Concussions are mild injuries that often resolve within a few weeks or less. Some concussions may turn into more severe conditions if left untreated. The two main types of concussions most commonly caused by car accidents are brain concussions and spinal concussions. If you suffered any injury like this from a car accident, reach out to a Kansas City auto accident attorney to explore your eligibility for compensation.
A brain concussion is the most well-known injury caused by car accidents. Technically, a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. While a concussion is mild and often goes away within a short period of time, some concussions may develop into more serious conditions if left untreated. Seeing a medical professional soon after a concussion is highly recommended. Recognizing the early signs of a concussion is vital for knowing when to undergo a medical evaluation.
Common Signs of a Concussion
- Temporary memory loss
- Blurry vision
- Problems with walking or staying balanced
- Sleep difficulties
When you decide to visit a medical professional for an evaluation, they may ask several questions related to these symptoms. They may examine your head and neck. A neurological examination to test your physical functioning may also be conducted. This may depend on what symptoms you report experiencing.
Treatment may involve rest, not doing strenuous activities, and medications to manage different symptoms. If symptoms return or worsen, a trip back to the doctor is important to ensure there are no underlying injuries that could become worse. Injuries like these could turn into permanent brain damage.
Signs of a Serious Concussion
- Worsening headaches
- Slurred speech
- Sudden and prolonged drowsiness
- Loss of coordination
In some cases, these signs could indicate a more severe traumatic brain injury. Loss of bladder or bowel control, fainting, memory loss, loss of movement or sensation, and significant changes in thinking could all indicate a serious brain injury. When these symptoms are severe, a trip to a walk-in clinic or emergency room might be safer than waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
Seeking medical help immediately if you experience these symptoms is vital because some brain injuries can be deadly. Brain injuries that involve inflammation, swelling, or brain bleeding can lead to permanent brain damage or death. In the most severe cases, emergency surgery might be required to stop the pressure from building up and damaging the brain.
Spinal Cord Concussions
Not everyone has heard about spinal cord concussions, but they can happen when the spine is under enough stress. A car accident can cause a spinal concussion as easily as a brain concussion. Similar to brain concussions, spinal cord concussions are not as severe as spinal cord injuries but come with similar symptoms. The common signs of a spinal concussion include numbness or tingling sensations in the hands or feet. Temporary paralysis may also occur. Symptoms most often reside within a day.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Contusions
- Tingling sensations
- Burning sensations
- Electric shock sensations
Consider seeing a medical professional for an evaluation if you start experiencing any of these symptoms after a car accident. In some cases, they could indicate an incomplete spinal cord injury—something that could become worse without proper care. The important thing to do is limit the mobility of the spine until medical help is sought.
Spinal cord injuries are equally important to recognize. A full spinal cord injury can become worse and result in lifelong paralysis if not handled properly. Immobilization of the back and neck is the most important precaution to take if you suspect a spinal cord injury. If you think you might have a spinal cord injury after a car accident, call 911 right away. Prevent your neck and back from moving as much as possible until paramedics arrive.
Common Signs of a Spinal Cord Injury
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Substantial pain in part of the back or neck
- A sense of pressure in the back or neck
- Numbness that is spreading or becoming worse
- Weakness in the fingers, hands, feet, or legs
Difficulty breathing is a sign of a severe spinal cord injury. Once paramedics arrive, their main job will be to stabilize your injury. Spinal cord injuries are assessed by questions, imaging tests, heart rate, breathing levels, motor function tests, and sensory function tests. These will be used to determine whether you suffered a complete or an incomplete spinal cord injury.
A complete spinal cord injury is often a lifelong loss of sensation and movement below the injury site. Incomplete spinal cord injuries usually involve partial paralysis and may not last forever. Further complications can arise from spinal cord injuries such as bed sores, muscle spasms, chronic pain, and blood clots.
You may not have to pay for all of these medical bills if another driver was involved in the car accident. Try contacting a Kansas City car accident lawyer to explore your options for compensation if another driver hit you. An experienced lawyer can work with you to figure out what your legal options are for requesting additional compensation.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be eligible to receive compensation for future medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, lost earning capacity, and assistive device costs. This may involve filing a personal injury claim, negotiating with the insurance company, or taking the case to trial.