Maybe your car was hit by a drunk driver while you were on the way to work, and you bounced off the windshield. Maybe you tripped on a broken concrete step and hit your forehead. Maybe a piece flew off a defective tool and struck you in the face.
Regardless of the cause of your concussion, you may wonder if it's really that big of a deal. After all, characters in nearly all the action movies get knocked out repeatedly, and they don't seem to suffer any lasting effects. Why should you worry about your concussion?
Here are three important things to know before you write your injury off as just a bad memory:
- Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Any TBI should be taken seriously. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible for a blood clot to form on the brain after a concussion. This puts pressure on the brain, pressing it against the skull and potentially producing significant damage. If you have an ongoing headache, repeat nausea, slurred speech, weakness or numbness, go to the hospital immediately.
- You may not notice any effects right away. It may take weeks or even months for symptoms to appear. Sometimes, you may not notice the effects of such a brain injury until you find yourself under stress, trying to resume all the responsibilities of life after your accident.
- One concussion increases your chances of getting another. The CDC points out that people who have had one mild TBI are at risk of suffering another. In general, it takes longer to recover from the effects each time.
The bottom line is that it's worthwhile to get a skilled medical opinion after any accident that involves a blow to your head. If the accident may have been caused by someone else's negligence, it is also worth consulting an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek the full amount of compensation you may deserve for your injuries.