Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Concussions are medical emergencies that involve injury or impact to the brain. They often heal without long-lasting damage, but not always. While many people recover quickly, some concussions lead to serious consequences, especially when not treated promptly. 

A Concussion Is a Traumatic Brain Injury

Many may not realize that concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs occur when the brain experiences trauma, including impact, piercing, or penetrating trauma. Concussions, in most cases, occur due to impact trauma.

Although considered to be a mild TBI, concussions are indeed medical emergencies that should not be ignored. Victims of head blows should seriously consider seeking medical attention, even if no symptoms of concussion or other injury are initially present.

Understanding Concussions

A concussion occurs when a blow impacts the head or body, which ultimately causes damage to the brain due to:

  • The brain impacting the inside of the skull
  • Stretching of brain cells
  • Violent twisting or whipping motions

The result of a concussion is a temporary loss of brain function as well as ill effects on the body. Concussions are considered to be medical emergencies. However, when symptoms are not present right away, injury victims are unaware of their condition and do not seek treatment until the onset of their symptoms. 

Can Concussion Symptoms Be Delayed?

Unfortunately, some concussions manifest delayed symptoms, which could lead to delayed treatment and a whole host of medical problems. Knowing how to identify these symptoms can save lives and prevent the onset of preventable medical problems. 

Can Concussion Symptoms Come and Go?

Yes. Concussion symptoms may come and go. An initial manifestation of symptoms may quickly disappear only to return days or weeks later.  

Normal Symptoms of a Concussion

Typically, concussion symptoms appear at the time of or soon after the incident. 

They may include:

  • Headaches
  • Vertigo 
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Amnesia
  • Tinnitus
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Loss of the sense of smell or taste

Once you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek help from a qualified healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Delayed Symptoms of a Concussion

Concussion symptoms may be delayed for many reasons. The onset of signs of a delayed concussion can manifest up to many days after an incident and for many reasons. One reason has to do with the way in which the brain deals with injury.

When a part of the brain is injured, other cerebral areas often work hard to cover any lost function. In cases where another part of the brain has completely taken over the lost function, symptoms of concussion may not appear.

However, over time, the brain may grow exhausted by these efforts, and eventually, signs, such as delayed vomiting after concussion, will appear. 

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Individuals who experience a concussion will typically see their symptoms disappear within two weeks or so after their injuries. However, some find themselves struggling with the effects of a concussion for much longer. They have what is known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS). 

In addition to battling the symptoms of concussion, sufferers of PCS must also struggle against:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Chronic sleep problems

When a concussion lasts more than three months, it can cause the sufferer to undergo cognitive changes and wreak severe havoc on their sleep cycle.

What Can Cause a Concussion?

Any situation causing a blow to the head or body or a whipping motion of the neck presents a risk for concussion. 

Many everyday activities pose risks, including:

  • Contact sports, such as football, rugby, and boxing
  • Hazardous worksites, such as construction, utility, and gas and oil worksites
  • Driving, biking, or walking through traffic

Even walking down the street or inside a retail establishment can lead to a concussion. For example, slip and fall accidents are common occurrences and often cause victims to strike their heads. 

What Is Second Impact Syndrome?

Second Impact Syndrome occurs when a person experiences a head injury before fully recovering from a prior injury to the head. Because the brain has not fully recovered from the prior blow, the second blow can cause serious brain damage and even death. 

Delayed concussion symptoms can lead a person to believe that a certain blow to the head or body is not so serious. They may then continue the activity that led to the first blow. 

For example, a football player may not realize they have a concussion from a game the day before. Consequently, they may play in the second game without realizing the danger they are in because no symptoms appeared.

Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative disease that has been identified in the brains of deceased football players and others who have experienced repeated head trauma for many years of their lives. 

Repeated concussions put individuals at risk for CTE, which, unfortunately, cannot be definitively diagnosed until death. When concussion symptoms are delayed, the risk of experiencing multiple concussions skyrockets as concussion sufferers fail to perceive their injury in the absence of symptoms.

If a repeat concussion sufferer develops CTE, they will begin to manifest symptoms, such as:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Dementia
  • Impulse control problems
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Loss of short-term and long-term memory

Although only diagnosable posthumously, doctors can make a presumptive diagnosis of CTE. However, presumptive diagnoses are problematic. CTE mimics many common conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Delayed Concussion Symptoms and Compensation

When a concussion is caused by negligent or unlawful acts, the victim has recourse through a personal injury lawsuit. Delayed concussion symptoms can lead to medical bills, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, and more compensable damages. 

Concussion victims experiencing delayed symptoms should act quickly to meet the one-year deadline for compensation claims. More importantly, they should strongly consider seeking medical care.

If you have suffered a concussion due to someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Concussions can lead to substantial financial and psychological losses. 

Monetary and non-monetary damages are available and can make a major difference in your life. Don’t hesitate to take legal action and preserve your claim to damages for your losses.

Contact Our Brain Injury Law Firm in Baton Rouge, LA

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and need legal help, contact our Baton Rouge brain injury lawyers at Palmintier Law Group to schedule a free consultation today.

Palmintier Law Group
618 Main St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, United States
(225) 344 3735