Do I Have to Hit My Head in Order to Get a Concussion?

Posted by Scott A. Staples | May 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

Many people don't understand the seriousness of concussions. In our practice, we often see concussions in auto accidents, falls, workplace accidents, and sports-related injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is, "a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth."

There's a misconception that in order to get a concussion, you must hit your head. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that's not necessarily the case. A concussion can happen even if you don't hit your head. A concussion is more about you brain moving and getting rattled around in your skull, and that can happen from sudden intense movement [whether it be from sudden stopping or sudden accelerating.]

In our practice, we often see people in auto accidents who don't understand how they could have a concussion because they don't remember hitting their head on anything by the headrest, or they weren't knocked unconscious. But all of their symptoms (headaches, dizziness, a general "foggy" feeling, and vision changes to name a few) point to a concussion. Often the concussion is confirmed after a consultation with a medical doctor.

Another common way to get a concussion is in youth sports.

According to an article in the Washington Post, female athletes, specifically soccer players suffer concussions at a significantly higher rate than their male counterparts.

Researchers from Northern University and Wake Forest University studied data from both male and female high school sports. They studied football, soccer, basketball, wrestling and baseball for boys, and soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball for girls.

Ranked from most to least concussions, the study found that girls soccer ranked Np.1, followed by girls volleyball and, girls basketball. Football was ranked No. 4.

The article stated that the reason for this is that on average, the neck muscles in girls aren't as developed as they are in boys. so the muscles to cushion the blow aren't as strong, making the jolting or impact to the brain worse in girls.

In Washington State, youth sports recognize the dangers and severity of concussions. in 2009 the Washington State Legislature passed the Zackery Lystedt Law, which requires policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports.

Concussions can be very serious. First and foremost, someone suffering a concussion should be properly evaluated by a medical doctor. If you suspect that you or a loved one suffered a concussion due to an accident of any type, please feel free to contact us. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to help you obtain fair compensation if another person or company is responsible for the injury.

Additional Resources:

About the Author

Scott A. Staples

Scott Staples came on board in 2006 as a clerk during law school, and joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2007. He was made a shareholder in the firm in 2010. Scott graduated, cum laude, from Washington State University Vancouver with a BA in English, and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law, with cum laude honors there as well. He has successfully represented clients in a variety of different types of injury cases, including auto collisions, premises liability, animal attacks, watercraft accidents, and construction site injuries. He has appeared, and won, before the Washington State Supreme Court (Weismann v. Safeco, 2012). Scott has volunteered time for the past several years at the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Housing Justice Project. He has previously served on the new member and membership committees for the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), and has acted as chair and co-chair of the WSAJ Clark County Roundtable. He is a member of the Washington and Oregon State Bar Associations, WSAJ and OTLA (state trial lawyer organizations), and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Washington and Oregon. Scott was born and raised in Vancouver, attending Vancouver public schools and graduating from Hudson's Bay High School. He enjoys playing recreational basketball and softball, skiing, and spending time with his wife and three children.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Experienced Attorneys

The attorneys at Schauermann Thayer handle personal injury, wrongful death, and insurance actions for clients throughout the Southwest Washington and Portland, Oregon area.


Schauermann Thayer is committed to answering your questions and addressing your concerns about potential personal injury and wrongful death cases in Washington and Oregon.

We offer free consultations and we’ll gladly discuss your circumstances with you at your convenience.