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  • Writer's pictureMERCADO KRAMER LLP

Signs of a Concussion to Look for After Trauma


A woman with a cut on her head is examined by a doctor. If you have a concussion, it's important that it is properly diagnosed and treated to get maximum compensation in your personal injury case.

The Centers for Disease Control define a concussion as " a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—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." People can suffer concussions when they slip and strike their head on the floor. In a car wreck, someone can hit their head on their car seat or the car door and suffer a concussion. There does not even need to be a direct blow to the head to cause a concussion. Significant whiplash – where the head jolts violently back and forth on the neck – can also cause concussions.


Some concussions heal quickly on their own, but many others linger, causing serious problems with a person’s ability to function. What’s scary is that many concussions are not properly diagnosed in the emergency room. Sometimes they are overlooked, or symptoms don’t develop until later. One study found that as many as 56 percent of concussions are not properly diagnosed.


If you or a loved one have suffered trauma, it’s important to understand the possible signs of a concussion. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Loss of consciousness – even if very brief

  • Headache or “pressure” in the head

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Balance problems, dizziness, or blurry vision

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Feeling more sluggish than usual

  • Confusion or trouble with memory and concentration

  • Cannot recall events before or after the fall/blow to the head/trauma

  • Clumsy movements

  • Responding to questions slowly

  • Mood, behavior, or personality changes

The CDC advises calling 911 if any of the following occurs:

  • One pupil is larger than the other

  • Inability to wake up/drowsiness

  • Headache that gets worse and doesn’t go away

  • Slurred speech

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Unusual behavior

  • Loss of consciousness


You should be aware that some symptoms of a concussion do not show up right away. If you suspect you may have a concussion, it’s a good idea to ask friends or family to help you keep an eye out for unusual behavior and the signs above.


If you suffered a concussion in a car wreck or other trauma caused by negligence, we advise speaking to a qualified personal injury attorney to understand your rights. Concussions are often an “invisible” injury, meaning brain scans such as CT and MRI may come back normal, even when someone has persistent symptoms. Insurance companies will often deny that an injured person has a concussion so they can try to pay less money. Our personal injury attorneys can help you at our offices in Salinas or San Jose or meet you where it’s convenient. Call 888 311-4050 today.


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