Does a Concussion Result in Permanent Damage to the Brain?

“The impact a brain injury can have on a person’s life is reason enough for serious concern.”

The last thing an injured person wants to hear after an accident is that it resulted in permanent damage to the brain. Even in cases where the prognosis for recovery is optimistic, the impact a brain injury can have on a person’s life is reason enough for serious concern.

But can a concussion result in permanent brain damage to the brain?

Unfortunately, concussions can absolutely result in permanent damage to the brain, particularly when the person has experienced more than one. In some cases, even a single concussion can lead to permanent brain damage, particularly if the person has a predisposition.

Further, a serious concussion may be accompanied by other serious injuries that can lead to some form of permanent neurological injury, like bleeding in the brain.

For personal injury claimants, it’s extremely important that you understand the potential impact of a concussion on your claim.

What is a Concussion?

According to MayoClinic, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  It is typically caused by an impact or a whiplash-type of motion to the head that shakes the brain back and forth. 1 As far as TBI’s go, concussions are generally considered the least severe form of neurological injury.

How are Concussions Diagnosed

It’s vital to mention that only a medical professional can diagnose a concussion.

To diagnose a concussion, doctors will check for the symptoms listed below, review family and medical history, and sometimes conduct an eye exam to measure changes in your pupils and reaction light. In some cases, the doctor will order additional tests such as a CT scan or MRI scan to check for a brain bleed.

What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

The symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • confusion
  • loss of memory (amnesia)
  • loss of consciousness after impact
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • sensitivity to light and noise
  • loss of or worsened balance
  • others…

It’s important to note that symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury, family history, medical history, the amount of time between concussions, and other factors. Further, some symptoms may not appear until days later.

Post-Concussive Syndrome

Symptoms may persist for many weeks or months. This is known as post-concussive syndrome. If your concussion symptoms persist after diagnosis, you should return to your doctor for additional examination.

Personal Injury Claimants Should Continue to Monitor Symptoms

If you have been injured and are involved in a personal injury claim, it is extremely important that you create a record of your symptoms.  Monitor your symptoms and always report those symptoms to your physician. If your concussion resulted in either long-term or permanent damage to the brain, it is paramount that you create a record of your experience.

When it Comes to Damage to the Brain, Not All Concussions are the Same…

Concussions can vary greatly in severity depending on the force of impact or whiplash.  To guide treatment, physicians will grade the concussion on a scale of one (1) to three (3):

  • Grade 1 Concussion: Grade 1 concussions are considered mild concussions. The symptoms should last less than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness.
  • Grade 2 Concussion: Grade 2 Concussions, or moderate concussions, have symptoms that last longer than 15 minutes. Still, however, they do not involve loss of consciousness.
  • Grade 3 Concussion: Grade 3 concussions are severe. These are cases where the person loses consciousness. The loss of consciousness can be for just a few seconds or longer.

The Impact of Multiple Concussions on Damage to the Brain

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), a single concussion will generally not cause permanent damage.  Whether permanent damage to the brain results from a concussion is often a question of frequency or the amount of time between the first and second concussion.

Frequent Concussions Can Lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

A boxer who experiences multiple concussions over their career is much more likely to experience permanent neurological injury. Unfortunately, frequent or multiple concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

Medical professionals describe CTE as the degeneration of the brain as a result of multiple traumas. Common symptoms include:

  • Short term memory loss
  • Depression
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Emotional instability
  • Substance misuse
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Others…

The permanent brain damage effects of CTE cannot be reversed. In some cases, CTE can even lead to premature dementia.

A Second Concussion Soon After First can Cause Second-Impact Syndrome

The AANS describes Second-Impact Syndrome as the result of “acute and often fatal brain swelling that occurs when a second concussion is sustained before complete recovery from a previous concussion.”

Second impact syndrome often results in permanent damage to the brain and can even result in death.

Can You Sue for a Concussion?

“Measuring the damage to the brain in a personal injury case is a complex determination that requires an expert attorney to analyze the facts of the case and collect necessary medical documents.”  


Brain damage effects are often life-changing and sometimes devastating to both the injured party and their loved ones. If a medical professional has diagnosed you with a concussion, you may be able to recover from those responsible.

Whether one can recover damages in a personal injury case involving a concussion depends on whether the injured party can prove certain elements. And, in cases of concussions, measuring the damage to the brain in a personal injury case is a complex determination that requires an expert attorney to analyze the facts of the case and collect necessary medical documents.

Goodnow McKay’s Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Claim

Our brain injury specialists here at Goodnow Mckay will help you recover a reasonable settlement for your injuries. We have successfully litigated multiple personal injury claims where the extent of damage to the brain plays an important role in recovering for our clients. We have extensive experience building successful cases by analyzing brain damage symptoms, reviewing medical documents, securing medical expert witnesses, and fighting for our clients both in and out of court.

No Hourly Attorneys’ Fees

Here at Goodnow McKay, we do not charge our clients on an hourly basis for our services. Instead, clients only pay us if we win. Under a contingency fee arrangement, our attorneys will only take a percentage of what they recover for you. Contingency fees incentivize our attorneys to fight for the best possible settlement for our clients. Goodnow McKay lawyers represent clients in various kinds of auto accident claims, including liability/bodily injury claims, uninsured or underinsured claims, and medical payment claims. Request a free consultation and move forward to receive the settlement you deserve.

1 Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/concussion#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

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