Were you treated for a concussion after an accident but continue to suffer from headaches, memory problems, or insomnia? Anywhere from 10% to 50% or more people who suffer a head injury experience persistent post-concussive symptoms.
Living with post concussion syndrome can be challenging with symptoms that affect many areas of your life. It can also be expensive with long-term medical treatment. If you believe you are struggling with post concussion syndrome after an accident, a San Diego brain injury lawyer can help you pursue the fair compensation you need.
Here is what you should know about persistent concussion symptoms, settlement amounts for post concussion syndrome, and how Berman & Riedel, LLP can help you.
What Is Post Concussion Syndrome?
Post concussion syndrome (PCS), also known as post-concussional disorder (PCD) under the DSM-IV, is a condition in which concussion symptoms persist long after a traumatic brain injury. The initial symptoms of a concussion may take hours or days to develop after a head injury, but around 80% of people have symptoms that resolve over a period of 7 to 14 days. However, symptoms may last for weeks, months, or up to a year or longer, even after a mild TBI. This is referred to as post concussion syndrome.
You may have PCS if you have any of the following post-concussive symptoms that persist for longer than they should:
- Memory and concentration problems
- Frequent headaches that are usually tension headaches or migraines
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Anxiety or irritability
View this post on Instagram
Some people may have a higher risk of developing PCS than others. Major risk factors include:
- Advanced age
- Severe blow to the head
- Double impact to the head
- Major visual changes after the blow
- Long-lasting initial symptoms
- History of a previous concussion
- History of seizure disorder, mood disorder, migraines, PTSD, or ADHD
Anyone can develop PCS after a head injury. Seniors are the most vulnerable to experiencing post concussion syndrome. Most concussions and post concussion syndrome in elderly people are the result of a fall with the risk increasing with age. Elderly people are more likely to experience mild TBI than severe TBI. Research shows older adults are slower to recover from a concussion and more likely to develop PCS and other complications. Sadly, many concussions in older adults are the result of nursing home falls.
Post Concussion Syndrome Recovery
Living with post concussion syndrome can affect almost every aspect of your life. How long it takes to recover can be difficult to anticipate, and you may face lingering symptoms for the rest of your life.
What is the best treatment for post concussion syndrome?
There is no specific treatment for PCS, but there are many treatment options that can improve symptoms and result in a faster recovery. Your care team may recommend:
- Medication such as pain medication and antidepressants for depression and headaches
- Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy
- Education about symptoms and what to expect
- Low-impact physical activity
- Upper cervical care to treat misalignment of the C1 or C2
- Vestibular therapy
How long does post concussion syndrome last?
Most symptoms of a concussion resolve within 7 to 12 days. After one month, about 50% of people experience symptoms that are mostly resolved which increases to 65% of people after three months. It’s estimated that PCS is permanent or very long-lasting in up to 15% of people. The most common symptom to never fully resolve is chronic headaches or migraines.
Is post concussion syndrome permanent?
Post concussion syndrome long-term effects are possible. Without treatment, it is possible for PCS to cause permanent symptoms, particularly chronic migraines. However, most people eventually make a full recovery or experience significant improvement in symptoms.
What Causes Post Concussion Syndrome?
Post concussion syndrome may develop after a mild, moderate, or severe brain injury. The exactly cause of PCS isn’t known, although it’s believed to be a combination of structural damage to the brain and psychological factors.
You can suffer a concussion and develop PCS even if you never lost consciousness.
View this post on Instagram
Many types of accidents can cause concussions that result in PCS including:
- Falls. About 48% of brain injury-related ER visits are caused by falls. A slip, trip, and fall accident on the same level can be enough to cause a concussion. Many concussions are also the result of a fall from a height.
- Motor vehicle accidents. About 1 out of every 5 TBI-related hospitalizations is the result of a car accident, truck accident, or other type of crash. PCS is a common type of brain injury from a car accident that is frequently misdiagnosed.
- Being struck by an object. Common examples include falling merchandise in a store or falling debris on the job.
- Construction accidents. Sadly, construction workers have the highest risk of traumatic brain injury. Common incidents that lead to concussions and other brain injuries include falls, being struck by objects, and being struck by a moving vehicle.
- Assault. About 33% of brain injury-related deaths are due to violence.
- Sports-related injuries. About 21% of brain injuries in children are due to sports-related accidents including football, basketball, baseball, skateboarding, and bicycling.
Can You Sue for Post Concussion Syndrome? | Post Concussion Syndrome Settlement Value
If your concussion was the result of an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. If your case is successful, you can recover damages to help you pay for the treatment you need, living expenses while you are unable to work, and more.
Common types of damages that may be available in a fall or car accident concussion settlement may include:
- Medical bills you have incurred since your accident
- Future medical expenses related to your post concussion syndrome such as psychological therapy, medication, and doctor’s visits
- Lost wages during your recovery
- Future lost earnings if you have suffered long-term or permanent impairment and will be unable to return to your job
- Pain and suffering, anguish, distress, and reduced quality of life
Compensation for Post Concussion Syndrome – Concussion Settlement Value & Important Factors
What is the average settlement for post concussion syndrome? Unfortunately, there is no way to easily answer this question – and it should not be your primary concern. There is no such thing as an “average” concussion as symptoms, quality of life, financial losses, and more are incredibly personal.
As a general rule, however, concussion settlement amounts are usually lower than cases involving severe TBI, but settlement amounts for post concussion syndrome are usually higher than concussion cases in which the victim suffers no lingering symptoms and effects.
A mild traumatic brain injury and post concussion syndrome settlement can range from under $5,000 to more than $1 million depending on a wide variety of factors:
- What were the circumstances of the accident that caused your injuries?
- Does your case involve clear liability?
- Did you suffer other injuries? How serious were they?
- Do you have strong medical documentation of your injury and how it has affected your life?
- Will you be able to return to work?
- What ongoing symptoms do you experience and how do they affect you?
- What medical care is recommended and what will the cost be?
These are just a handful of the questions your California persistent post concussion syndrome lawyer will ask when valuing your case and giving you a potential range for a post concussion syndrome settlement.
Our guide to traumatic brain injury settlements is a good resource to help you better understand the factors that impact the value of your case and what you should expect.
How Do You Prove Post Concussion Syndrome?
Personal injury cases involving post concussion syndrome are complex for many reasons. PCS can be challenging to prove as it isn’t well understood and not easy to see like a fracture. When negotiating when the insurance company or presenting your case to a jury, common issues that can complicate your case include:
- There is no definitive test to diagnose post concussion syndrome with a diagnosis made primarily based on reported symptoms and a history of a head injury.
- Mild traumatic brain injuries are not always visible on imaging like MRIs and CT scans.
- A mild traumatic brain injury or PCS may be misdiagnosed or resemble post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions.
- Your own physicians may disagree about whether you have post concussion syndrome.
- Concussions are often missed in emergency rooms. Without the concussion being diagnosed, it can be harder to prove that post concussion syndrome is the cause of your symptoms.
- Symptoms of a brain injury may take up to one week to develop after a head injury.
Proving your injuries and the extent of your damages will rely on medical evidence and expert testimony from medical professionals. It’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident and document your symptoms. Be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions and follow up with your primary doctor after the accident.
If you seek emergency treatment and you are not diagnosed with a concussion but experience any symptoms in the following days, be sure to seek follow-up treatment or a second opinion. Unfortunately, injury victims often seek treatment in an emergency room after a car accident or fall where more than 50% of concussions are not diagnosed according to a recent study.
An experienced San Diego concussion injury lawyer will help you build your case with the help of medical experts who can explain your symptoms and potential issues with your case.
How Berman & Riedel, LLP Can Help You Pursue Fair Post Concussion Syndrome Compensation
When you are left with persistent concussion symptoms after an accident, the responsible party should be held accountable. Because brain injury and post concussion syndrome cases are so complicated with many complex issues to navigate, it’s crucial to consult with an injury lawyer who has experience handling similar cases.
Berman & Riedel, LLP has recovered more than $100 million for our clients, including several multi-million-dollar brain injury settlements. We work with respected brain injury experts in California to make sure you receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. With our years of legal experience at the negotiation table and in the courtroom, we understand the unique challenges these cases pose and the types of evidence juries are looking for.
If you believe you are suffering from PCS after an accident, contact our law office for a free consultation to discuss your case, settlement amounts for post concussion syndrome, and how we can help you.