Auto Accidents and Concussions: What You Should Know

If you’ve been in an automobile accident, even a minor one in which you were wearing a seatbelt, you could have injuries that you don’t even know you have. Hidden injuries such as whiplash, herniated discs, knee and shoulder injuries, spinal trauma, PTSD, and concussions can occur in any auto accident and often go ignored or undiagnosed.

What is a Concussion?

The brain is fragile and is protected by cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. This fluid provides a cushion that protects the brain from everyday movements and jolts. A violent impact to the head can cause the brain to slam against the hard inner wall of the skull. It can also occur if a person is violently shaken. Both can happen in a car accident.

A concussion is also referred to as a TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury. Other than being the result of an accident, TBIs can also be caused during participation in sports, by falling, or being injured in a fight. It’s a common myth that a concussion can only occur if you’ve been hit in the head because any sudden and violent jarring blow to the body that moves your head back and forth can cause a concussion. One type of traumatic brain injury is called “non-penetrating”, when some outside force causes the brain inside of the skull to move. This is commonly seen as a result of car accidents, since they cause a person’s head to go back and forth very quickly. This can damage the white matter of the brain.

White matter is a part of the brain made of bundles of nerve cells that carry electrical impulses. Think of them as wires that connect parts of the brain together and carry important information. When there is trauma to the brain, these bundles can get stretched or torn, interrupting communication between the cells and can cause post-concussive symptoms.

Any time there is a severe impact or shaking to the head , it should be taken seriously. In the most severe concussion injuries, you may experience problems with your cognitive abilities that could cause a permanent disability. Severe concussions can also cause brain swelling or bleeding which, if left untreated, could be fatal.

Concussion Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness. Even if it’s only for a few seconds, it means your head has suffered a trauma.
  • Ringing in the ears. Brain trauma can cause temporary or prolonged tinnitus.
  • Nausea and vomiting. You may feel nauseous or even vomit after a head injury.
  • Confusion and amnesia. You may not realize right away that you’re having trouble with recall or concentration. Amnesia is usually confined to the time around the accident itself.
  • Changes in sleep patterns. This could be difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep or sleeping a lot more or less than you usually do.
  • Changes in your mood. You become angry, irritable, nervous, restless, and even experience depression as a result of your head injury.
  • Headaches. You may experience persistent headaches or ones that blur your vision. You may also feel pressure in your head.
  • Seizures. Severe concussions can result in seizures.
  • Slurred speech. A brain injury can weaken muscles that you use to speak or affect their coordination.
  • Feel and appear dazed. Having a concussion can cause you to feel like your head is in a fog which may be apparent to others also.

Children may show the same symptoms as listed but for young children, it may be more difficult to detect because they can’t simply tell you how they’re feeling. Watch for symptoms such as being unable to be consoled, they won’t stop crying, and/or they won’t nurse or eat.

Do I Need to See a Doctor if I Have Concussion Symptoms?

Symptoms like fatigue, headaches, confusion, and emotional distress can be overlooked and considered “normal” after an accident. Although these symptoms may be common after an accident, they are not normal or necessary to suffer from. 

One of the issues with concussion symptoms, found in a study on mild traumatic brain injury, is the lack of follow up after the initial injury. After an accident with multiple injuries, the focus primarily goes to more apparent injuries such as cuts, fractures and organ damage. It was found that after the patient was discharged from the hospital, many people never followed up with a healthcare provider. By ignoring these symptoms, they never address the long-lasting symptoms of the concussion or brain injury. Symptoms like fatigue, headaches, confusion, and emotional distress can be overlooked and considered “normal” after an accident.

At Complete Care, we believe it is important to raise awareness of these symptoms and urge people to seek medical attention to help prevent long term damage. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and have seen the signs of post-concussive symptoms, make an appointment with a medical professional to be safe. Make sure to pay attention to any new signs and symptoms during the days and weeks after the accident. Prevent future injury or prolonged symptoms by getting checked out right away.

Treatment for Concussions

Resting, both mentally and physically, is the best way to recover from a concussion. While the brain heals itself, all physical activities, as well as any activities that require any thinking or concentration, need to be limited.

Concussion symptoms may appear right away but often they are not noticed for days or even months after the injury which is why it’s vital to see a doctor right away if you’ve been in an auto accident. At Complete Care of Orlando, our physicians can detect hidden injuries and may be able to diagnose your concussion before any major symptoms arise. In Florida, the law states that you only have 14 days to see a doctor after you’ve been in an accident or you risk losing your ability to file a claim. When you call CC, we can often get you in to see one of our doctors the very same day that you call. Our expert staff can also help you with any paperwork you need to file a claim.

If you’ve been in an auto accident in Central Florida, call Complete Care today. One of our auto accident doctors will see you quickly because the sooner you begin your treatment, the sooner you can recover from your accident.


The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser.

Previous ArticleFinding The Best Doctor For Treating Chronic Pain In Orlando Next Article5 Reasons to Trust Complete Care For Your Orlando Auto Accident Doctor