Signs Of A Concussion After A Car Accident

Getting into a car accident can be a scary experience, and these incidents can lead to victims sustaining various injuries. One type of injury that it is relatively common is a concussion. Concussions are actually considered mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). However, even though they may be considered mild, they must be taken seriously. The signs and symptoms of a concussion may not be readily recognized or understood in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. Here, we want to discuss what you and others need to look out for in the aftermath of being involved in a car accident in order to recognize a concussion.

Recognizing a concussion after a car crash

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions are caused by a “bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.”

The CDC says that approximately two million Americans sustain concussions each year. Approximately 14% of these concussions are caused directly by vehicle accidents. It is important to recognize that a concussion in a car accident can occur even if a person’s head does not make a direct impact with other objects inside the vehicle. These injuries can occur simply because the head is whipped back and forth rapidly and with significant force.

In the immediate aftermath of a crash, a person’s adrenaline may mask the signs and symptoms associated with concussions. However, as this adrenaline wears off, car accident victims need to be aware that the following could be signs and symptoms of a concussion:

  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Fatigue or grogginess
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble waking up
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion or feeling dazed
  • Delayed responses
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Personality changes or mood swings

It is vital that all victims involved in vehicle accidents seek medical assistance as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Even if a victim does not feel much pain, it is crucial to stress the importance of seeking medical attention in order to rule out any significant injuries that may not be immediately apparent.

Doctors do not have a single test used to determine whether or not a person has sustained a concussion. They will use a series of cognitive and physical examinations, imaging tests, and other tools to determine whether or not there has been a mild traumatic brain injury.

Most people are able to make a full recovery after sustaining a concussion, but we need to point out that the severity of a concussion could be compounded if a person sustains another head injury before they have made a full recovery from the first. Thus, a person with a concussion will likely be told by a doctor to rest and not participate in any vigorous activity for days or even a few weeks after the injury occurs. In rare instances, concussion victims may be asked to stay overnight at a hospital for further observation. Victims who are released from the hospital should make sure that they have someone to stay with them to ensure that, if the symptoms worsen, they can take them back to the hospital or call 911.