Signs You Suffered a Concussion After a Motorcycle Accident

Signs You Suffered a Concussion After a Motorcycle Accident If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and don’t feel “quite right,” chances are you experienced a mild traumatic brain injury, or a concussion. Even though it’s called a “mild” traumatic brain injury, concussions can lead to long-term complications if not treated properly. Sometimes it can take days or even weeks for concussion symptoms to make themselves known. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion and get the appropriate treatment from a medical professional.

What is a concussion?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes a concussion as follows:

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury — or TBI — caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Even though medical providers may refer to a concussion as a mild traumatic brain injury, there is nothing mild about a concussion. The effects can be serious.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

The symptoms of a concussion can vary by individual, but you should be aware of the following changes or issues. You may feel “not quite right” or exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Headache or pressure in the head: This is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion and may range from mild to severe.
  • Confusion or feeling dazed: You might feel mentally foggy or have difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
  • Temporary loss of consciousness: In some cases, you may briefly lose consciousness, though this doesn’t happen to everyone who sustains a concussion.
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event: You may have difficulty remembering what happened before or after the injury.
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”: You may feel unsteady or dizzy, or experience visual disturbances such as seeing flashing lights or stars.
  • Nausea or vomiting: Some people experience nausea or vomiting after a concussion.
  • Fatigue or drowsiness: You might feel more tired than usual or have difficulty staying awake.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise: Bright lights or loud noises may worsen your symptoms or cause discomfort.
  • Slurred speech: Your speech may be affected, either in clarity or in the ability to form words properly.
  • Balance problems: You may have difficulty maintaining your balance or coordination.

It’s important to note that symptoms of a concussion may not appear immediately after the injury and can develop over hours or even days. Additionally, not all concussions cause loss of consciousness, so you should note other potential symptoms as well.

Treatment for a concussion

Your doctor may perform a neurological exam, cognitive testing, and imaging tests to determine the extent of damage from the concussion. Treatment generally involves rest, both cognitive and physical. Then, depending on the severity of your injury, you can take the following steps to recover and get back out there on your motorcycle:

  • Getting physical rest: It’s important to rest and avoid activities that could exacerbate symptoms. This includes avoiding physical exertion, sports, exercise, or any activities that could put you at risk of another head injury.
  • Getting cognitive rest: This involves limiting activities that require concentration and mental exertion, such as reading, watching TV, using the computer, or playing video games. This includes driving a motorcycle. You should also limit exposure to bright lights and loud noises, as these can worsen symptoms.
  • Gradually returning to activity: Once your symptoms start to improve, your healthcare provider may recommend a gradual return to normal activities. This typically involves slowly reintroducing physical and cognitive activities, with close monitoring for any recurrence of symptoms.
  • Taking medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be recommended to help alleviate headaches or other pain associated with the concussion. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, especially if you have other medical conditions or are taking other medications.
  • Monitoring your symptoms: It’s important to closely monitor your own symptoms and seek medical attention if they worsen or if new symptoms develop. In some cases, complications such as post-concussion syndrome or second-impact syndrome may require specialized treatment.
  • Following your care instructions: Follow any instructions provided by your healthcare provider regarding follow-up appointments and further evaluation. They may recommend additional testing or refer you to specialists for further assessment and management if needed.
  • Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs: It’s important to avoid alcohol and recreational drugs during the recovery period, as they can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications.

When can I start riding my bike again?

You may feel like you’re ready to get back out there and ride your motorcycle again, but the only person who can tell you whether or not this is a good idea is your doctor. Ensure you don’t return to normal activities until you’re feeling better. (And, don’t forget to buy a new helmet.)

According to Corewell Health, “Approximately 80 percent of concussions resolve over seven to 14 days, with an average of 10 days. People with concussions should never return to sports or other physical activity sooner than one week from sustaining the injury.” A serious concussion can take you out of commission for weeks or even months.

Your recovery will likely have two stages – the acute phase, which is the immediate period following the injury, typically spanning the first few days to weeks. During this phase, various physiological changes occur in the brain due to the injury, as per the symptom list mentioned above. Next is the recovery phase, which refers to the period following the acute phase during which your symptoms gradually improve, and you return to your normal level of functioning. This phase can vary in duration, depending on the severity of your concussion and individual factors.

We understand you want to ride your motorcycle again. Firm founder James Roswold is a motorcycle enthusiast just like you, and has the utmost compassion for your situation.

If you suffered a concussion or any other type of injury in a motorcycle accident, the lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys are here for you. We can help hold the responsible individual accountable for their negligence so you can have access to the compensation and resources you need to recover from your injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, call our offices or submit our contact form. We are available any time at our main office in Kansas City, MO. If that location does not work for you, feel free to schedule an appointment at one of our other convenient office locations in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).