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Do I Have A Concussion?

A traumatic brain injury can occur in nearly every type of accident - from falls on a construction site to serious motor vehicle collisions. The accident doesn't even need to involve getting hit in the head. Often, the violent back and forth shaking motion of a traumatic collision can cause a severe impact of the brain against the inside of the skull.

Depending on the severity of the injury, head injuries are typically categorized as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). MTBIs are commonly referred to as "concussions," and symptoms can cover a wide gamut. Many individuals don't even realize that they are concussed - and only find out when friends and family members alert them to the symptoms they are exhibiting after an accident.

So, how do you know if you have a concussion?

There are two main factors that can contribute to the confusion surrounding MTBIs:

  1. Structure versus function. While it is relatively easy to diagnose structural damage to the brain, functional damage tends to be harder to detect. Over the years, neurologists have developed numerous diagnostic methods to uncover cognitive impairment, but the tests, unfortunately, are not exact.
  2. Delayed onset of symptoms. It is not uncommon for symptoms to appear days, weeks or even months after the actual damage has occurred. It can make an initial diagnosis tricky. Typically, the patient exhibiting symptoms immediately after an accident will receive a more comprehensive diagnosis.

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can vary widely from individual to individual. Even two individuals who suffer injuries in the same type of accident, can exhibit very different symptoms. There are numerous things to be on the lookout for, though, if you were injured in a serious accident:

  • Brief loss of consciousness after the accident
  • Confusion
  • Loss of ability to multitask
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Persistent headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting

While these symptoms cover a great deal of ground, in conjunction with head trauma, any of these should be taken with serious consideration. Additionally, you should be mindful of sensitivity to light, mood swings or personality changes. Any of these symptoms after an accident should be immediately brought to the attention of your chosen medical care provider. If you are considering learning more about your legal options after an accident, it is wise to discuss your accident and injuries with an experienced lawyer.

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