Concussion Injury

Nearly 6,000 Americans died from brain trauma in 2022. Fatal brain injuries include cerebral contusions, diffuse axonal injuries, and subdural hematomas. Concussions, by contrast, rarely cause death. Instead, most people recover from these mild brain injuries within two months.

Still, concussions can cause serious symptoms that can interfere with your daily life. Concussions can happen in a wide range of settings in Oklahoma, from sports to car accidents. For Oklahoma residents, it’s vital to understand more about this common injury and what you can do if you sustain one due to someone else’s negligence.

What Is a Concussion Injury?

A concussion injury happens when a violent motion rattles your brain, causing mild damage and inflammation that interferes with its normal functions.

Specifically, the brain gathers sensory data from your surroundings, processes it, stores it, and issues commands to your body in response. For example, if you prick your finger on a thorn, a pain signal travels from your hand to your brain. Your brain evaluates the pain and causes your arm to move away from the rose bush and your eyes to look at your finger.

A concussion can interfere with any or all of these functions. You may experience sensory, processing, or motor symptoms.

Causes of Concussions

Concussions occur when your brain moves inside your skull. Membranes called meninges sit between the brain and the skull. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) fills the meninges and surrounds the brain. When your brain moves, the meninges and CSF cushion it from striking your skull and developing a life-threatening cerebral contusion.

But with every action comes an equal and opposite reaction. As the brain pushes on the CSF and meninges, they push back. The resulting brain damage is usually mild, but the body still triggers an inflammation response to protect the brain. Inflammation causes the brain to swell and its temperature to increase. These changes in the brain can lead to a concussion injury.

Concussions can also result from many traumatic injuries. Some causes of concussions include the following:

Blunt Force Head Injuries

When something strikes your head, your brain shifts inside your skull toward the impact site. As it moves, the brain suffers damage on the side facing the head injury.

An example of this type of injury happens in a slip and fall accident. Your head may whip backward as you fall, and the back of your head may impact the ground. In this case, the CSF and meninges stop your brain from striking the back of your skull. But the pressure of the CSF and meninges on your brain can cause a concussion.

Rapid Changes In Speed or Direction

You do not need to hit your head to suffer a concussion. When your body suddenly changes speed or direction, your brain — floating in the CSF — tries to maintain its original speed and direction. It only moves with the body when the CSF and meninges push it in a new speed or direction. This pushing damages the brain and causes a concussion.

Concussions from car accidents often result from this mechanism. When your car gets hit from the front or back, it suddenly accelerates or decelerates, and your body whips back and forth. The structures inside your skull cause your brain to whip back and forth, damaging the front and back of your brain.

Similarly, your brain suddenly shifts sideways in a T-bone collision. You can suffer damage to the side of your brain as a result of this sudden change in direction.


An explosion creates a pressure wave. This wave can pressurize the CSF and squeeze the brain. The damage to the brain causes the brain to swell and produce concussion symptoms. These injuries often affect active-duty service members exposed to explosions. 

They can also affect people who are around blasting as part of their work, including:

  • Demolitions
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas extraction

Blast-related concussions can also result from gas explosions and workplace accidents.

Rating Concussion Severity

Every concussion is different. The symptoms of a concussion depend on the severity and location of the injury. Doctors rate the severity of brain injuries using a rating system, such as the Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC). 

This scale looks at three patient responses and combines the following reactions to generate a composite score to determine the severity of a concussion:

Eye-Opening Response

Patients who do not lose consciousness or awaken spontaneously score high on this test. Patients receive a lower score if they only open their eyes in response to a sound or touch prompting them to awaken.

Motor Response

Patents receive a high score by moving normally after their injury. Patients who cannot move or move only in reaction to pressure will receive a low score.

Verbal Response

A doctor or EMT will likely ask you questions if they suspect a concussion. 

Some common questions include the following:

  • What’s your name?
  • What happened to you?
  • Do you know where you are?

Your answers to these questions determine your verbal response score. If your answers show that you understand the question, you get a high score even if you answer incorrectly. When you cannot answer or answer with sounds rather than words, you receive a low score.

Concussion Injury Symptoms

You may experience a wide range of symptoms after a concussion since your brain controls everything in your body. 

The following physical symptoms are common in concussion victims:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing sound in ears

Slurred speech and clumsiness are also frequently observed in concussion victims.

Cognitive symptoms are common as well. 

Examples of these symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating

Emotional symptoms are rare but not unheard of. These symptoms sometimes happen when the victim also experiences post-traumatic stress disorder from the same incident that caused the concussion. 

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Sad or angry outbursts

Concussion symptoms usually clear up within two months. If they last longer than two months, the victim may have developed a post-concussion syndrome.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation in a Concussion Injury Claim

Oklahoma law allows injured people to recover compensation from those responsible for harming them. To recover compensation, you must prove the other party acted negligently or wrongfully to cause your brain injury.

Negligence means the other party’s failure to exercise reasonable care injured you. Aside from negligence, other theories that might support a claim for injury compensation include intentional assault and strict liability for defective products.

Consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer is vital for proving negligence and securing the compensation you deserve to move forward. The seasoned team at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers has recovered over $100 million for injured clients just like you. Contact us at (405) 497-0480 for a free consultation with an Oklahoma City attorney you can trust.