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A young caucasian boy holds his head as he sits on the concrete. Concussions are a form of mild traumatic brain injury.

Concussions happen in an instant. A head injury of any kind can be serious, especially if it is not properly treated. A victim may appear to look and act relatively normal, but there could be brain damage affecting their ability to think and focus clearly.

When you or a loved one has been injured with a concussion from a car accident, slip and fall mishap, or another injury, you may qualify for legal recourse if another’s negligence was a contributing factor.

There are many law firms that handle general injury cases, but few are skilled enough to negotiate the maximum compensation for a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion. The Virginia personal injury attorneys at The Smith Law Center have been helping families recover fair and just compensation from concussion lawsuits since 1949.

Read on to learn more about types of concussions, treatment, and how our experienced staff can help.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that affects brain function. Concussions are caused when an external force strikes the head, or when the skull and brain shake back and forth rapidly. Concussions can happen even after a minor bump or ding to the head.

Some concussions may involve unconsciousness, but not always. Typically, concussions are not life-threatening, although serious symptoms can occur. Any concussion, or suspicion of concussion, should be approached with care and involve seeking medical treatment.

Common Causes of Concussions

Concussions are most likely to happen during a:

  • Motor Vehicle Accident – Carmakers are constantly improving their vehicle designs to make them safer and minimize the incidence of head injuries during a collision. Still, severe accidents or even minor ones where there was no safety belt use can still lead to concussions.
  • Trip and Fall – Even a stumble while on your own feet can lead to a concussion if your head hits the ground or another hard object on the way down. The elderly and younger children are at particular risk for a trip and fall that ends in a mild traumatic brain injury.
  • Recreational or Sports Event – Many of us engage in recreational or sports activities, whether regularly or just on occasion. It is a great way to stay active and healthy. The downside is that activities — especially high-contact sports — can lead to bumps on the head during practice or competition. Sports that have higher-than-average concussion rates are football, soccer, lacrosse, boxing, ice hockey, rugby, and bicycling.

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Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

A young woman sits on her bed with her hands in her head. Headaches are just one symptom of concussions.

During head trauma that causes a concussion, the brain moves out of its normal positioning for a brief period of time. This movement disrupts the routine electrical activities of the brain, triggering concussion symptoms. These can include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling sluggish or groggy
  • Behavior changes
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting

It’s important to keep in mind that signs of a concussion might show up days or weeks after the accident. If you or someone you love has experienced a bump to the head, or a blow to the body that has rattled the head, please stay vigilant for any of the above concussion signs.

Medical treatment is a priority after a concussion. Following this, it’s also important to get in touch with a Virginia brain injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.

Types of Concussions

The symptoms of a concussion will depend on how severely the head was struck or shook. Concussion severity is classified by grade:

Grade 1 (mild concussion)

Grade 1 concussions are characterized by brief memory loss, confusion, headache, dizziness, and nausea, but no loss of consciousness. Symptoms usually last less than an hour, but can linger for days. Most commonly, grade 1 concussions occur in minor car accidents, athletic events, or at-home mishaps.

Grade 2 (moderate concussion)

Signs of a grade 2 concussion are similar to grade 1 symptoms, although symptoms typically last from a half an hour to an entire day. Certain medical experts argue that grade 2 concussions can include lost consciousness for several minutes.

Grade 3 (severe concussion)

A grade 3 concussion is characterized by unconsciousness and the lasting presence of concussion symptoms. In serious cases, victims may experience amnesia and can have difficulty with language. Professional treatment and observation are required since this grade of concussion can be a sign of mild brain damage.

Simple vs. Complex

In 2004, a group of professionals attending the Second International Conference on Concussion in Sports in Prague, introduced the categorization system of simple vs. complex concussions. A simple concussion was deemed to last less than 10 days, while complex concussions were characterized by at least 10 days of severe concussion symptoms, such as cognitive impairment or concussive convulsions.


Have you or a loved one suffered a serious brain injury? Learn how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.


Concussion Treatment

After suffering a concussion, be sure to seek medical attention right away. During the first 24 hours, you should have a loved one monitor your condition. Rest is typically the best treatment for a concussion, even after symptoms have disappeared.

If symptoms persist after you have received medical care, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. Be persistent. You may want to reach out to a medical professional who specializes in treating concussions. Also, do not return to any activities that might put you at risk for another concussion until cleared by your doctor.

Concussion Recovery Time

The severity of your concussion will determine how long it takes to be symptom-free and feeling back to normal. You can speed up the recovery process by cutting back on your cognitive load. This basically means doing as little thinking as you can. Try to reduce or entirely cut-out reading, texting, playing on the computer, or even watching TV. The more mental rest you get at the beginning, the faster you can return to your everyday life.

Short-Term Effects

Short term concussions last several hours to a few weeks. Symptoms can appear immediately after the accident or can show up days or weeks later.

Long-Term Effects

People who experience concussion symptoms more than several weeks after their accident typically have had multiple concussions. There can be a compounding effect with consecutive concussions, especially if the individual has not fully recovered from one concussion before experiencing another. This is another reason why it is so important to properly heal from a concussion and follow your doctor’s advice.

A few long-term symptoms that can last months or years include:

  • Problems with long-term memory
  • Slowing of certain body movements
  • Emotional distress
  • Depression

Concussion Syndromes

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome is a disorder that is characterized by symptoms that last for weeks or months. The risk of acquiring this syndrome is not necessarily connected with the severity of the initial injury. For most post-concussion syndrome victims, symptoms show up within the first week. They will usually subside within three months, although symptoms can persist for a year or more.

Second Impact Syndrome

This is a rare condition that occurs when an individual sustains a concussion before a previous concussion has properly healed. The syndrome involves rapid and severe brain swelling that can have serious and even life-threatening results.

How much is a concussion car accident settlement?

Car accidents remain one of the top causes of concussions. While this is a common question among brain injury survivors, the answer will vary with each person’s injury and case details. There are a few factors that influence a car accident settlement amount when the victim has suffered a concussion. These can include:

  • Severity if the concussion
  • All related medical bills and expenses
  • Ongoing treatment, when applicable
  • Permanent life changes or loss
  • Missed time away from work
  • Vehicle damage

A Virginia brain injury attorney will examine the elements of your case, the extent of your injuries, and who may be liable for your damages. The surest way to understand what your potential case might be worth is to contact an attorney for a free case evaluation. 

Contact Our Virginia Concussion Attorneys

The Smith Law Center Brain Injury Attorneys

The Smith Law Center has extensive experience pursuing the negligent parties responsible in concussion lawsuits. We will hold the at-fault party accountable and get you the compensation you need to move on with your life.

As one of the largest personal injury law firms in the state of Virginia, our attorneys are more than just lawyers; they are actively involved with renowned organizations and associations dedicated to brain injury awareness.

Our firm founder, Stephen Smith, is one of the only brain injury attorneys in the nation who is also a graduate of Marquette University’s Neuroanatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord program. He is president of the National Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association and a former president of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia.

Several of our attorneys have been elected year after year into the Best Lawyers in America, and our firm has been nominated as a Best Law Firm by U.S. News for 2020.

If you or a loved one needs legal representation for a concussion, please consider the skills, experience, and resources of the firm you choose to represent you. To learn more about what your potential case might be valued at or how we can help, contact The Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Concussions are unpredictable. You may need to be under the doctor’s care for weeks or months. Medical bills can add up. Let us help you recover the costs related to your accident.

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There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

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We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.



Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.