Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) is a complex condition in which different symptoms such as headaches or dizziness persist after the normal recovery period from a concussion.
Generally, most concussion symptoms will resolve within about two weeks, and with proper recovery almost all will cease within a month. When the symptoms continue after one or two months, it might indicate post-concussion syndrome. During this period, people with PCS may experience concussion-like symptoms at rest or from physical or cognitive activity.
PCS is a fairly common complication of concussion. The population of people diagnosed with PCS ranges from 30% to 80% in patients with mild to moderate brain injury. It is difficult to predict who will suffer from PCS. Research indicates that different factors play a role in the probability of developing PCS. For example women and older adults are at a greater risk than men and younger individuals. Additionally, a person's medical history and previous concussion history can affect PCS risk.Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome
There are a cons constellation of post-concussion symptoms after a traumatic brain injury that can last days, even more than a year. Post-concussion syndrome can be similar to concussions but not all PCS will present the same symptoms as the initial concussion symptoms. This condition is typically characterized by headaches, difficulty sleeping, light sensitivity, easily frustration, anxiety, blurred vision, mood disturbance, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and vertigo. Irritability and frustration are the symptoms that are most likely to persist after a year.
These symptoms can stop a normal life in its tracks. It is very common for a patient's symptoms, if persistent, to lead to missed work, missed family or social function, emotional distress, and real physical pain. Not surprisingly, secondary disorders that arises attendant with post-concussive disorder are anxiety and depression.Effects of Post-Concussion Syndrome
Post-Concussion Syndrome can seriously impact a person's personal and professional life. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a person may decrease their efficiency at work, have difficulty maintaining relationships, and difficulty focusing or communicating. In younger children, PCS can extend absences from school and have them removed from sports and extra-curricular activities. In serious cases, a child may need to repeat a grade.Diagnosis
A person should seek medical attention if any one of the symptoms listed above persist after two weeks. This is the general period in which people who are not affected by PCS will feel to be fully recovered after a concussion. Continuing symptoms beyond this point may indicate PCS. Diagnosis of PCS is made by assessing a person's symptoms on a case by case basis. There is no standard diagnostic test for PCS. Often, a doctor will perform brain imaging tests such as CT scans to rule of the possibility of a more serious issue.Treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome
There is no single treatment for post-concussion syndrome. Most people diagnosed with PCR are able to recover with rest and by minimizing the triggers of their symptoms such as stress. After a period of rest, doctors may prescribe or recommend active therapies to help mitigate symptom specific to the patient.
However, at the moment there is no single treatment that is effective and certain in all cases. PCS therapies help identify the worst symptoms for the person and target the symptoms with specific therapies to reduce the pain or eliminate the cause.Settlements & Verdicts for Post-Concussion Syndrome
Because PCS can be long term and difficult to treat, depending on the symptom of the person, the verdict amount varies greatly. Below are recent verdicts and reported settlements from personal injury cases in which the plaintiff's primary or leading injury was post-concussion syndrome:
- Garber v. Heimbigner (Oregon 2020) $50,000: A woman was rear-ended at an intersection. She suffered a concussion and neck and back injuries. The woman developed post-concussion syndrome. She experienced recurring headaches. The woman alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused her injuries. This case settled for $50,000.
- Shishchenko v. Martin (Oregon 2020) $150,000: A woman was struck by a reversing vehicle in a Starbucks parking lot. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, a neck injury with radiculopathy, and a cervical injury. The woman developed post-concussion syndrome. She was left with severe headaches, vertigo, cognitive problems, balance issues, and vision issues. The woman alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused her permanent injuries. This case settled for $150,000.
- Bohan v. State Farm (Washington 2020) $71,678: A 66-year-old woman was struck head-on. She suffered an L2 fracture, a concussion, neck and back sprains and strains, a large abdominal hematoma, contusions, and abrasions. The woman developed post-concussion syndrome. She alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused her injuries. The woman claimed they negligently crossed the center line and drove while intoxicated. A jury awarded her $71,678.
- Hill v. Mendes (Texas 2020) $337,760: A passenger was T-boned. She suffered a cervical injury, chronic pain syndrome, a concussion, cervicalgia, lumbar pain, thoracic pain, myalgia, muscle spasms, and a right shoulder sprain. She developed post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic headaches. The woman alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused her injuries. She claimed he ran a red light and failed to yield the right-of-way. The jury awarded the woman $337,760.
- Gachette v. Cavaliere (New York 2019) $100,000: A minor cyclist was struck. He suffered a concussion and head, facial, arm, and leg lacerations. The boy developed post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. He was left with cognitive problems and memory issues. The boy’s parents alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused his injuries. This case settled for $100,000.
- Yeo v. Lashly (Washington 2019) $231,603: A 36-year-old passenger was struck head-on. She suffered a mild concussion, a C6-7 herniation, and a C4-6 fissure with C7 impingement. Her physician recommended cervical surgery. However, she declined. The woman treated with another physician who confirmed post-concussion syndrome. She underwent a neuropsychological evaluation that revealed attention and short-term memory deficits.
- Jennings v. F&G Custom Ag (California 2019) $2 million: A married couple was struck head-on. The husband fractured his wrist and ankle. He underwent multiple open reduction internal fixation procedures. The wife suffered a closed head injury, facial fractures, a cracked molar root, a fractured right rib, and facial and chin lacerations. The woman developed post-concussion syndrome and depression. She underwent an orbital reconstruction with a bone graft. The couple alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused their injuries. This case settled for $2 million.
- Hastings v. Vista Verde Holdings (Arizona 2018) $1.1 million: adult female plaintiff leased a home from defendants. Plaintiff fell down hardwood stairs and hit her head on the wall when the railing became detached from the wall. She suffered a fractured nose, fractured right tibia, head laceration, and concussion, resulting in loss of consciousness, post-concussive syndrome and deficits in mood dysfunction. The plaintiff filed a premises liability suits alleging that the property owner failed to properly inspect and maintain the staircase and/or railing. The defendant denied negligence and disputed the permanence of her claimed injuries or disabilities.
- Dandridge v. Northeast Medical Center (Pennsylvania 2018) $90,607: male plaintiff was utilizing the handicap ramp on the entrance to defendants' building in order to report for work when he slipped and fell on ice and snow on the ramp. He fell backwards and struck his neck and head. Plaintiff lost consciousness and was attended to by his staff members. Plaintiff later presented to a local hospital for head and neck pain. The doctor diagnosed him with a concussion, post-concussion syndrome and C4-5 disc protrusion with cervical cord compression. Plaintiff maintained that defendants were negligent in failing to properly treat the only entrance to the building adequately for ice and snow, failing to remove the ice and snow, and failing to inspect. The court found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded $90,607.
- Marshall v. Higbee (Washington 2018) $150,000: plaintiff was driving and came to a complete stop at an intersection due to stopped traffic in front of him. A vehicle owned by defendant struck the plaintiff's vehicle from the rear. The impact reportedly pushed the plaintiff's vehicle into the intersection. Plaintiff suffered neck and back strains, a concussion, post-concussion syndrome, memory loss, double vision, migraine headaches, dizziness, anxiety, and depression. The plaintiffs sought recovery for the physical and emotional injuries. The defendant admitted liability for the accident but denied that the collision caused plaintiff's alleged injuries and damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff $150,000.
- Pitts-Hecth v. Simpson (Washington 2018) $54,148: female plaintiff was operating vehicle westbound in Tacoma, Washington. The defendant was traveling directly behind the plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff contended she was stopped for traffic ahead when her vehicle was stuck from the rear by the defendant's vehicle. Plaintiff claimed the defendant was texting and driving at the time of the collision. Plaintiff suffered post concussive syndrome and shoulder, neck, and back pain. The parties agreed to settle for $53,148.
- Brodsky v. Henry Schein Inc. (Maryland 2018) $710,000: adult female plaintiff suffered post-concussive syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder after the lower portion of the track lighting purchased and installed by the defendant disengaged from the ceiling mount and struck plaintiff in the head. Plaintiff contended the defendant was a fault under a negligence theory for failing to ensure that roll pin was installed in the track system, amounting to a failure to heed warnings printed in the product manual. The court granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgement and awarded the plaintiff $710,000.
If you are suffering from post-concussion syndrome because of a car accident, slip and fall, or some other event, you can be able to get financial compensation for your injury. Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers do not seem to believe in post-concussive syndrome although the medical evidence shows that a verdict or settlement does not cure the victim.
You need a personal injury to fight for you. We are barred in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. but our lawyers handle serious injury and wrongful death cases around the country. Still, if you call us from far away in a typical post-concussive syndrome case outside of the Mid-Atlantic, we ae more likely to refer you to a great lawyer in your area than we are to handle your case ourselves.
Call the personal injury lawyers at Miller & Zois at 800-553-8082 or request a consultation online.