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People in California may underestimate the seriousness of a concussion because the inciting injury typically does not cause the victim to lose consciousness and the effect on brain function is usually temporary. Nevertheless, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury, and if you suspect that you or a family member have sustained one, you need to take it seriously.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion occurs when your brain slides back and forth within your skull, forcefully impacting the sides. This can happen due to a blow to the head or violent back-and-forth motion. Your brain is a soft, gelatin-like structure, and striking the inside of the skull can cause it to bleed.

Symptoms of a concussion may not show up for hours or even days following the initial impact. They include fatigue, slurred speech, confusion, nausea/vomiting, ringing in the ears and temporary loss of consciousness. If you have a concussion, you may experience a headache with the distinct sensation of excess pressure in your head.

The symptoms of concussion are not always obvious, and it is possible for you to have a concussion and not know it. Symptoms of a concussion are more difficult to recognize in young children who are unable to describe their symptoms.

Most concussions resolve on their own with no lasting effects. However, it is important to seek medical treatment for a possible concussion and to take care to avoid any risky activities that would put you at risk for a second concussion while the first remains unresolved. This is because second impact syndrome can result in brain swelling that develops rapidly and usually proves fatal. Another danger of concussions involves the cumulative effects on the brain of multiple injuries over time. This could result in long-term, irreversible impairment.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.