Concussions are brain injuries. They were not taken seriously for years, to a large degree because there may be no exterior damage. It's harder for an outsider to fully grasp the scope of a brain injury that is only internal. However, a traumatic brain injury is never something to take lightly, even when it's a "mild" concussion.

It's also important to note that, as much as NFL concussions make the headlines, they're not just sports-related injuries. They can also happen to adults in the workplace, children on the playground and anyone involved in a car accident -- just to name a few examples.

Underreporting

Another reason concussions haven't always been as well understood as they should be is that they are often underreported. For instance, some experts note that sports-related concussions often only attract notice if the person in question is unconscious after the injury. However, they say that 90 percent of concussions do not cause someone to pass out, while only 10 percent do. So, that means that we may only hear about a mere 10 percent of sports-related brain injuries, with the rest flying under the radar -- and the athletes themselves may not even know what happened.

This same basic idea applies off the field. A worker who falls off of a ladder may just shake his head to clear it, take a lunch break, and go on with his day, never realizing he suffered a concussion in the fall. A child who slips off of the jungle-gym at recess may cry and get comfort, but the teachers at the school only notice her skinned knee, never realizing that she suffered a brain injury.

Medical Care

It's very important to understand how and why concussions strike, and what symptoms to look for, in order to get proper medical care. It's also important for those who get hurt due to someone else's negligence to know if they have a right to financial compensation.

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