Identifying a Concussion After a Car Accident

Over the past several years, public awareness has risen about the dangers of concussions. It’s generally accepted in the medical community that any type of concussive head injury – from being knocked out cold on a football field to a bonk on the head when you faint – can cause lasting damage.

At RA & Associates, one concussion cause we’re particularly concerned about is a car accident. Any accident from an auto collision to a slip and fall poses the risk of a minor to severe concussion. The jarring of your head and neck from a side impact, front impact, or even an air-bag release, even if you didn’t actually bang your head against anything, can result in brain trauma that requires immediate medical attention. Below are some quick questions you can ask following an auto accident to help identify the signs of a potential concussion, and some suggestions for what to do if you or someone you know is exhibiting them.

Right Away, Ask These Questions

First things first. If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident, no matter how violent, make sure to ask the following questions as soon as possible, and again fifteen minutes later, and a third time fifteen minutes after that. Also, if a medical professional is on the scene, make sure the person with the potential concussion gets checked out immediately, regardless of his or her answers to these questions. These are basic screening tools and no substitute for a professional medical evaluation.

  1. Can you remember what happened? If not, or if the memory of the accident seems fluid or changing, that is a potential warning sign of a concussion.
  2. Can you see straight? If not, or if you’re experiencing any similar symptom like blurred or tunnel vision, that’s a potential warning sign of a concussion.
  3. Are you able to concentrate? If not, especially if you feel confused or like things are swirling all around you, that is a potential warning sign of a concussion.
  4. Are your ears ringing? Ringing ears, particularly if they seem to drown out other sounds, are a potential warning sign of a concussion.
  5. Can you walk straight? If not, that’s a potential concussion warning sign (even if you’re not weaving like a wide receiver who’s just been flattened).
  6. Are you feeling nauseous? If yes, or if you’re feeling nausea-related symptoms like dizziness or cold sweats, or if you actually vomit, those are potential warning signs of a concussion.
  7. Are you bothered by light or noise? If yes, or more generally if what you’re experiencing visually seems off, whether really bright and vivid or really dulled and distant, that’s a potential warning sign of a concussion.

The Warning Signs Are Present. What Now?

Seek medical attention immediately. According to the Centers for Disease Control, immediate attention and referral to a specialist if necessary are critical in responding to a concussion because  “getting help soon after the injury by trained specialists may drastically improve recovery.”

After addressing the immediate medical need, it may also be advisable to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. Not every fender bender needs to be escalated into an insurance claim or personal injury litigation. But, concussions and their long-term effects are no laughing matter. We believe it’s best to learn about your rights as soon as possible. After all, medical treatments can be expensive. Concussion recovery can last months, and the lasting impact of a concussion can be debilitating even when you’re under the best care. What seemed like a passing concussion can end up affecting your ability to work and enjoy life.

At RA & Associates, we have years of experience advising people who have suffered concussions in auto accidents. If you have suffered a concussion as a driver or passenger, contact us today at 888-417-1080 or fill out a form above for a free consultation about your legal rights.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.  If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.



RA & Associates, APC
1 (888) 417-1080
505 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203

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