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Concussion Definitions

Video Description: New York Brain Injury Lawyer Michael V. Kaplen discusses various definitions of concussion.
Published On: 6/22/10

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Video Transcript: Concussion Definitions

Michael V. Kaplen: In our legal practice we focus on representing individuals who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. We often are asked by other lawyers, “What is the definition of a concussion?”

Lawyers representing persons who have sustained a traumatic brain injury need to know that the terms concussion and mild traumatic brain injury are often used interchangeably by the medical and legal professions — and that:

The definition of what a concussion is has changed over time as medical science has gained more and more information on brain injuries and concussions.

Because there is no single accepted definition of the term, many difficulties have been caused and at times great injustices to victims of brain injury have taken place because of their attorney’s lack of knowledge of what the term concussion means.

The term concussion is derived from the Latin term, to shake violently and frequently nerve fibers in the brain are damaged by the rapid movement of the brain within the skull.

Essentially a concussion is the disruption of the normal functioning of the brain. The most current and modern definitions of the term concussion makes it clear that a person need not lose consciousness in order for it to be said that they sustained a concussion.

Modern definitions of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury also make it clear that most frequently, CT scans of the brain or MRI studies of the brain following a concussion are normal. A normal CT or MRI study does not mean that a concussion hasn’t taken place.

It is also clear that it may take hours, days or weeks for some, if not all of the symptoms associated with a concussion to develop. So here are some of the most current definitions of a concussion.

The American Academy of Neurology defines a concussion as a trauma induced alteration in mental status that may or may not include loss of consciousness.

The American College of Rehabilitation Medicine defines a concussion as any alteration in a person’s mental state at the time of the accident including feelings of being dazed, confused or disoriented.

The Center for Disease Control says that a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion is a complex process that takes place within the brain that is caused by either direct or indirect forced being applied to the head.

A mild traumatic brain injury according to the CDC is caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and typically involves some immediate symptoms such as confusion or disorientation.

What is clear from all of these definitions is that the hallmark of a concussion is the confusion, disorientation, the feeling of being off that an individual experiences immediately after being injured. Athletes call this getting their bell rung. Some call it seeing stars or feeling like ants are crawling in their head.

Any time an individual has sustained a concussion, it is important that they seek medical advice without delay.

As Hippocrates said many years ago, “No head injury is too severe to despair of, nor too trivial to ignore.”

Any attorney representing a victim of a concussion needs to know that there is nothing mild about a mild traumatic brain injury or a concussion.

 

If you or a loved one is a victim of the silent epidemic of traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries.

If I can assist you with your brain injury case, you can contact me at:

Phone: 1-866-BRAINLAW
Email: michael@brainlaw.com
Web: http://www.brainlaw.com

© 2010 De Caro & Kaplen, LLP

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Our Credentials

Michael Kaplen

Professorial Lecturer in Law
The George Washington University Law School

Past Chair
New York State Traumatic
Brain Injury Coordinating Council

President
American Academy of Brain Injury Attorneys

Vice President
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

3 Term President
Brain Injury Association of
New York State

Past Chair
Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation
Group: American Association
For Justice

Past Chair
Motor Vehicle, Highway, Premises
Liability Section: American Association
For Justice

National Advisory Board
Association of Interstate
Trucking Lawyers of America

Past Co-Chair
Tort Section, New York County
Lawyers Association

Board of Directors
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice

Board of Governors, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

Board of Directors
New York Academy of Trial Lawyers

Editorial Board
Neurolaw Letter

Board Certified
Civil Trial Advocate
National Board of Trial Advocacy*

Board Certified
American Board of Professional
Liability Attorneys
Medical Liability*

Sustaining Member:
American Association for Justice
Public Justice Foundation

Member:
N.Y.S. Trial Lawyers Association
Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers
Southern Trial Lawyers
Association-Fellow
North American Brain Injury Association

Graduate of Marquette University, College of Health Sciences, in Neuro Anatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord

Honors & Awards:

New York Super Lawyer
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Top 100 New York Trial Lawyers -
American Trial Lawyer Association

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
Public Achievement Award

Board of Trustees, Melvin M. Belli Society

Shana DeCaro

1st Vice President
American Academy of Brain Injury Attorneys

Treasurer
Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group: American Association for Justice

Board of Trustees, Secretary
Civil Justice Foundation

Board of Directors
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Fellow
American Association for Justice

Fellow
Melvin M. Belli Society

Editor
Law Update
New York Academy of Trial Lawyers

Amicus Counsel
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Honors and Awards

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
Public Achievement Award

President’s Award
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Who’s Who in American Women

Who’s Who in American Law

Top 100 New York Trial Lawyers-American Trial Lawyers Association

Elite Lawyers Of America

Graduate of Marquette University, College of Health Sciences, in Neuro Anatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord

Member:

New York Academy of Trial Lawyers

New York State Trial Lawyers Association

Brain Injury Association New York State

North American Brain Injury Association

Member:
Nursing Home Litigation Group
American Assoc. for Justice

Interstate Trucking Litigation Group
American Assoc. for Justice

Brain Trauma Litigation Group
American Assoc. for Justice

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Contributing Author
BrainLine

Admitted to Practice:

New York State
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
United States Federal District Courts:
Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
United States Tax Court
United States Court of International Trade

 

* The National Board of Trial Advocacy and the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys are not affiliated with any government authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law in the State of New York and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.