A concussion is a brain injury, and regardless of whether we call it a concussion or a brain injury (or traumatic brain injury or “TBI”), the most common symptom is headache. While headache itself is a non-specific symptom, because a headache can be a symptom of conditions other than concussion/TBI, when accompanied by certain other symptoms, or when it rises to a level of concern in categories outlined in the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) and the injury was caused through the fault of someone else, it is probably important that you consult with an experienced TBI lawyer. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Connecticut brain injury lawyer from Casper & de Toledo to learn more about whether your headache is a potential symptom of a TBI and how our firm can help if you’ve been hurt due to the negligence of another party.
How do I know if my headache is a symptom of a TBI?
It certainly can be confusing and underscores the importance of consulting with an experienced clinician. For one thing, nearly every injury that disrupts life can trigger a headache. That is at least part of the reason that TBI research is often planned comparing outcomes in TBI with outcomes in orthopedic injury cases. Also, a head injury including whiplash often involves an acceleration/deceleration injury with abnormal motion of both the head and neck. Abnormal motion of the neck can cause a cervical (neck) sprain or strain and can cause a cervicogenic headache. And the combination of a TBI/concussion can produce a headache that is a combination cervicogenic and TBI/concussion headache.
Headaches can occur right after an injury or show up later. They can be mild or severe, short or long-lasting, constant or occasional. They can affect one part of your head, or all of it. But not all headaches are caused by TBI; sometimes, they are caused by stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, hunger, or hormonal changes, including menstruation. So how can you tell the difference? There is no easy answer, but here are some clues that your headache might be a sign of a TBI:
- You had a head injury recently and didn’t see a doctor.
- Your headache started or got worse after the head injury.
- Your headache feels different from your usual headaches. For example, menstrual headaches may be different.
- Your headache is accompanied by other symptoms of TBI, such as nausea, dizziness, vision problems, sensitivity to light or sound, confusion, or slurred speech.
- Your headache doesn’t go away with over-the-counter painkillers or rest.
- Your headache interferes with your daily activities or quality of life.
- You continue to experience headache, despite your neck spasm improving.
If you have suffered an injury – even if you did not strike your head – get checked out by a health care provider. Regardless of whether you have suffered a TBI/concussion or a whiplash in a car crash, and assuming the crash was not your fault (or your fault was limited – a topic for another blog), you likely have a viable claim for compensation under Connecticut law. You can be better informed of your legal rights by consulting an experienced trial lawyer. We might suggest that we should see you (in person or via Zoom) quickly; or we may suggest that you give your treatment some time to see how or if you improve. Your symptoms, your treatment, and your progress or lack of progress will provide us with qualitative information that will enable us to provide you with the best advice. As a general rule, at three months post-injury, your condition may suggest that your injury has entered a chronic stage and might be sufficiently concerning that you should see some specialists.
What should I do if my TBI was caused by someone else?
If you sustained a TBI due to the negligence of another party, such as in a car accident or as a result of a slip and fall due to unsafe property conditions, there is a strong chance that you will qualify for financial compensation in a personal injury claim. That said, if you’re looking to file such a claim, it is imperative that you retain the services of a seasoned personal injury lawyer who can help you satisfy the burden of proof by collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, assessing medical documentation pertaining to your injuries, and more.
Casper & de Toledo focuses in helping clients who’ve sustained TBIs due to the carelessness of others, and we are prepared to fight for the best outcome possible on your behalf.