Even mild concussions can have lasting symptoms

Minor traumatic brain injuries, commonly referred to as concussions, affect countless West Virginia residents. A concussion occurs when a person's head is injured by a blow or bump that is strong enough to jostle the brain. When a person's brain bumps against the sides of their skull, brain cells are damaged, and the person may experience temporary or permanent brain changes.

Some people believe that brain damage only occurs when a person loses consciousness, but this is not the case. In fact, people who felt confused for 15 minutes after bumping their head might have sustained a Grade 1 concussion. Though the immediate symptoms of a Grade 1 concussion may be ignored because they are so mild, it can produce post-concussion symptoms like headache, dizziness, blurry vision, confusion and fatigue.

Post-concussion symptoms resolve in about 7 to 10 days for 80 to 90 percent of patients. Other victims continue to experience symptoms of mental fogginess for months, years or the rest of their life. A person who continues to have memory problems, mood swings and attention difficulties for longer than 10 days after a concussion may be advised to undergo brain imaging tests.

A person who is experiencing severe symptoms from a concussion may have a hard time returning to work. Brain damage from a head injury can make it more difficult for a person to concentrate on work, look at a computer screen, interact with other people and make decisions. If a person's concussion was caused by someone else's negligence, such as a car accident that was the result of an impaired or distracted driver, an attorney may be able to help the victim pursue monetary compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit.

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