Car accidents are among the top causes of head injuries in the US, with the most common type of head injury being a traumatic brain injury (TBI). And every year, around 64,000 people die from TBI injuries.
Of course, a TBI can vary significantly from mild to severe. Just because someone hits their head in a car accident does not mean they will sustain a fatal injury, but it is a possibility and a risk to keep in mind. If the injury isn’t fatal, however, there can still be short and long-term effects of a TBI that can significantly impact a person’s life.
Post concussion syndrome (PCS), for example, is a condition that is known to develop after an initial traumatic brain injury and can cause a variety of uncomfortable and even debilitating symptoms. This is why it is important for those that suffer an initial head injury after a car accident to file a personal injury claim.
PCS does not always show up right away, but if you wait to file a claim, it could impact how much money you are awarded as compensation. So the earlier you file a claim, the more likely you are to get the full and fair compensation you deserve to help cover current and future medical bills from any complications that can arise, such as PCS.
What Is Post Concussion Syndrome, and How Does It Happen?
So, what is post concussion syndrome exactly, and what causes it to happen?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can cause minor damage likened to a sort of bruising on the brain. This happens when the head is whipped back and forth in a violent motion, which shakes the brain, or when the head physically bumps against another object.
Generally, though concussions can be painful and cause other uncomfortable and serious symptoms, they are considered mild injuries that are not life-threatening. In some cases, however, short and even long-term complications can arise, such as post concussion syndrome.
PCS is a diagnosis that refers to lingering symptoms that occur after a person suffers from an initial concussion or other types of mild brain injuries. Sometimes the symptoms of PCS can appear within days after the initial concussion, or they can take weeks to develop.
Unfortunately, PCS can take longer to heal from than initial concussion symptoms. For some people, the symptoms can last up to a few months, and for others, they can last up to a year or more. And while doctors are not sure what causes some to develop PCS and others not, those over the age of 40 are more susceptible.
Overall, anyone who participates in an activity that can put them at risk of sustaining a head injury is vulnerable to developing PCS. Various sports, for example, commonly lead to a concussion and PCS. But aside from sports, some of the most common causes of head injuries that can lead to PCS include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of concussions and PCS because of the force placed on the body in an accident. For instance, the body can very easily jerk back and forth in a violent whipping motion, even in minor accidents. And that whipping motion can easily shake the brain and cause a concussion that can lead to PCS. More severe accidents that cause a person to hit their head against something can also, of course, lead to a concussion.
Post Concussion Syndrome Symptoms
Concussions and post concussion syndrome can result in a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- Trouble sleeping and insomnia
- Extreme personality changes
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of concussions and PCS and to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you can get treatment, the sooner you can start to heal. These symptoms can also be a sign of a more serious head injury. So even if you think it’s just a mild concussion, it’s always best to seek treatment right away to avoid further damage or complications.
Immediate medical attention is also helpful when filing a personal injury claim. Your medical records and documents proving that you were injured in an accident serve as evidence that helps support your case and ensure you are awarded enough compensation to cover your medical expenses and other damages.
Post Concussion Syndrome Treatment
There is no one set treatment for PCS. The symptoms of a concussion and PCS can vary from one person to the next. Thus, treatment will depend on the individual situation. Your doctor will do an evaluation and determine the best course of action, which can include:
- Pain medications for headaches
- Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness meds
- Mental health treatment
- Cognitive therapy
- Anti-anxiety meds
Pursuing Compensation for Post Concussion Syndrome After a Car Accident
While initial treatment for a concussion might not cost that much, if a patient develops PCS, they could need ongoing care and treatment that can get quite expensive over time. This is why it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention and to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. You will also likely want to work with a personal injury attorney.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to attempt to reduce compensation amounts by offering quick settlements, but this generally does not account for all damages, such as potential future medical expenses. Quick settlements are often much lower than what the victim deserves and will not be enough to cover all expenses.
With an attorney supporting your case, however, you will be able to provide sufficient proof of all damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses. An attorney will fight for your rights and ensure the insurance company offers a full and fair settlement.
Have a Legal Question? We Have Answers.
If you are suffering from a concussion or PCS after an accident, our team can help. At Zirkin and Schmerling Law, our Maryland car accident lawyers know what it takes to fight against insurers to ensure fair compensation is awarded. We are dedicated to providing superior service to our clients to help them navigate the claims process so they can focus on their rest and recovery.
Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.