Figure showing the brain shining pink representing pain.

Concussion Symptoms - What You Need to Know

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Understanding Concussions: A Detailed Explanation

III. Common Causes of Concussions

IV. Intricate Dynamics Within the Skull: Unveiling the Mechanisms

V. Symptoms of Concussions

VI. Immediate Symptoms of Concussion

VII. Delayed Symptoms of Concussion

VIII. Post-Concussion Syndrome

IX. What You Need to Do If You Notice Symptoms of a Concussion

X. What Are the Treatment Options for Concussions?

XII. What Action Do You Need to Take If Someone’s Actions Led to Your Concussion?

XIII. Can I Get Damage Compensation for a Concussion?

XIV. Conclusion



Concussions carry significant gravity and can lead to disabling consequences, even mortality. The peril is heightened by delayed symptoms, which frequently remain unnoticed. The misconception that the absence of immediate symptoms implies safety is dangerous. As we delve deeper, we'll uncover the genuine hazards associated with concussions. Prior to that exploration, our personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will delve into the common causes and frequencies of concussions.

Remarkably, each year an estimated 1.5 million Americans experience a TBI, making it a prominent cause of death and disability among children and young adults in the United States. These injuries lead to various outcomes: approximately 230,000 individuals survive after hospitalization, while tragically, 50,000 lives are lost. Moreover, between 80,000 to 90,000 individuals grapple with the onset of long-term disabilities as a consequence of these injuries. This impact accumulates over time, resulting in approximately 5.3 million people, encompassing men, women, and children, currently living with permanent TBI-related disabilities in the United States today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As we navigate the complex landscape of personal injury, understanding the profound implications of concussions is paramount. By comprehending the prevalence of TBIs, such as concussions, and their far-reaching consequences, we can better appreciate the significance of advocating for the rights and well-being of those who have suffered such injuries.

Understanding Concussions: A Detailed Explanation

A concussion, a subset of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), is a complex neurological condition that arises from a blow, jolt, or impact to the head or body. Contrary to common misconceptions, a concussion is not merely a fleeting moment of dizziness; it involves intricate processes within the brain that can have serious consequences.

When a forceful impact occurs, it sets off a chain of events within the brain. The brain, encased within the skull, is cushioned by cerebrospinal fluid, but a sudden blow can cause it to move and twist, leading to the stretching and damaging of delicate nerve cells. This intricate system disruption leads to a range of physiological and biochemical changes, resulting in the characteristic symptoms of a concussion.

One key element in understanding concussions is the concept of axonal shearing. This refers to the tearing of nerve fibers, known as axons, due to the rotational forces generated during an impact. These torn axons disrupt communication between different parts of the brain, leading to a variety of cognitive, sensory, and emotional symptoms.

The wide-ranging symptoms of a concussion arise from the intricate network of brain functions affected. It's important to recognize that the effects of a concussion can be immediate or delayed, and they don't always correlate with the severity of the impact. This is why concussions are often referred to as "invisible injuries," as they might not be apparent from the outside. Furthermore, the lack of external signs can contribute to the misguided notion that concussions are trivial.

In essence, a concussion is a disruption in the intricate dance of electrical signals, neurotransmitters, and cellular functions within the brain. The consequences can range from mild, resolving with time and rest, to severe and long-lasting, requiring medical intervention and rehabilitation. Understanding the complexities of concussions empowers us to take them seriously, seek proper medical attention, and advocate for the well-being of those affected by these intricate and often misunderstood injuries.

Common Causes of Concussions

Concussions, stemming from a sudden bump, blow, or forceful jolt to the head or body, can occur in a variety of scenarios. The intricate interplay of physics, anatomy, and circumstance makes these injuries both intriguing and concerning. Here, we delve into the specifics of how concussions can manifest:

1. Falls: Accidental falls, whether from a height or on a level surface, are prominent culprits in causing concussions.

2. Car Accidents: Vehicular accidents, especially those involving sudden deceleration or collision impacts, can exert the necessary force to disrupt brain stability within the skull.

2. Sports Injuries: High-impact sports and activities pose a significant risk for concussions. The forceful collisions, abrupt stops, and rapid changes in direction inherent in sports like football, soccer, and hockey can lead to head trauma, potentially resulting in a concussion.

3. Occupational Hazards: Work environments that involve elevated platforms, construction zones, or heavy machinery present a heightened risk of concussions. Accidents such as tools falling from heights, equipment malfunction, or collisions with objects can lead to traumatic impacts.

4. Violent Actions and Fights: Altercations and physical altercations can result in powerful blows to the head, initiating the complex cascade of events that define a concussion. The forceful impact generated during fights or violent incidents can disrupt the brain's delicate equilibrium.

Warehouse worker past out after falling at work.
Image by senivpetro on Freepik

Intricate Dynamics Within the Skull: Unveiling the Mechanisms

Within the context of a concussion, the brain's mobility within the skull plays a central role. A powerful impact can initiate rapid acceleration and deceleration forces, causing the brain to move and collide with the hard walls of the skull. This movement may lead to varying degrees of damage to brain tissue, including nerves and arteries.

Concussions have the potential to disrupt the brain's intricate vascular network, sometimes resulting in bleeding within or around the brain. This phenomenon can exacerbate symptoms, causing confusion, drowsiness, and in severe cases, even loss of consciousness. The gravity of brain bleeding further underscores the necessity of prompt medical attention, as untreated cases can potentially lead to fatal outcomes.

As we unravel the multifaceted nature of concussions, it's evident that they emerge from a spectrum of situations where external forces interact with the delicate environment of the brain. Understanding the specific triggers and underlying mechanisms empowers us to recognize the risks, advocate for safety measures, and ensure timely intervention for those who experience these intricate injuries.

Symptoms of a Concussion

One of the reasons concussions are problematic is the fact that there are a variety of symptoms and even the time frame in which the symptoms occur differs. Some experience a concussion and immediately lose consciousness or experience headaches. Others, on the other hand, don’t show any symptoms at all.

Apart from that, people can experience various concussion symptoms directly following an injury or after one or more days. Some symptoms are related to a concussion, like if someone suffers from a headache after hitting their head. There are also instances when both immediate and delayed symptoms seem to have no relationship to an injury. For example, one might experience a loss of smell or taste a couple of days after an accident and not associate that with their previous injury. They might not even notice this symptom or pay attention to it.

Woman holding her haid in pain while sitting in bed.
Image by jcomp on Freepik

Immediate Symptoms of Concussion

When a concussion occurs, the brain's intricate balance is disrupted, often leading to a cascade of immediate and varied symptoms. These symptoms provide valuable insights into the underlying neurological changes that unfold. Let's delve deeper into the intricacies of these immediate symptoms:

1. Slurred Speech: A telltale sign of a concussion, slurred speech emerges due to the impact's disruptive effects on brain functions that govern motor control and speech coordination. The brain's ability to smoothly orchestrate speech becomes impaired, resulting in speech that sounds muddled or unclear.

2. Dizziness: The sensation of dizziness is frequently reported after a concussion due to the impact's disruption of the vestibular system. This intricate system, responsible for spatial orientation and balance, is thrown into disarray, causing feelings of unsteadiness, spinning, or vertigo.

3. Nausea with or without Vomiting: The brain's intricate relationship with the digestive system can be perturbed by a concussion. Nausea, often accompanied by vomiting, stems from the brain's struggle to integrate sensory input and maintain equilibrium, leading to a queasy feeling.

4. Blurred or Double Vision: The visual system, intricately connected to brain function, is highly susceptible to the effects of a concussion. Blurred or double vision emerges when the brain's processing of visual signals is disrupted, affecting focus and perception.

5. Loss of Balance: The vestibular system's perturbation can also lead to a loss of balance. The brain's ability to interpret spatial cues is compromised, causing unsteadiness and a sensation of imbalance.

6. Loss of Consciousness: In some instances, the impact of a concussion can result in loss of consciousness. This occurs due to the brain's abrupt disruption and the subsequent temporary cessation of its normal functions.

Vector graphic of a man being dizzy and holding his head.
Image by storyset on Freepik

Delayed Symptoms of Concussion

There are many instances when delayed symptoms become apparent hours or days after the injury. They are as follows:

1. Headache: A common delayed symptom, headaches arise due to the intricate interplay of disrupted brain functions, inflammation, and blood vessel changes. The brain's attempt to recalibrate itself post-injury can trigger discomfort that manifests as a headache.

2. Vomiting: Delayed vomiting can be a result of the brain's attempts to regain equilibrium following the initial trauma. Nausea, often coupled with vomiting, can be triggered as the brain's sensory processing recalibrates.

3. Fatigue: The aftermath of a concussion can leave the brain in a heightened state of activity. This sustained effort can lead to mental and physical fatigue as the brain expends energy to restore its intricate balance.

4. Irritability: The delicate neurotransmitter balance within the brain can be disrupted by a concussion, leading to mood changes, including heightened irritability. This emotional response is a reflection of the brain's attempts to readjust.

5. Memory Loss: A delayed symptom involving memory loss underscores the brain's intricate connections. The disruption caused by the initial impact can impede memory formation and recall, leading to gaps in recollection.

6. Drowsiness: The brain's heightened activity post-injury can lead to a subsequent phase of drowsiness. This response is the brain's way of signaling that it requires rest to recover from the complex events it has endured.

7. Confusion: Delayed confusion can arise as the brain attempts to process and integrate sensory input. The intricate network of cognitive functions can experience hiccups, leading to confusion and disorientation.

8. Nausea or Dizziness: The intricate interplay of the brain's systems can lead to delayed sensations of nausea or dizziness. These symptoms can stem from the brain's ongoing efforts to recalibrate itself.

9. Trouble Concentrating: The brain's intricate cognitive functions, essential for concentration, can be disrupted by a concussion. Difficulty focusing and maintaining attention are common manifestations of this disturbance.

The delayed symptoms of concussions underscore the complexity of the brain's response to trauma.

Woman sitting in bed feeling tired.
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Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome is a serious condition and one of the consequences of a concussion. It is usually experienced for weeks or even months after the injury and may include:

● Headaches

● Poor memory

● Fatigue

● Dizziness

● Hearing problems

● Concentration difficulties

● Insomnia

● Depression

● Mood swings

These symptoms are usually a normal part of the recovery process, but in some cases, they may goon for months or even years.

There is no cure for a concussion. Once you experience one, you will always be susceptible to another one and you must take that into account for your safety.

What You Need to Do If You Notice Symptoms of a Concussion

Most people don’t go to the hospital right away when they experience the symptoms of a concussion. They usually hope that the symptoms will subside on their own and that they would be able to get back to their typical activity.

However, it is very important to go to the hospital or to see a doctor if you’re experiencing some or all of the symptoms of a concussion. If it’s not treated at once, the effects can worsen and permanently damage the brain. In cases of severe head injuries, there’s a real possibility of death, too.

Doctor analyzing a brain scan.
Photo by Anna Shvets

What Are the Treatment Options for Concussions?

Recovery from a concussion is a complex journey that demands a multifaceted approach, taking into account the intricate workings of the brain and nervous system. Understanding the spectrum of treatment options available, as well as the involvement of specialized medical professionals, is crucial to ensure a thorough and effective healing process.

Medical Specialists and Comprehensive Assessment

Seeking guidance from medical specialists is paramount in the treatment of concussions, here is a detailed list of common specialists that treat brain injuries:

  1. Neurologists: Neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system, including the brain. They are often at the forefront of TBI diagnosis, assessment, and management.
  2. Neurosurgeons: Neurosurgeons are skilled in performing surgical interventions related to the brain and nervous system. In cases of severe TBIs that require surgical intervention, neurosurgeons play a critical role in addressing structural damage.
  3. Emergency Medicine Physicians: When an individual sustains a TBI, emergency medicine physicians are often the first to provide initial care. They assess the severity of the injury, stabilize the patient, and determine if further specialized care is necessary.
  4. Sports Medicine Physicians: For TBIs sustained during sports or physical activities, sports medicine physicians are key players in the treatment team. They possess expertise in assessing and managing sports-related injuries, including concussions.
  5. Physical Therapists: Physical therapists focus on rehabilitation and recovery of physical functions. They work with TBI patients to improve motor skills, balance, and overall physical function during the recovery process.
  6. Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists assist TBI patients in regaining the skills needed for daily activities and tasks. They work on improving cognitive and fine motor skills to enhance independent living.
  7. Speech-Language Pathologists: These specialists help individuals with communication and swallowing difficulties that may arise due to a TBI. They provide therapy to restore speech, language, and swallowing functions.
  8. Psychiatrists and Psychologists: TBI can have psychological and emotional effects. Psychiatrists and psychologists play a crucial role in addressing mood changes, anxiety, depression, and other mental health aspects associated with TBIs.
  9. Physiatrists (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians): Physiatrists focus on restoring function and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, including those resulting from TBIs.
  10. Neuropsychologists: Neuropsychologists assess cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities. Their evaluations help guide treatment plans and monitor progress.
  11. Primary Care Physicians: Primary care physicians may be involved in the ongoing monitoring and management of TBI-related symptoms and overall health.

This detailed examination involves testing each of the 12 cranial nerves, which regulate crucial functions such as vision, hearing, and motor coordination. By assessing these nerves' responsiveness and coordination, specialists gain insights into the extent of damage caused by the concussion. This assessment serves as a foundational component in determining the appropriate course of treatment.

Rest and Monitoring

Rest is an essential cornerstone of concussion recovery. It provides the brain the necessary time to heal and recalibrate its intricate networks. During this phase, individuals are advised to avoid physical and cognitive activities that could overtax the brain and nervous system. This includes limiting screen time, avoiding bright lights, and refraining from mentally demanding tasks.

Medication and Symptom Management

When rest alone isn't sufficient, medical professionals may incorporate medications to alleviate specific symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relievers can effectively manage headaches, but they should never be considered a substitute for rest. In more severe cases, stronger painkillers might be prescribed to address more intense pain.

Nausea and vomiting, common symptoms of concussions, can be mitigated with anti-nausea medications. These medications aim to alleviate discomfort and enhance overall well-being during the recovery process.

Therapeutic Interventions

Physical, occupational, and speech therapies play a pivotal role in the comprehensive treatment of concussions. These therapeutic interventions focus on multifaceted goals, tailored to the individual's needs:

  • Endurance Building: Patients engage in targeted exercises to gradually build their physical and cognitive stamina, allowing the brain to recover without overexertion.
  • Balance Enhancement: Therapy sessions concentrate on enhancing balance and proprioception, crucial components of overall well-being that are often disrupted by concussions.
  • Coordination Improvement: Techniques designed to enhance coordination and motor skills assist patients in re-establishing optimal movement patterns and spatial awareness.

By embracing these multidisciplinary treatment options, individuals recovering from concussions can optimize their healing journey. The collective efforts of medical specialists, therapeutic interventions, and patient commitment empower individuals to navigate the intricate pathways toward restoration and well-being.

Doctor checking patient's eyesight with a brain device attached to her head.
Image by DCStudio on Freepik

What Action Do You Need to Take If Someone’s Actions Led to Your Concussion?

When your concussion results from an incident where someone else's actions were at fault, such as a car accident, the steps you take can significantly impact your recovery and well-being. Seeking appropriate legal and medical guidance is crucial to ensure you receive the necessary care and support. Let's explore the intricate details of this process:

1. Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer:

In situations where another party's negligence or wrongdoing led to your concussion, it's advisable to consult a personal injury lawyer. These legal professionals specialize in advocating for individuals who have sustained injuries due to the actions of others. Personal injury lawyers have a deep understanding of the legal aspects surrounding such cases and can guide you through the complex legal process.

Their primary goal is to help you seek compensation for various aspects of your injury, including medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, and potential pain and suffering. By partnering with a skilled personal injury lawyer, you gain an advocate who can navigate the legal intricacies on your behalf and work towards ensuring your rights are protected.

2. Addressing Medical and Legal Interplay:

A crucial aspect of dealing with a concussion caused by someone else's actions is the interplay between medical advice and legal proceedings. If you've received medical advice to rest and prioritize your recovery, you might encounter challenges when dealing with insurance companies. Insurance adjusters may rely on the opinions of their own doctors, who may have differing views on the extent of your injuries and necessary treatment.

This is where having a personal injury lawyer becomes especially beneficial. Your lawyer can bridge the gap between medical recommendations and legal negotiations. They can advocate for your interests, ensuring that the compensation you seek aligns with your medical needs and the professional advice you've received.

3. Ensuring Proper Handling of Your Case:

Navigating the complexities of legal proceedings while recovering from a concussion can be overwhelming. Insurance companies often have teams of professionals working to protect their interests. Having an attorney on your side levels the playing field. Your lawyer will gather evidence, communicate with insurance companies, and represent your best interests throughout the process.

Their expertise in personal injury law enables them to negotiate effectively on your behalf and, if necessary, pursue legal action. This ensures that you have the support needed to focus on your recovery while your legal matters are handled by a skilled professional.

In essence, seeking legal representation after sustaining a concussion due to someone else's actions empowers you to pursue the compensation you deserve. By entrusting your case to a personal injury lawyer, you gain an ally who understands the intricate intersections of law and medicine. This partnership allows you to navigate the aftermath of your concussion with confidence, ensuring your rights are protected and your well-being is prioritized.

Can I Get Damage Compensation for a Concussion?

Yes, here is a detailed list of all the damages they can recover:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation may cover medical bills, hospitalization costs, doctor's consultations, medications, and any other expenses related to diagnosing and treating the concussion.
  • Rehabilitation Costs: If your recovery necessitates physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy, these costs can also be factored into your claim.
  • Lost Wages: Concussions can often lead to a temporary inability to work. Compensation can include wages lost during recovery, as well as potential future lost earnings if the concussion affects your long-term employment prospects.
  • Pain and Suffering: The emotional and physical distress resulting from a concussion is also considered. Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and the impact on your overall quality of life are all elements that can contribute to your claim.
  • Loss of Consortium: If the concussion affects your relationships and quality of life with your spouse or family members, you might be entitled to damages for loss of consortium.

Remember, a person can have their compensation claim approved if they can show that their injuries were the result of the negligence of another and they have the medical evidence to prove it. Examples of medical proof can include medical reports or the testimony of a treating physician. Negligence can include a failure to look out for pedestrians or failure to use due care and caution in operating a vehicle or machinery. You can also claim compensation if the person operating the vehicle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Concussions are difficult to deal with, because of their wide range of symptoms and delayed signs. Furthermore, if not treated right away, concussions can have very serious consequences, and the risk of such consequences is increased the longer the injury is left untreated.

If you’ve been injured by someone, either intentionally or by accident, and your doctor has diagnosed you with a concussion, you need to seek immediate medical attention and you must also see a personal injury lawyer in LA as soon as possible.

Mendez & Sanchez Law offers the services of an excellent personal injury attorney in Los Angeles who can help you get compensation for your concussion. Set up a legal consultation with us today to know what steps you need to take!


1. What are the most common causes of concussions?

Concussions can occur due to a variety of circumstances, including falls, car accidents, sports injuries, occupational hazards, and violent actions. These scenarios exert forceful impacts on the head or body, disrupting the brain's delicate equilibrium and leading to a concussion.

2. What are the immediate symptoms of a concussion?

Immediate symptoms of a concussion encompass a range of effects, including slurred speech, dizziness, nausea with or without vomiting, blurred or double vision, loss of balance, and even loss of consciousness. These symptoms provide insights into the complex neurological changes triggered by the impact.

3. Are there symptoms of a concussion that might emerge later?

Yes, delayed symptoms of concussions can appear hours or days after the injury. These may include headache, vomiting, fatigue, irritability, memory loss, drowsiness, confusion, nausea or dizziness, and trouble concentrating. These delayed symptoms highlight the intricate and multifaceted nature of brain response to trauma.

4. What is post-concussion syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome refers to a condition where symptoms persist for weeks or months after the initial concussion. Symptoms may include headaches, memory problems, fatigue, dizziness, hearing issues, concentration difficulties, depression, and mood swings. While these symptoms are part of the recovery process, they can persist for an extended period.

5. Can I seek compensation for damages incurred due to a concussion?

Yes, if you can demonstrate that your concussion resulted from another party's negligence or wrongful actions, you may be eligible for compensation. This compensation can cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even loss of consortium. Consulting a personal injury lawyer, who specializes in such cases, can help guide you through the legal process to secure the compensation you deserve.

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