The short answer is yes! Even if your head has not come into contact with another object or surface, you may have a concussion. Concussions are a category of traumatic brain injury (TBI) — they actually tend to occur more often than other types of TBIs.

Sometimes, concussions are not reported because the person with the injury feels better quickly and doesn’t think that their condition is serious. However, injuries like this can have long-term negative consequences for a person, even if they aren’t aware of the impact of the injury.

TBIs are sometimes caused by negligent or careless behavior. If someone else is responsible for your concussion, you may be owed financial recovery. When you seek damages through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the money you get can be used to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

What Types of Accidents Cause Concussions?

Concussions occur when your brain moves inside your head and collides with the interior wall of your skull bone. This type of injury usually occurs as the result of trauma to the head. 

Under ordinary circumstances, the human brain is enclosed within a thin layer of connective tissue and fluid that prevents it from touching the surrounding bone. When you suffer from a blow to the head or another type of accident, the brain may be slammed against one of the sides of the skull. This type of impact is what causes a concussion.

Car accidents are a common situation in which concussions are very likely. When a car is hit from behind, the driver may experience whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a person’s back, neck, and head experience a forceful back-and-forth motion.

This can jostle the victim’s brain inside of their skull, even if their head does not make contact with any other object. 

Other common contexts in which people may sustain a concussion include:

If your head comes into contact with a surface or object during your accident, concussions are very likely. However, you may suffer a concussion in any of these contexts, even if you do not hit your head.

As we mentioned above, many concussion victims are unaware that they have suffered from this type of TBI. Many people mistakenly believe that they could not have sustained a brain injury because their head did not come into contact with anything.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of Concussions?

The most common symptom of a concussion is a headache. But concussions also can cause a number of symptoms.

If you think you might have sustained a brain injury, look for any of the following indicators:

  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Confusion or brain fog
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unstable or unpredictable mood changes
  • Dizziness
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained drowsiness

These symptoms usually appear a few minutes after sustaining the injury. However, some of these indicators may start to show up in the days or weeks following your injury. This can cause confusion about the source of the symptoms and the type of injury that you’ve sustained.

In order to be sure whether your symptoms are the result of a concussion or not, you should speak with a qualified medical professional. A doctor can determine if you are suffering from a concussion or another underlying issue.

Concussions are usually classified as “mild” traumatic brain injuries. However, all brain injuries have the potential to cause severe and long-lasting effects. Seek a medical examination immediately if you think you may have a concussion.

How is a Concussion Diagnosed?

When you speak with a doctor about the possibility that you have suffered from a concussion, they will test several of your neurological functions.

These include:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Voluntary eye movement
  • Coordination
  • Memory function

Typically, brain scans are not necessary to diagnose a concussion. Victims often believe that they will need CT scans or an MRI to know if they have a concussion. Contrary to this belief, concussions are not visible on a CT or an MRI.

But if you suffered from a severe concussion, you may need to undergo an imaging test. While the concussion will not be visible, physical damage from the injury could be. Visible damage can include bleeding or swelling in the brain.

Seeking Compensation for Your Concussion

If you or a loved one have sustained a concussion without hitting your head, it may be difficult to determine what circumstances caused your injury, which can in turn make it difficult to seek the financial recovery that you are owed. Speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to determine the causes and conditions of your concussion.

An accomplished attorney can also help to show that another party’s negligence caused your injuries. 

Proving negligence in a personal injury case involves showing that:

  • The liable party owed a duty of care to behave in a reasonable, safe, and lawful manner.
  • The liable party breached their duty of care by acting carelessly or recklessly.
  • The liable party’s careless behavior was the direct and proximate cause of your accident.
  • You suffered damages (like a concussion) as a result of the accident.

In an injury case involving a concussion, you may be able to seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Related medical expenses (in the past, present, and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Missed work and lost wages
  • Decreased earning potential
  • Therapy and rehabilitation costs

If you have sustained a concussion due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you should not face the mounting financial expenses alone. 

Each year, there are more than 2.5 million emergency room visits due to TBI. Concussions and other brain injuries are very common and can be devastating. 

Because of their potential to cause lifelong effects, concussions should always be taken seriously. Speak with a skilled personal injury attorney to seek the financial recovery that you need to cover the costs of your injury.