Concussions have been a hot topic in recent years due to the growing body of research suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). But concussions are more commonplace than you might realize. You do not need to be a football player or work in a similarly physical occupation to suffer a concussion or similar traumatic brain injury.
Indeed, the first thing you need to understand is that a concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI refers to any sudden trauma to the brain, usually through striking a blunt object of some sort. While a concussion is often considered a “mild” form of TBI, it can still produce serious complications that require immediate medical attention.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 2.5 million emergency room visits every year associated with concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Approximately 280,000 people are ultimately hospitalized for TBI each year. And sadly, there are about 50,000 annual fatalities related to TBI.
How Does a Concussion Actually Affect the Brain?
Unlike other injuries, the symptoms of a concussion may not be immediately apparent. A person may seem fine within a few minutes of a concussion yet have significant medical issues days, weeks, or even months later. This is why it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible after a concussion.
The National Institutes of Health notes a person who has suffered a concussion “may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes.” Afterwards, the person may experience symptoms such as headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and fatigue. In the days following a concussion there may be other warning signs, including repeated vomiting or nausea, dilation of one pupil, slurred speech, convulsions or seizures, or persistent headaches that do not go away on their own. If these symptoms persist after several months, the person may have what is known as post-concussion syndrome.
As noted above, there is also increasing evidence that concussions may lead to CTE, a “progressive neurodegenerative disease” that has been diagnosed in several deceased former professional football players. CTE is not a short-term consequence: The symptoms generally do not manifest themselves until a person is in his 40s, and the actual diagnosis can only be confirmed in a post-mortem examination. While much about CTE remains unknown, the CDC has cautioned it “is not limited to athletes who have reported concussions.”
Is Someone Else Legally Responsible for Your Concussion?
It is also important to remember sports are not the main cause of traumatic brain injuries. Falls are the most common cause of concussions, according to the CDC, accounting for 55 percent of traumatic brain injuries suffered by children and 81 percent of those suffered by persons over the age of 65. And in many cases, a fall may be the result of someone else’s negligence.
A concussion is no different than any other personal injury. This means if someone else is responsible for your concussion, you have the right to seek compensation for your personal and financial losses in court. An experienced Las Vegas head injury lawyer can review your case and help you determine the best course of action. Contact the Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, today if you would like to speak with someone right away.