If you have ever been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be familiar with something known as a concussion. This is a type of traumatic brain injury that is actually very common in riders in motorcycle accidents. However, they are also extremely serious because they can temporarily or permanently alter the way that your brain functions. You may think, “Well, I’ve been involved in an accident, but how did I actually sustain a concussion?” In many accidents, concussions are caused by the initial blow to the head; however, in some they happen when the head and upper body are violently shaken in the event of an accident.
The truth is, concussions are pretty common when it comes to motorcycle and car accidents as well as contact sports. Concussion injuries, because they are very serious, need time to rest and heal properly. Many people believe in a myth that concussions will always result in a loss of consciousness, but this is far from the truth. Many people sustain concussions, stay conscious, and never know that they have one. When people do not understand the fact that they have a concussion, the symptoms could worsen and they may not heal fully. (1)
The symptoms of a concussion may not be prevalent from the start – but when they do become known, they can last for days, weeks, or months. Sometimes, this can vary based on details about the person such as past concussions, or depending on age such as if you are an older adult or young child. The symptoms of concussions can vary, but will generally effect your thinking and remembering, physical being, emotions, and sleep. Here are the phases that you may experience:
- Phase 1: Difficulty thinking clearly, headache or blurry vision, irritability, sleeping more than usual
- Phase 2: Feeling slowed down, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, sadness, sleeping less than usual
- Phase 3: Difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to noise or light, balance problems, more emotional, trouble falling asleep
- Phase 4: Difficulty remembering new information, feeling tired, having no energy, nervousness or anxiety
In some cases, concussions can become deadly. In these cases, it is possible that a dangerous blood clot forms on the brain and crowds the brain against the skull. After you have received a bump or jolt to the head or body, you should watch out for any alarming warning signs so that you can be treated in the emergency room immediately. These include headaches that get worse and do not go away, weakness or numbness, repeated vomiting or nausea, or slurred speech. (2)
Receiving Treatment for Your Concussion
The initial diagnosis of a concussion will be made by a physician or by somebody in an emergency room following your accident. You may even see a neurologist depending on the circumstances of the case and what type of treatment they suspect you need. If you are seeing a specialist, it is always a good idea to come prepared. Here are some steps you can take for your appointment, so that everything is looked at thoroughly:
- You should always keep proper documentation of symptoms that you are experiencing, such as those that may be related or unrelated to the concussion.
- Write down all personal information, such as stressful events in your life or recent life changes.
- Keep a good document of all medications that you are taking. This includes vitamins or supplements.
- Ask a family member if they can accompany you to your appointment. They will help you retain important information for your appointment so that you can receive proper treatment.
- Always write down any questions that you have to ask your doctor.
Your doctor may recommend various treatments in regards to the symptoms that you are feeling. For your headaches, they may recommend that you take one of many different types of medications that can combat the issues relating to your concussion. Concussions can lead to migraines and tension headaches, as well as cause depression-like symptoms. You may be recommended for Amitriptyline, Topiramate, or Gabapentin.
If you are suffering memory and thinking issues, such as those that are cognitive, there will typically be no recommendations to combat these issues at this time, unfortunately. In time, many of these symptoms will resolve themselves. This means that, in weeks to months following your injury, you should feel much better. As for depression and anxiety-related symptoms, you may be recommended to undergo psychotherapy or medication. (3)
Making a Claim for Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome
Concussions and post-concussion syndrome can be very serious and take a toll on your day-to-day lifestyle. Approximately 10% of people who get concussions will suffer from post-concussion syndrome for weeks or years after their injury takes place. There are many unanswered questions about this disorder, but it will typically cause symptoms like migraine headaches, irritability, anxiety, light and noise sensitivity, and behavioral changes.
If you have sustained a concussion, you may wonder what compensation you will be able to receive in your case. If your doctor believes that the accident is at the center of your lawsuit, you will be able to claim damages for your personal injury just like any other personal injury lawsuits. However, you should always have an opinion from a doctor and documentation that supports this. You will want it as evidence in your case.
In some cases, you may even be able to claim pain and suffering for your injuries. If a doctor is able to stand beside you and prove that your concussion has caused you to suffer and the concussion was caused by your accident, you may be able to receive damages for this in the event of a driver who was driving negligently. The jury will ask many questions: What are your symptoms? How long have they lasted? How disabling are they? How have they affected your life in general?
You may find that the jury will not hear you out on the details regarding your concussion after an accident. This is why it is especially important to have a specialized attorney on your side to help you through every step of the process. In a motorcycle accident, proving liability is not the only thing you have to think about – no, you must also think of your own well being and how you will recover from debilitating injuries that have taken a toll on your life. Call us today if you are in need of a motorcycle accident attorney who can help you after your accident.