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Just How Dangerous Is a Concussion?

Concussions are in the news frequently. Earlier in 2013, the National Football League agreed to a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players who claimed the league knew about the dangers of concussions, yet did little to protect the players. In the case of contact sports like football and hockey, head injuries are a virtual given.

But what of any of us who may have suffered a concussion as the result of a car accident, slip and fall accident, or other accident injury? Can we suffer severe physical, mental and emotional effects associated with repeated head injuries?

What is a concussion? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a ‘mild’ brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.”

Symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headaches, blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Irritability, depression, anxiety or moodiness
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping more than usual

Most of us are not subjected to repeated blows to the head, but a recent article originally published by the online journal Radiology highlights a recent study in which it was found that “some patients experienced structural changes to the brain after a single concussive episode.”  It also showed that those who suffered a concussion (mild traumatic brain injury, or MBTI) continued to experience physical and psychological symptoms a year or more after their injury. Given that 75 percent of the estimated 1.7 million brain injuries that occur annually fall under the category of MTBI, there is cause for concern.

If you have suffered a head injury in a slip and fall or car accident, seek immediate medical help. If you are concerned about dealing with an insurance company, a Florida attorney may be able to help.

Attorney Shane Herbert also contributed to this post.

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