We’ve all heard of the term “concussion,” but what does it mean? In our practice, with unfortunate frequency we see clients who have suffered concussions. We also see too many misunderstandings about concussions, which often cause people to underestimate how serious they are, and how common they are.
A concussion is a brain injury caused by trauma. Specifically, a concussion is caused when the brain is shaken within the skull, which causes stress upon the tissue of the brain.
Concussions are often caused by a blow to the head, but you can suffer a concussion even if nothing hits your head. For example, if you are in an auto collision and you jerk forward and back, your brain may be shaken within your skull by that movement, which can cause damage.
Concussions often are accompanied by a loss of consciousness, but you can suffer a concussion even without blacking out. A loss of consciousness is merely one possible symptom of a concussion. Other potential symptoms include headaches, loss of balance, ringing in the ears, changes in taste or smell, nausea, and sudden mood changes.
Concussions generally do not show up on diagnostic scans. After head injuries, doctors often give patients CT scans or MRIs of the head. These scans are useful, but they cannot necessarily detect concussions, which are often invisible to scans. This means that if you’ve been to the hospital following an injury, and the doctors tell you that the scans of your head don’t show an injury, you may still have suffered a concussion.
If you have been injured and suspect you may have suffered a concussion, it’s best to see a neurologist – a doctor who specializes in brain injuries. And if the injury was caused by someone else’s wrongful conduct, then you should also contact an attorney who has experience with brain injury cases. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we have extensive experience handling brain injury cases, and you can contact us for a free consultation.