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What Is So Dangerous About Concussions From Car Accidents?

Steven Matz
December 10, 2022 | Car Accident, Verdicts & Settlements

Concussion injuries are frighteningly common, even with awareness rising across the board. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 64,000 traumatic brain injury (TBI) related deaths, 17.3% of which were directly caused by car accidents. The only type of accident that caused more TBIs than car accidents was falls. What makes concussions so dangerous is that they often may seem mild, leading people to forgo treatment for a head injury. Failure to seek medical care, however, can cause long-term complications and even be life-threatening.

Symptoms from a concussion can take days or even weeks to appear, so it is vital that you be proactive any time you have a head injury. In a situation where a concussion causes serious long-term consequences or disability, the seasoned car accident lawyers at Matz Injury Law are here to help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve. Call our law firm at 866-226-6833 or use our online contact form for legal advice and a free consultation today.

What Is a Concussion?

Woman sitting in front of a physician wearing a neck brace after car accident.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. There are five grades of concussions, ranging from mild to severe. It is important to understand, however, that the term “mild” is relative. Even a mild traumatic brain injury can be serious, if not life-threatening.

The grades of concussions range from Grade 0 to Grade 4 and can be diagnosed by their symptoms. The amount of time it takes to recover from a concussion also depends largely on the grade. Grade 0 and 1 concussions usually allow a return to normal activities within a day, while Grade 3 or 4 concussions can take weeks or longer from which to recover.

When Should You Look for Signs of a Concussion?

Signs and symptoms of a concussion usually appear not long after an injury, like a car crash. You may not, however, realize how serious the injury is right away. Some symptoms may take hours, days, or even weeks to present. The first few minutes might involve just a bit of confusion. An hour later, however, memory loss might occur. Drowsiness and loss of consciousness can follow, and without medical attention, death could ensue.

Because of this, you should continue to watch for signs of a concussion immediately after the car crash to several days after the accident. If your symptoms or the symptoms of your child or teen who was hurt worsen, you should immediately head to the emergency room. At the hospital, doctors can perform imaging tests like a CT scan to check for brain damage.

Eight Signs You Have a Concussion From a Car Accident

The immediate signs of a concussion can cover a wide range. Watch for the following symptoms of a concussion after your car accident:

  • Memory loss, such as the inability to remember the accident, the victim’s name, or the day of the week
  • Loss of consciousness, which can begin with drowsiness and a desire to sleep
  • Moodiness and marked personality changes
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Seizures, from mild tics to loss of bodily control
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • Headaches, especially combined with sensitivity to light or sound
  • Blurry vision and other loss of sensory control

When to Call Emergency Services Following a Concussion

Man wearing a safety vest talking to woman sitting next to a vehicle after crash.

Any of the signs and symptoms above are a reason to call for medical attention. If, however, you notice more severe symptoms, it is essential to call emergency services immediately. These include:

  • The victim’s pupils being different sizes
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or loss of feeling in limbs
  • Decreased coordination
  • The victim becoming unresponsive
  • Nausea or repeated vomiting
  • Increasing confusion and restlessness

How to Test If You Have a Concussion at Home

The first thing to do if you suspect someone has a concussion after motor vehicle accidents is to give a quick test of their mental faculties. This involves asking a few basic questions. The idea is to check their memory, alertness, focus, thinking, and problem-solving. Ask the victim the day of the week, the month, and the year. Have them memorize a list of words and recite them back. Have the victim recite a sequence of numbers forward and backward. Ask them to recite the months of the year in reverse order.

Other tests exist, but if you suspect anyone has a brain injury or concussion after an auto accident, the best thing to do is call for first responders right away. A medical professional can diagnose the issue and offer immediate medical treatment as needed, and can possibly save the victim’s life. Always remember that even a mild concussion is a serious injury.

Can You Get a Car Accident Concussion Without Hitting Your Head?

While a blow to the head, such as striking the steering wheel or even a car airbag, is the most common cause of a concussion among accident victims, it is possible to get a concussion without any direct contact to the head. This is called “secondary trauma.”

Anything that causes your brain to rattle or change shape can result in a concussion. You can even be protected by a seatbelt and still suffer a concussion. Whiplash, for example, where your head whips forward and stops suddenly, is a common injury to the neck and spine after motor vehicle crashes, but it can also cause a concussion. Even sudden deceleration can cause your brain to rattle around and result in a concussion.

Sustained a Concussion After a Car Accident? Here’s What to Do

Woman driving car holding a hand against her head in pain

If you or a loved one is in a car accident and suffers symptoms of a concussion, it is important to take the right steps. Get medical attention right away. Everything else is secondary.

1. See a Doctor

Again, it cannot be stressed enough that you should get seen by a medical professional. They can perform the necessary tests and begin any treatment you need to ensure that your injury does not get worse.

2. Document Your Injuries

After calling for first responders at the accident scene, make notes of everything that happened and what you feel. After the accident, continue to document your injury. Keep track of all your medical expenses and medical bills. Keeping a journal of your symptoms can be helpful as well. Any information you can keep regarding your symptoms and injury can be helpful.

3. Talk to a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

As soon as you can, you should contact a qualified and experienced Michigan personal injury attorney. The accident attorneys at Matz Injury Law can help you fight for all of the compensation you deserve, both through no-fault insurance and a personal injury case to hold the at-fault driver responsible for what happened to you.

4. File for No-Fault Benefits

Michigan is a no-fault state for car accidents. You will need to contact your insurance company to file an injury claim for no-fault benefits as soon as possible. These benefits can help you get started paying your medical expenses and recover some of your lost wages right away.

You may find, however, that the insurance company questions your claim, and that is another reason to have a personal injury lawyer in your corner. The right attorney will be able to fight back when insurance adjusters try to get out of paying your claim. They can take over communications and help stand up for your rights.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Concussion?

Most concussions take a week to 10 days to fade. Those who have more severe concussions or who get post-concussion syndrome can sometimes require weeks or even months of recovery time. When recovering from a concussion, it is important to follow your doctor’s orders. Limiting screen time, avoiding bright lights, staying away from loud noise, and other recommended measures can help you avoid serious side effects and post-concussion syndrome.

Why You Should Never Ignore a Concussion

Concussions can have long-term consequences and be truly debilitating. When left untreated, these consequences can cascade and even be deadly, according to the Globe and Mail. The CDC also states that ignoring the symptoms of a concussion can make the condition worse.

Matz Injury Law Will Fight for Your Brain Injury Compensation

If you have sustained a serious head injury caused by a reckless or careless driver or by any other person’s careless behavior, you deserve to be compensated for your medical bills, your lost wages, your pain and suffering, and all of your economic and non-economic damages. You may not be in the right frame of mind to deal with the insurance company. The compassionate car accident attorneys at Matz Injury Law can handle your case and fight for your rights.

Hiring a lawyer, on average, can net you up to $50,000 more in compensation. Matz Injury Law also has a low contingency fee of 22% as opposed to the 33% that many competitors charge. This means you are more likely to get the compensation you deserve, plus a bit extra.

We are here for you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. There is no disclaimer or obligation. Just call us at 866-226-6833 or use our online contact form to speak with a member of our team today.

steven matz headshot

Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.