A concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury or mild TBI. The name might imply that concussions are not serious brain injuries. However, there is nothing “mild” about a brain injury.
While concussions are usually not life-threatening, they can have serious consequences. The symptoms of a concussion can interfere with your life and daily activities.
Some individuals experience serious emotional, physical, and cognitive symptoms after a concussion injury.
How Does a Concussion Happen?
A concussion is a brain injury that temporarily causes the loss of normal brain function, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). A concussion can cause changes in the level of consciousness and/or mental status.
Concussions are caused by blunt force trauma to the head from a blow, bump, or jolt. The trauma does not need to be a direct blow to the head. A sudden jolt or whipping action, like the motion caused by whiplash, can result in a concussion.
Leading causes of concussions include, but are not limited to:
- Car accidents
- Unintentionally being struck by an object
- Motorcycle accidents
- Running into an obstacle
- Playing sports
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Nursing home abuse
Individuals who have sustained prior concussions or traumatic brain injuries are more likely to sustain another concussion if they are in an accident or other incident that caused a head injury.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
Even mild concussions can cause severe symptoms. They should not be taken lightly. All head injuries should be checked by a doctor.
Common signs that you sustained a concussion include, but are not limited to:
- Imbalance or dizziness
- Ringing ears
- Loss of consciousness (not required to sustain a concussion)
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry or double-vision
- Vomiting or nausea
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Loss of taste or smell
- Troubling falling asleep
Most individuals recover from a concussion within a few weeks. They may need extra rest and over-the-counter pain medications. However, warning signs indicate your concussion is more severe than a mild TBI.
A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience:
- Headaches that will not go away or worsen
- Inability to wake up
- Loss of consciousness
- Symptoms have not gone away within 10 to 14 days
- History of multiple concussions
- Slurred speech
- Decreased coordination, numbness, or weakness
- Symptoms that have worsened after the head trauma
- One pupil is larger than the other
- Unusual behavior and/or agitation
- Cannot recognize people or places
Children who sustain a concussion might display different signs of a severe brain injury. Seek immediate medical attention for your child if they have any danger signs for adults. Other danger signs for children include:
- Refuses to nurse or eat
- Will not stop crying
- Cannot be consoled
- High-pitched crying or arching the back when crying
- Begins to regress in developmental progress
- Change in the way the play or perform at school
- Mood changes and/or sadness or depression
- Loss of new skills
- Poor attention
Doctors use several tests and brain imaging studies to diagnose a concussion. Physicians often begin with the Glasglow Coma Scale (GCS), which rates concussions as mild, moderate, or severe. Doctors evaluate eye response, verbal response, and motor response to determine the level of brain damage caused by head trauma.
What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
If a person does not recover from a concussion within a few weeks, they could have post-concussion syndrome. Concussion symptoms that last for more than two months could indicate post-concussion syndrome. Doctors are unsure why some people might develop this condition after a concussion.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for post-concussion syndrome. However, doctors attempt to treat the symptoms through medication.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Concussion Injury in Florida?
If another party caused your head injury, they could be liable for the damages you sustain because of a concussion injury. A brain injury can result in substantial damage.
Depending on the severity of the injury, your doctor may restrict your activities, or you may be unable to perform some activities. Therefore, you might be unable to work or need assistance with personal care.
Your compensation can include economic damages such as:
- The cost of past and future medical treatment, including rehabilitative therapies
- The loss of income, including a decrease in future earning capacity, lost wages, and benefits
- Out-of-pocket expenses, including household services and personal care
You can also receive compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for pain and suffering, including:
- Emotional distress
- Physical discomfort
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Impairment and disability
If the at-fault party’s conduct meets the requirements for punitive damages, the jury might also award punitive damages. However, punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of personal injury cases.
Contributory fault can impact the amount you receive for a concussion injury. If a jury determines you were partially at fault for causing your injury, your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault. You also cannot recover compensation if you are found to be mostly at fault.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing Concussion Injury Claims in Florida?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Florida was changed this year. If the injury occurred on or after March 24, 2023, you will have two years to file a lawsuit by default. Prior to that date, the deadline may be four years from the injury date, except in cases involving medical malpractice and wrongful death. The statute of limitations in most strict liability cases and intentional torts remains four years.
Complying with the statute of limitations is crucial. The court can dismiss your lawsuit if it is filed after the statute of limitations expires.
Exceptions to the statute and the facts in your case can change the filing deadline for a personal injury claim. Therefore, calculating the deadline can be challenging. The best way to protect your right to pursue a court claim is to speak with an Orlando personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a head injury.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Orlando Concussion Injury Lawyers
Concussion injuries can cause life-long impairments. Call our Orlando concussion injury attorneys at (407) 648-1510 for a free case evaluation if you sustained a head injury. Payer Personal Injury Lawyers can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries and damages.