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10 Common Signs of a Concussion After a Car Accident

by John Sherrod

A concussion is one of the most common types of injury that people suffer in car accidents. A blow or violent shaking of the head can easily cause a concussion. In some cases, the victim may lose consciousness. However, in many cases, they do not. As a result, the person may suffer a concussion but not know it. Even though you could sustain a concussion and remain conscious, the injury is still a traumatic brain injury and could affect your memory, balance, coordination and other essential brain functions.

Because any injury to the brain could have a lasting impact on your health and livelihood, it is vital to seek medical attention after any crash. This is especially true if any of these 10 concussion symptoms appear immediately after a crash or develop over time:

  • Headache – A severe, persistent headache or a feeling of pressure in the head is one of the most common concussion symptoms. It is vital to seek medical attention to ensure that no bleeding or brain swelling occurs.
  • Sensitivity to light – Many concussion victims suffer from photophobia or photosensitivity. Doctors believe this symptom may be a result of the brain’s inability to adjust to varying levels of light after the injury. This sensitivity can last days, weeks or even for a longer period of time after the accident.
  • Confusion or dazed feeling – Victims of concussions often feel confused or experience temporary amnesia surrounding the event. They may not even recall the collision or what happened in the immediate aftermath.
  • Loss of consciousness – If a person’s head strikes an object or surface within the vehicle (for example, the windshield, steering wheel, dashboard or door), the person could be knocked unconscious. This is a clear sign of a concussion, and the individual should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.
  • Dizziness, fuzzy vision or “seeing stars” – A blow to the head can scatter the nerve signals in your brain and cause temporary vision problems. These symptoms collectively are referred to as “post-trauma vision syndrome.” While most of these issues resolve with time and rest, they may be a sign that you have suffered a concussion.
  • Nausea or vomiting – Concussion victims may vomit immediately after the injury, or they may experience nausea in the hours and days after the accident. This symptom could be related to the pain from the headaches, or it could be a result of vestibular dysfunction, which affects the body’s balance and equilibrium.
  • Delayed responses or slurred speech – Concussion victims may struggle to respond to questions or may be slow, slurred or incoherent when speaking. These communication problems affect an individual’s receptive skills and expressive skills.
  • Trouble sleeping – Sleep patterns can easily be disrupted by an injury to the brain. Individuals may have trouble falling asleep or may experience difficulty staying asleep.
  • Fatigue – It is common for concussion victims to feel fatigued after the injury. They often feel “mentally drained.” Tasks that were once easy become much more difficult. While these symptoms usually clear up over time, it is important to get a thorough examination by a doctor and get good, restorative sleep to help your brain heal.
  • Personality changes – Behavioral changes are not uncommon after a concussion and often appear in the days following the accident. In some cases, personality traits can become intensified. In other cases, people may exhibit different behaviors than they previously exhibited.

How Will a Doctor Determine If You Have a Concussion?

Doctors do not use any single test to diagnose a concussion. Often, doctors will use cognitive and physical examinations, imaging tests and other tools to determine if an accident victim has suffered a concussion.

The series of cognitive tests will examine your reaction time, visual and verbal memory, and your brain’s processing speed. Physical tests will check your coordination, reflexes, balance, and strength. Among the other tools which a doctor may use to diagnose a concussion are:

  • CT scan – A CT scan is an internal organ and tissue X-ray. It captures images that show if the brain is swollen, bruised or bleeding.
  • MRI – An MRI can provide a detailed view of the brain in two or three dimensions using magnetic field and radio waves. The images can show doctors where there is swelling or bleeding in the brain.

In some instances, concussion victims will be asked to stay overnight in the hospital for observation. If you are released, and your doctor agrees to let you be observed at home, you should make sure to have someone stay with you and check to make sure your symptoms do not worsen.

Your doctor will likely advise you to get plenty of rest after suffering a concussion. Rest will allow your brain to recover. As your symptoms improve, you can gradually add in more challenging mental and physical activities.

How Our Douglasville Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You

If you suffered a concussion in a car accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal help right away. The Douglasville car accident attorneys of Sherrod & Bernard have nearly three decades of experience with helping those who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. We are ready to stand up for you. We know the impact that a car crash can have on your life and your finances, and we firmly believe that you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

As members of the West Georgia community, we fight to protect our friends and neighbors and to make our community safer. If someone’s recklessness or carelessness causes you harm, we will not hesitate to take swift action on your behalf. You could be owed compensation for your pain, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. We will be here to help you pursue all compensation that you are due.

Our initial consultations at Sherrod & Bernard are always free and completely confidential. Contact us to discuss your car accident concussion case with a knowledgeable member of our team today.


John W. Sherrod is a Founding Partner of Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., who has represented injury victims and their families in Georgia for more than 30 years. A native of Marietta, Georgia, John graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia in 1984 and graduated from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law at the top of his class in 1987. In addition to his law practice, John is a frequent speaker at trial lawyer functions and an active member of several professional organizations, including the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and Southern Trial Lawyers Association.