Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most complex and serious injuries a person can experience. Typically, concussions are the mildest TBIs an individual might suffer, and these injuries generally cause symptoms that last no more than a few weeks or months. However, this is not always the case. Even a seemingly mild concussion can cause severe medical complications like post-concussion syndrome, a medical condition that may entail several months or even years of complex symptoms that are incredibly disruptive and difficult to treat.
If you or a loved one recently experienced a concussion, even one you believe was relatively mild, it is essential to know what this injury might entail and the possible effects any brain injury can have on your life, both short-term and long-term.
What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
A concussion occurs when a person suffers a blow to the head that does not cause bleeding in the brain or any other major symptoms. A few examples of situations that might lead to concussions include:
- Injuries from contact sports. Football and ice hockey carry a high risk of causing TBIs, and many athletes experience concussions that end their careers.
- Workplace injuries, especially in construction, logging, public works, and other dangerous workplaces.
- Falls. When a person falls and hits the ground, hitting their head can easily result in a concussion.
- Violence. A person may sustain a concussion in a physical altercation, during a forceful robbery, or as a result of domestic violence.
- Car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents continue to be a leading cause of concussions in the US. Crash impact forces can cause a person’s head to collide with their vehicle’s interior surfaces, and rapid airbag deployment may also cause a concussion.
These are some of the most common ways people sustain concussions. Ideally, a concussion will only result in minor symptoms that subside with rest, but the victim will face a higher chance of sustaining concussions in the future. Additionally, any concussion has the potential to cause post-concussion syndrome.
What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Any concussion is likely to cause disruptive symptoms that may last for weeks or even months in some cases. These symptoms can be physical, cognitive, or even emotional. Some of the most common symptoms that concussion victims experience include:
- Headaches and migraines
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Disorientation and confusion
For most concussion victims, these symptoms typically subside within a few weeks following treatment. However, any concussion, even a mild one, has the potential to cause post-concussion syndrome. This condition involves more severe symptoms that last much longer than the symptoms of a typical concussion, potentially including:
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory loss
- Sensory processing problems, such as the development of synesthesia
- Behavioral changes including rapid and unpredictable mood swings
- Personality changes
- Problems processing language
- Development of anxious, paranoid, or obsessive-compulsive behavior
The main risk factors that can determine whether a person is likely to develop post-concussion syndrome typically include the victim’s age and whether they have a history of previous concussions. Ultimately, it is impossible to predict whether a concussion victim will develop post-concussion syndrome, and the symptoms of this condition can affect a person’s life in many disruptive ways.
Potential Complications From Post-Concussion Syndrome
An individual who develops post-concussion syndrome is likely to experience significant difficulties with their personal and professional life due to this condition. The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome can appear and withdraw at seemingly random intervals. A person with this condition may go for days without any symptoms and then suddenly develop a debilitating migraine, experience a temporary lapse in memory, display a sudden and explosive mood swing, or find themselves unable to rest or sleep peacefully for days.
It’s easy to see how post-concussion syndrome symptoms can potentially interfere with the victim’s ability to work. If they have a demanding or high-stress job, everyday tasks that they previously handled with minimal difficulty can cause symptoms to flare. Some people who develop post-concussion syndrome find themselves unable to continue in their careers, have trouble socializing the way they did before their injury, and some may even become socially withdrawn and depressed due to their symptoms.
Taking Legal Action for Post-Concussion Syndrome
If you or a loved one develops post-concussion syndrome due to a TBI caused by someone else, it’s vital to understand your legal right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. This is especially true if you face an uncertain diagnosis and symptoms that may completely derail your professional life. An experienced California brain injury attorney is your best resource in this situation. Contact McLachlan Law, APC, today to schedule a consultation with an experienced and compassionate attorney who can help you determine your best available legal options in this situation.