Concussions & Auto AccidentsDecember 7, 2022
Concussions are incredibly common after car collisions. In fact, auto wrecks are among the top four causes of concussions, and the impacts of these injuries can be lasting.
Whether you or someone you love suffers a concussion in a car crash, here is what you need to know about:
- How auto wrecks cause concussions
- The symptoms and treatments for crash-related concussions
- Who’s liable for these injuries and what steps to take to recover from them
How Car Accidents Cause Concussions
When vehicles collide with each other or fixed objects, the force of the impact can result in concussions because:
- Drivers’ and passengers’ heads can be thrown up against parts of vehicles, like steering wheels, windows, and headrests. Similarly, pedestrians can suffer concussions when their heads hit vehicles or roads during collisions.
- Even if heads don’t make contact with parts of cars, the impact can violently thrust occupants around, slamming brains against the insides of skulls. These are sometimes missed and referred to as contrecoupe brain injuries. Contrecoup occurs when a force or blow causes the brain to strike the side of the skull opposite from the point of impact. No foreign object has to touch the head in order for concussions to occur in motor vehicle accidents.
These concussions can vary in severity, based on:
- The force involved: A greater force of impact will typically result in more severe concussions.
- The areas of the brain that have been impacted: Multiple areas of the brain can be damaged if the head sustains multiple blows or if the force of the wreck shakes victims’ heads back and forth.
No matter how concussions result from auto accidents — and no matter how severe they may be — it’s crucial for victims to get immediate medical care in order to prevent serious complications and have better chances of a more complete recovery.
Auto Accident Concussions: The Symptoms & Treatments
Concussions caused by motor vehicle accidents can come with a range of symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury. Generally, however, some of the more common symptoms of concussion include:
- Physical symptoms, like headaches, light and/or noise sensitivity, coordination difficulties, balancing problems, sleeping disturbances, nausea, and/or vomiting
- Cognitive impairments, such as mental fogginess, concentration difficulties, and/or memory problems
- Mood and emotional impacts, including anxiety, mood swings, frustration, irritation, and depression
With these symptoms, it’s vital to understand that:
- Many symptoms don’t appear immediately. Concussions are notorious for having slow-appearing symptoms. In fact, sometimes, it can take hours to days for concussion symptoms to present themselves and show a marked change in the affected individual.
- The initial symptoms are usually nondescript and easy to mistake for symptoms of other conditions. That’s one reason why concussions are commonly misdiagnosed and why it can take some time to detect them.
Once diagnosed, concussions can be treated in various ways, depending on the severity of the injury. Generally, however, concussion treatment may include rest, limited activity, pain medication, and various therapies to address debilitating symptoms, like vision, cognition, and balancing problems.
Who’s Liable for Car Accident Concussions
Liability for crash-related concussions will sit with the party who is responsible for causing the motor vehicle accident. In some cases, that may be relatively straightforward to determine, like in the case of a simple rear-end crash.
In other situations, identifying fault and figuring out liability can be much more complex, especially if:
- More than one party may be at fault: This can include victims too. Whether or not it does, attributing a percentage of fault to each liable party can be tricky.
- Vehicle mechanical issues were involved: Pinpointing this issue can involve much deeper investigations, as well as expert witness assessments, regulatory records reviews, and other complex efforts.
- Other factors, aside from motorist negligence, also contributed to the wreck: These can include, for example, motor carrier negligence or poor road conditions.
Investigating the crash can help victims discover who may be liable for it while potentially uncovering evidence of fault and/or damages.
How to Recover from Car Accident Concussions
Beyond medical attention and treatments, recovering from the concussions caused by motor vehicle accidents can also involve filing a legal claim and seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other losses resulting from this injury.
To do that, it’s crucial to talk to a car accident lawyer before it’s too late. Ultimately, an auto accident attorney can explain the law and your rights while heading up crash investigations, claim filings, settlement negotiations, and more. All of that can be essential to proving liability and setting up a motor vehicle accident case for success and the full, fair recoveries that victims are entitled to.