade 3: The victim is unconscious for more than five minutes, and experienced amnesia for longer than 24 hours.

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion After a Car Accident

Based upon the grade system used by healthcare providers to diagnose concussion, loss of

consciousness and amnesia are the two most obvious signs of this head injury.

However, additional symptoms may include:

  • Nausea or dizziness, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting;
  • Light sensitivity;
  • General confusion and forgetfulness in the hours or days after a car accident;
  • Inability to concentrate on basic tasks;
  • Seeing “stars” upon the impact
  • Ringing in the ears;

Extreme mood changes, such as sudden irritability, anger, nervousness, anxiety, and depression;

  • A disruption in normal sleeping patterns, whether sleeping more or less than routine;
  • Problems falling asleep;
  • Headaches that get worse over time;
  • Issues with balance or blurred vision; and,
  • Seizures, in extreme cases.

Often, a concussion victim will recover from his or her injuries within a week or so after a motor vehicle accident. Still, it is crucial to seek medical care and obtain an appropriate diagnosis as quickly as possible. Left untreated, a concussion can lead to more serious medical conditions. Plus, what you believe to be a minor concussion may actually be a TBI, which can be life-threatening and have enduring medical implications.

Damages Available if You Suffer Concussion Injuries After a Crash

You may be entitled to compensation if you experience a concussion in an accident that was not your fault. With the help of an experienced car accident attorney, it may be possible to recover:

  • Medical expenses, including costs of emergency care, surgery, and long-term rehabilitation;
  • Lost wages if you were unable to work due to your concussion;
  • Future wages, when your head injuries are so severe that you cannot return to work in your chosen profession;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Losses associated with your family and personal relationships.

Note that, under Maryland law, there are limitations that may affect your rights to compensation or the amount you can recover. The statute of limitations for car accident cases is three years after the incident. You are forever barred filing a lawsuit for your concussion injuries after this time expires. If your own conduct was a factor in your injuries, you may not recover any compensation under Maryland’s contributory negligence law. There are some limited exceptions to this harsh rule.


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I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
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Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
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I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
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Richard Hose
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On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
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15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
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My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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