We have helped hundreds of cyclists across Florida after they have been involved in a bike crash and suffered a concussion. Many of these riders continue to suffer the symptoms of concussion and go on to be diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. If you have been involved in an accident and suffered a concussion, you need someone who understands how concussion and post-concussion syndrome affects your life.
Post-concussion syndrome or PCS is a serious and complex medical disorder that occurs when concussion symptoms persist beyond the timeframe of what is considered “normal” healing period – typically 2 to 3 months after the initial injury. A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury. The term “mild” is largely a misnomer and misleading especially for those who continue to suffer with concussion symptoms for months or in some cases, years after their accident or fall. PCS symptoms can include cognitive issues like memory problems, lack of concentration, disorientation, mental fogginess, problems finding words and expressing yourself, and forgetfulness, physical issues like headaches, migraines, dizziness, blurry vision, sleep disturbances, insomnia, fatigue, sensitivity to sound and light, and emotional issues like anxiety, depression, irritability, aggression, excessive crying, acting out, and many more. Not everyone with a concussion will suffer from PCS. Scientists have discovered several factors that put an individual at greater risk:
- Women and older adults;
- Individuals with a prior history of anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, seizure disorder, and learning disorder;
- A prior history of concussion(s) and the severity of the concussion;
- Sustaining a double or second impact (where a second concussion occurs right after the initial concussion or before the initial concussion is entirely healed) is extremely dangerous and significantly increases the odds of developing PCS; and
- PCS may be more severe in those individuals who have early symptoms of headache after injury, or who have mental changes such as amnesia, fogginess, or fatigue.
People with PCS often wonder and worry if the condition is permanent. Given the constellation of symptoms ranging from emotional to cognitive to physical, PCS can interfere immensely with one’s daily life. For kids, school, hobbies, sports, and friendships may be impacted as kids suffering from PCS are likely to miss school, withdraw from sports, become disinterested or frustrated with hobbies, and avoid social interactions. For adults, suffering setbacks at work and conflicts in personal relationships with family and friends are common and detrimental to one’s enjoyment of life. Recent scientific research suggests that PCS can be permanent if recovery is not achieved within 3 years. Also, each additional PCS symptom reduces recovery rate by 20%.
What is the Average Payout for a Concussion?
If someone or some entity (like a company) is responsible for or at fault for causing your accident or fall, you may be able to bring a compensation claim and be entitled to compensation for your injury. There is no set amount or value for recovery in a post-concussion syndrome settlement claim. Every person is unique, and every concussion is unique. Settlement amounts vary widely and depend upon several factors. Age at the time of injury, gender, history of concussion, other medical conditions, overall health, prior accidents, type of crash, etc. will all be considered in a claim. Additionally, the significance or degree of your symptoms, the number of symptoms you are suffering from, the length of time your symptoms have persisted, and the current and future impact on your daily life will all factor into your prospects of recovery. Odds are if you are suffering with headaches, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, fatigue, and a host of other problems since your accident you have been to the doctor several times trying to understand your condition and get help. Doctor bills may be adding up and maybe you are losing income because of taking time off work. You may even struggle to get through the day giving up activities that used to bring you joy. The medical expenses you have accumulated to date, the costs you may incur in the future, your anticipated future medical needs, your current and expected lost wages, cost of medications, and the expected impact (or change) on you and your life are all areas where you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.
Being able to tell a compelling story of how your injury and PCS has affected your life is vital to recovery in a settlement with the person or entity that caused your concussion. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to have family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. speak about you and your life before and after the accident. As mentioned earlier, the term “mild” in mild traumatic brain injury is misleading and can make these cases difficult. People wrongly assume that “mild” means an insignificant, inconsequential, or temporary injury. The term “mild” in mild traumatic brain injury refers only to the fact that the person did not lose consciousness or lost consciousness for less than 30 minutes at the time of injury. Additionally, standard imaging tests, like x-ray and MRI, are not sensitive enough to detect the microscopic changes deep inside the brain nor reveal the disruption occurring in brain activity. Concussions are therefore typically diagnosed based upon self-reported symptoms commonly seen in a concussed person. As with any subjective complaint, there is room for exaggeration and malingering (or faking). Objective evidence becomes key to prevailing in these types of cases. A powerful way to obtain objective evidence of a person’s PCS is to interview family and friends who knew the person before the accident and have observed and can clearly describe the changes they have witnessed since the accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident, bicycle accident, or fall, it is important to seek medical care if you suspect a concussion (especially if you have a prior history of concussion). It is critical to describe all potential concussion symptoms to your doctor, regardless of how minor they may seem at the time. Never overlook or downplay concussion symptoms through denial or a desire to appear strong. Reclaiming one’s life after a concussion and PCS can be a long and hard process. PCS is a serious medical condition that can wreak havoc on a person’s daily life – interfering with work, social life, school, hobbies, and personal relationships. Persistent post-concussion syndrome may be considered a permanent injury and its effects may ripple throughout one’s life. If someone is at fault for your concussion and PCS, you may have a claim for compensation.