Concussions have long been a surprisingly misunderstood injury when one considers the number of Canadians who suffer from them every year. In injuries occurring in youth sports team, motor vehicle accidents or professional sports, we encounter concussions and their difficulties. Although there have been many recent advancements in concussion-related research, much of the causes and long-term effects of concussions remain unknown, which leaves those who suffer from them with more questions than answers as they deal with invisible symptoms and potential long-term disabilities. We do know that concussions are traumatic brain injuries that one can suffer from even if no direct contact to the head has occurred. What’s more, we know that even what seems to be a minor trauma at the time of the
accident may ultimately result in complicated and debilitating long term physical and psychological effects. This makes it crucial for victims of any type of accident to seek out the proper medical advice and treatment and, when needed, the appropriate legal services.
Considering that 103.5 million people across the world watched this year’s Superbowl, it is surprising that a recent study on the long-term effects of concussions on NFL players has remained relatively unknown. In fact, in 2017, the Journal of American Medical Association (“JAMA”) published its findings that showed that a diseased called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains. CTE is a neurodegenerative brain disease that can be associated with numerous symptoms including memory loss confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior. The study suggested that CTE may be related to prior participation in football and repeated head trauma.
Although CTE is only one of the long-term symptoms that can be the result of a concussion, most concussions will resolve in a relatively short time. According to Parachute Canada’s Concussion Guide for Parents and Caregivers, a concussion will often last for one to four weeks, but that it may last longer, especially so if the injured person has suffered from a concussion before. The Guide indicates that concussion can be caused by any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body which causes a sudden jarring of the head and will lead to symptoms such as general confusion, headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, loss of vision, vomiting and /or slurred speech.
When concussions do not resolve shortly, individuals suffering from concussion may experience post-concussion syndrome with symptoms lasting indefinitely.
The Weill Cornell Medicine Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic notes that post-concussion syndrome can cause physical, cognitive and emotional problems which includes headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating or completing tasks and irritability. Research also shows that individuals suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury are more likely to experience depression than those who have not had a brain injury.
Considering the wide array of symptoms that can result from them, victims of concussions have many challenges during their recovery that
can make them feel isolated. Often, concussions leave individuals not feeling like themselves and having trouble coping and processing information that would have previously been easy for them to comprehend. Some find that their mind is in a fog-like state which impedes their ability to think and communicate clearly. Adding to these challenges is the invisibility of a concussion that causes individuals to feel misunderstood by their loved-ones, friends and colleagues who have trouble appreciating the length of recovery of someone who “seems normal”.
When one pairs the regular difficulties of recovering from a concussion with the stress and complications arising out of litigation, it is no surprise that victims of accidents resulting in concussions often feel overwhelmed by the process. Car accidents, from low to high impact, can leave you with a concussion or post-concussion symptoms especially so if you’ve suffered from one in the past and have a history of head injuries. Even accidents that seem “mild” in nature at the time may result in a serious concussion and it is important to get all the appropriate care. The process associated with car insurance may be complicated for someone suffering from a brain injury and a personal injury lawyer can facilitate the inner-workings of making claims to obtain the proper treatment. It is especially important that someone advocates to the insurance companies on your behalf when the treatment that should be received may help alleviate the symptoms of the concussion you suffer from.
As previously mentioned, victims of concussion are often misunderstood and looked over and it is important when choosing someone to defend your rights and entitlement that you find a lawyer who has dealt with concussions and understands their impact on the lives of accident victims and their loved ones. David Hollingsworth is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, Ontario. He has built an incredible team of over 15 staff that devote themselves to helping countless concussion victims in their dealings with insurance companies and moving their lives forward with a concussion. For more information, please visit www.ottawainjury.ca
Other articles that might interest you : Sorting through the medical maze of concussion care. | Alarming trends in the area of Concussions.