Delayed Concussion Symptoms

In the United States, approximately 3.8 million people suffer a concussion each year, a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sports and motor vehicle accidents are two common ways a person can sustain a concussion, but other accidents, like slips and falls, can also lead to these injuries. 

Though described as mild, if a concussion is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to permanent, even fatal, outcomes. If you were involved in a personal injury accident and hit your head, you may have suffered a concussion even if you did not experience any symptoms immediately after the injury. 

A concussion might not result in any obvious symptoms right away. Therefore, it is critical that you know delayed concussion symptoms to watch for and what to do if you notice any signs of a delayed injury.

Common Concussion Symptoms

Following a blow to the head, you might notice concussion symptoms appear immediately. 

These symptoms can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion or disorientation

You might notice all or some of these symptoms. You could also have a general feeling of being unwell or not quite feeling “right.” If you notice any of these symptoms following a car accident, sporting accident, or other personal injury, seek medical care as soon as possible.

Beware of Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Can concussion symptoms be delayed, and can concussion symptoms come and go? Yes, they can. You cannot rely on how you feel immediately after hitting your head or being in an accident to know whether you sustained a concussion or not. 

Symptoms can appear hours, or even days, following a blow to the head. Your symptoms can also disappear and return later with greater intensity.

Be aware if any of the following symptoms resurface after going away, intensify in severity over time, or appear suddenly hours or days after your accident:

  • Headaches, especially if they become progressively more severe
  • Delayed vomiting after a concussion
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

Any of these symptoms can indicate that your concussion is worsening. This is a potentially serious situation that could result in permanent brain damage.

Steps To Take If You Notice Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Do not take any chances when it comes to your health. If you notice any sign or symptom of a concussion, whether it is a delayed symptom or not, take the following steps immediately:

Get To Your Local Emergency Room Quickly

The first step is to return to the hospital emergency room for evaluation and care. Ideally, you would have already visited the ER after your accident as a precaution after hitting your head. However, if you have not yet gone to the hospital, now is the time. 

Because time is of the essence,  immediately visiting the hospital is preferable to scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician.

Accurately Describe Your Symptoms To Hospital Staff

Provide as accurate a description of your symptoms and their onset as possible. Knowing what symptoms you are experiencing and when they began can help your medical team form an appropriate treatment plan.

If you are returning to the hospital because your symptoms have reappeared, let your medical team know if these symptoms you are now experiencing are the same, worse, or different than the symptoms you previously experienced.

Expect Medical Imaging

Regardless of whether you previously received medical imaging or not, expect that your medical team will want to conduct more scans of your brain. This can help them locate where your brain has been affected by trauma and whether such trauma has spread from the prior set of images. If it has, this is a telltale sign of secondary brain damage.

Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and any trauma that imaging reveals, you may be sent home with specific instructions. Ensure that you understand these instructions and follow them carefully. They will tell you any additional symptoms you should watch for and what steps you should take if you notice these additional symptoms.

If your concussion was the result of an accident caused by another’s negligence, you likely have the legal right to file suit against that person and seek compensation. You could receive that compensation either through a favorable verdict at trial or through a settlement agreement you reach with the other party.

No matter which method you pursue, make sure to evaluate your situation carefully. You should consider the hospital bills, missed work, and pain and suffering you have already endured. It’s also critical to factor in any additional or ongoing treatment you might need to care for yourself properly. 

A concussion that is not treated in a timely manner or does not respond to medical intervention carries lifelong consequences.

Your current concussion might have especially serious and long-term consequences if you have suffered one or more concussions previously. Medical evidence suggests that the effects of cumulative concussions can lead to the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and long-term brain damage. 

You will want to work with an experienced lawyer to ensure you are seeking the compensation you will need through your claim.

Do Not Rely on Immediate Symptoms To Diagnose a Concussion

Only time or medical imaging can inform you whether you sustained a concussion in your personal injury accident. Because some concussion symptoms may not appear right away, waiting until you experience signs like nausea, headaches, and dizziness means that you have wasted valuable time that could have been spent diagnosing and treating your brain trauma.

Do not ignore any symptom of a brain injury, regardless of whether you experience it immediately or in the hours or days following your accident. Seek immediate medical help to minimize the long-term effects you might otherwise experience.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC for Help Today

For more information, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have convenient locations in Columbus, OH, and Charleston, WV.

Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers – Columbus, OH Office
20 E Broad St Suite 1000, Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 587-8423

Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers – Charleston, WV Office
10 Hale St Suite 501, Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 720-1000