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Post concussive syndrome: Getting the help you need

You had no idea what hit you--you were parked at a stop light, when out of nowhere, your car was hit broadside. It didn't appear that you had any injures, but when you got home, you noticed you were feeling light-headed and foggy.

Your son commented that you were laughing inappropriately and not making sense. A trip to the doctor revealed that the impact of the collision forced your head back and forth violently. You have a concussion. A serious one.

Significant symptoms

Concussions are serious injuries. Doctors often recommend taking more than eight weeks off work or school, and instruct patients to "rest their brains" by minimizing all stress and complicated intellectual activity. Some recommendations include not participating in any sports, reading only light material such as children's book and popular magazines, and not watching television shows that depict violence or suspenseful topics.

So what happens when you follow doctor's orders, but you find you are still having symptoms? Your injury may have progressed from a concussion to post-concussive syndrome--a neurological disease characterized by dizziness, fatigue, poor concentration, headache, anxiety and memory issues.

Who pays for more treatment?

Treatment for post-concussive syndrome ranges from medication to cognitive therapy to counseling. It is expensive, time consuming and may include more time off work. You are no doubt wondering, Who pays when you need more intense medical care from a neurologist?

If you had a claim for your original injury, you likely have a claim for any long-term issues which it arise out of it. Claims need to be made quickly, though, as some insurance companies will be eager to settle your case as soon as possible to avoid further payment. If you find that you are having symptoms months after your car accident, consult an attorney to ensure that all medical bills and lost wages are reimbursed.

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