Concussion After a Car Accident?
Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
A brain injury or concussion in a car accident is considered a closed head injury. A closed head injury is a brain injury that is damaging to the brain but not the skull or dura, which helps protect the brain and spinal cord. Closed head injuries can be hard to diagnose, even after a CT Scan or an MRI. These scans are designed to look at the structure of the brain and not while it is functioning.
When you have a concussion, the brain is not working properly. You can receive a concussion without hitting your head or without passing out. Jolts to the head and neck, even if you don’t hit your head, can cause a concussion. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms below you might have a concussion.
Short-Term Concussion Signs and Symptoms include:
• Uneven sleep
• Emotional disturbances
• Cognitive and memory problems
• Difficulty concentrating
• Personality changes
• Brain fog
Long-Term Concussion Signs and Symptoms include:
• Irritability, anxiety, and depression
• Intolerant of noise, emotional excitement, and crowds
• Cognitive decline
• Impaired memory and concentration
• Fatigue and disruption of sleep patterns
• Personality change (abrupt, argumentative, stubborn, opinionated, or suspicious)
• 15-20% of those injured develop symptoms meeting criteria for psychiatric disease (PTSD, anxiety, panic disorder, and depression).
If you have any of these symptoms, we recommend visiting your doctor so that you can know the best way to proceed with your recovery.
Find the Right Doctor to Help in Your Recovery
When you have a concussion or a brain injury, it is important to be diagnosed by a medical professional. Diagnosis can empower you to know what the next steps are in the recovery process. New imaging protocols, such as functional NeuroCognitive Imaging (fNCI), are changing the way we use imaging to diagnose and understand regional impairments in a concussion or brain injury.
Other specialists that can help you in your recovery process include a neuropsychologist, neurologist, chiropractor, psychologist or counselor, massage therapist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, optometrist and more.
When working with these doctors and specialists, we recommend asking and understanding questions around diagnosis, assessment, the overall treatment plan, long-term outcomes, and what you need to keep doing to feel and have continued improvements.
Find an attorney to help you with your case
When you have a concussion or brain injury, working with an attorney can help you receive support throughout the insurance claim and settlement process. If you are unsure if you need an attorney, hiring an accident or personal injury attorney is the best option for those who have a severe injury, suffer a significant loss of wages due to their injuries, or have expensive medical bills.
This process can be stressful and frustrating to go through on your own. Having an attorney on your side can help make this process clear and smooth.
When picking an attorney, the DMV suggests finding an attorney with a reputation for being an advocate for their clients. They also suggest working with an attorney who understands your case, along with personal injury laws, and procedural rules.
Keep taking steps for your recovery
It is imperative that you continue taking steps to recover. Even after treatment at Cognitive FX, our patients have recommendations and self-care activities they are asked to continue. When you stop taking care of yourself, you limit your ability to recover fully and risk regressing in your health.
Showing up for your appointments, and continuing to follow the recommendations of those who are treating you is key to making strides in your recovery. While healing takes time, and looks different for each person, we encourage you never to give up.
Over time, you can have improvements in your symptoms and in your brain function after an injury. Be sure to follow-up with your doctors and therapists being consistent in treatment. Consistency in treatment can influence recovery time and help you have a successful recovery.
Overall, if you are in a car accident and you think you have a concussion or brain injury be sure to follow these steps:
- Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
- Find the right team of doctors and specialists to help you in your recovery.
- Find an attorney to help you with your case.
- Keep taking steps for your recovery.
Our goal is to help as many people successfully recover as possible, and these steps can empower you to take charge of your recovery.