Concussions can cause serious, long-term damage, even when it seems like you recover quickly from a head impact. In fact, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
Review the symptoms and potential complications of a concussion that occurs in a car accident.
Many people do not get the necessary medical care after a concussion because this type of injury does not always cause loss of consciousness. You may even develop symptoms in the weeks following the car accident, such as confusion, blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache and ringing ears. You might feel dizzy, “see stars” or be unable to remember the accident.
After a concussion, you may develop chronic headaches, dizziness or vertigo. About 20% of people who have a concussion develop post-concussion syndrome, which describes symptoms such as confusion and fatigue that last for more than three weeks.
Do not return to sports or athletic activities after a head injury until you receive approval from your doctor. Exercising can increase the risk of complications. You also risk second-impact syndrome, rapid life-threatening brain swelling that can develop after a subsequent concussion within a short time period. Researchers are still studying the possible effects of multiple TBIs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends seeing a doctor within 24 to 48 hours of a head impact even if you do not have symptoms. When symptoms arise, seek emergency care. If another driver caused the accident in which you suffered injuries, you may be able to seek legal compensation.