What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome? Causes, Symptoms, and Details

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome? Causes, Symptoms, and Details

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Jul 5, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

Auto accidents can be dangerous for all parties involved due to the potential of injuries and even death. Common injuries from car accidents include but are not limited to: broken bones, external lacerations, internal bleeding, and whiplash. However, you might also experience head injuries such as concussions.

While most concussions and their symptoms fade after a number of days or weeks, in certain cases post-concussion syndrome can develop later on. If you develop post-concussion syndrome, you may need intensive and ongoing medical treatments that can become quite costly. As such, it may be worthwhile to sue the at-fault party so that you can cover these medical expenses and more.

Today, we’ll explore what post-concussion syndrome is, how it works, and what you can do to recover damages from an at-fault driver after an auto accident. In addition to this, for a free case evaluation, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today online or at 1-800-966-4999.

Post-Concussion Syndrome Explained

Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a potentially long-term condition that can develop after a severe or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). It can occur after any type of concussion, regardless of severity, although more severe concussions and/or repeated concussions can increase one’s likelihood of developing PCS.

When you experience a concussion, your immune system naturally inflames the tissue near the site of the injury. In this case, the area around your skull or brain that was impacted will become inflamed. When this occurs, different areas of your brain can experience a breakdown in neurovascular couplings. These are small structures in and around neurons or brain cells.

As a result, your brain cells don’t get the amount of oxygen they need, and your brain’s signaling processes can be adversely affected.

Normally, your brain cells regenerate and heal over time. If you develop PCS, however, your brain cells can remain stuck or damaged for longer, which can lead to long-term adverse consequences.

What Are the Risk Factors for Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome can be caused due to any trauma or injury to your head that first causes a concussion. Almost all concussions are caused by hard impacts on the skull, which can create the above-mentioned inflammation.

Specific causes of PCS include but are not limited to:

Moreover, these symptoms are often associated with other conditions as well, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Every year, auto accidents cause post-concussion syndrome in many people, as they frequently cause concussions and other TBIs. As well, if you’ve already had one concussion, neurotrauma, and/or head trauma, you may be at a higher risk of developing post-concussion syndrome after an accident. Additionally, TBI-causing accidents often leave sufferers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Notable, too, is the fact that older patients (i.e., 65+) are oftentimes more susceptible to post-concussion syndrome symptoms.

To learn more, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-800-966-4999. By doing so, you will be able to speak with an elite member of our staff at no charge.

Don’t wait! Protect your health and financial future starting today by allowing Schwartzapfel Lawyers the privilege of fighting – and winning – for you!

How Is Post-Concussion Syndrome Diagnosed?

Clinicians often have to perform multiple neuropsychological tests to diagnose PCS in patients. Post-concussion syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because many of its neurological symptoms are vague or similar to typical concussion symptoms. Moreover, there isn’t one single test you can take to identify PCS alone.

Instead, PCS is usually diagnosed based on regularly reported symptoms over several weeks or months during follow-up appointments, as well as whether you have a history of head injuries. Some medical practitioners may also order a physical exam like an MRI scan or computerized tomography scan (CT scan).

These tests take detailed scans of your brain in an effort to evaluate your symptoms and potential damage sites. Other tests might be ordered to determine whether ancillary conditions are affecting your health or mental state (e.g., bleeding injuries around the brain, infections, etc.).

Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

The most common symptoms associated with post-concussion syndrome after the initial injury include:

  • Dizziness
  • Post-traumatic headaches
  • Sleep abnormalities and sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or difficulty waking up
  • Cognitive impairments, such as difficulty remembering things or difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Development of depressive or anxious symptoms
  • Vision dysfunction
  • Vestibular symptoms and car sickness
  • Energy deficits
  • Chronic pain
  • Light sensitivity and sensitivity to noise and light
  • Pressure in your head
  • Tired eyes
  • Persistent neck pain
  • Brain fog

Many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome mirror those of typical concussions and other mild TBIs, but they can be vague and difficult to identify. Generally, post-concussion syndrome symptoms appear quickly and can be recognized by comparing your daily patterns after an accident to your daily patterns beforehand.

Unfortunately, this can make recovering compensation for post-concussion syndrome difficult if you don’t have medical records of a concussion from a specific auto accident. Because of this, you should always get examined by a medical professional immediately following a car accident.

Medical professionals can determine whether you are at risk of a concussion or post-concussion syndrome symptoms. If there are medical records of a concussion, proving post-concussion syndrome symptoms will be much easier. In addition, if psychological factors such as anxiety and depression coexist with your physical PCS symptoms, you may have an easier time qualifying for compensation.

How Quickly Do Symptoms Appear?

Most individuals experience their first concussion symptoms in a matter of minutes after receiving an injury. However, some post-concussion syndrome symptoms may take longer to appear. In these instances, it may take 7-10 days for symptoms to manifest.

While most PCS symptoms vanish within three months, some individuals are less fortunate, and their symptoms can persist for one year or more. No matter the severity or type of symptoms you experience, treatment always focuses on managing symptoms and giving the brain time to heal.

For more on PCS, as well as a free case evaluation, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers either online or by calling us at 1-800-966-4999!

Is Post-Concussion Syndrome Permanent?

PCS can be permanent if you don’t receive prompt medical treatment. Fortunately, PCS will typically resolve or improve with appropriate therapeutic measures. If there are underlying factors — like other head injuries — recovery can take longer, and the prevalence of permanent PCS increases.

Because of this risk, you should visit a hospital right away if you believe you are developing post-concussion syndrome symptoms. You should also keep a detailed record of your symptoms, thoughts, and other potential signs of PCS. This is because the more evidence you can present to the court in the event of a lawsuit, the better chance you’ll have of recovering damages to pay for ongoing PCS treatments and other accident-related expenses.

Can You Develop PCS After One Incident?

PCS does not only develop in individuals who have experienced multiple car accidents or concussions. In fact, PCS can develop after just one concussion, traumatic brain injury, or even a minor head injury. Some of the most common causes of PCS are single sports-related concussions sustained by adolescents and young adults.

However, predictors of PCS indicate that developing the condition is more likely if you have already had multiple concussions or if you are at an increased risk of head trauma. For example, if you developed a cervical spinal disorder pre-injury, you may be at a greater risk of developing post-concussion syndrome because your nervous system is already vulnerable to other issues.

Is There Treatment Available for Persistent Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Treating post-concussion syndrome typically involves relaxing and minimizing potential stressors. The majority of healthcare providers treat post-concussion syndrome symptoms similarly to how they treat concussion symptoms.

For instance, pain medications designed for migraines may help with headaches you experience due to PCS. However, if your PCS has particularly intense symptoms or it does not improve with time, you might be referred to a neurologist or psychiatry specialist. From there, you may take a questionnaire that evaluates the severity of the symptoms of PCS that you are experiencing.

These knowledgeable professionals can help you treat cognitive symptoms such as depression and anxiety. They may also be able to prescribe medications to manage your symptoms, such as antidepressants for mental health issues.

Keep in mind that there isn’t a single drug or treatment for PCS. Instead, treatments revolve around managing the symptoms and minimizing discomfort while your brain recovers.

To learn more about PCS treatment, speak directly with one of our leading TBI attorneys by calling Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-800-966-4999.

Paying for Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatments

Many of the long-term treatments for post-concussion syndrome from even a mild head injury can cost quite a bit of money, especially neurosurgery. As a motorist, you are required by New York law to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. However, PIP insurance only covers costs up to $50,000. Furthermore, it doesn’t protect you from lost income beyond $2,000 per month.

Now, suppose you can’t pay for your post-concussion syndrome treatment options or lost income due to ongoing difficulties. In that case, you might still be able to sue the at-fault driver and recover damages that way.

New York is a no-fault state, but you can still sue an at-fault driver or other at-fault organization if:

  • Your injuries are sufficiently debilitating or severe. For many individuals, post-concussion syndrome is debilitating enough that they cannot maintain their regular daily routines.
  • Your medical bills are exorbitant or unusually high. If your post-concussion syndrome treatments cost a lot of money due to their length, you could still qualify for a lawsuit.

In any legal battle, it’s helpful to have knowledgeable legal representatives fighting for you. Schwartzapfel Lawyers has what it takes to go to bat for you both in and outside of court in order to get you the damages needed to pay for any medical and/or rehabilitative costs. To learn more, contact us today at 1-800-966-4999 or visit us online!

With our help, you could recover compensation for:

  • Any past or future medical bills related to your concussion and post-concussion syndrome
  • Lost income if you cannot work due to PCS symptoms
  • Pain and suffering
  • And more!

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

Post-concussion syndrome can be debilitating and difficult to manage alone, especially if it persists for several months or years. Your insurance may not cover the cost of ongoing PCS treatments, in which case a lawsuit against the at-fault party may be the wisest course of action.

Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help with your auto accident lawsuit and other aspects of the legal process. For example, we can:

  • Gather evidence while you recover, such as traffic camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and more
  • File a claim with your insurance company, if necessary
  • Negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault party
  • Fight for you in court if your lawsuit results in a court battle
  • Negotiate on your behalf if you pursue arbitration or another dispute resolution method
  • Provide legal counsel throughout your efforts, from start to finish

If you developed PCS because of a workplace incident, Schwartzapfel Lawyers can still provide invaluable legal assistance. Among other benefits, we can help you file a workers’ comp claim. As well, if your insurance company tries to avoid paying damages, we can fight for you by proving that your injury was sustained at work and that your symptoms require ongoing medical treatment.

As experienced New York City auto accident and workers’ compensation attorneys, we’re more than capable of helping with your lawsuit and any other legal needs you may have. Our attorneys have decades of experience shared between them, and many of our clients have recovered millions of dollars in damages.

So, please, don’t wait. Instead, act now by contacting Schwartzapfel Lawyers today. Simply dial 1-800-966-4999 for a free case evaluation and so much more!

Sources:

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Postconcussive Syndrome – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

What is PCS? | Concussion Legacy Foundation

Persistent post-concussive symptoms (Post-concussion syndrome) – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

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