Most people that suffer concussions will recover completely within 3-6 months.  However, a relatively small minority will continue to experience debilitating cognitive symptoms, often referred to as post concussion syndrome, over the course of their lives.  While sometimes this cannot be explained medically, often it is because a person has experienced prior psychiatric illness, including depression and/or suffered from substance or alcohol abuse.  Medical research shows that prior psychiatric illness and substance abuse can complicate the recovery form an otherwise uncomplicated concussion.  Recently, we represented a 49 year old female who sustained a concussion in a Home Dept store after being hit in the head by a 6 pound box that had been knocked off a shelf by a Home Depot employee.  The client had a history of suffering from depression over 10 years before her accident and had also abused alcohol.  While the client had been fairly high functioning for over 10 years before her concussion, afterwards, she continued to experience debilitating symptoms which led to her ultimately being rendered permanently disabled. While Home Dept argued that her ongoing symptoms were solely due to her prior depression, our expert witnesses explained that her prior psychiatric history complicated her recovery from an otherwise uncomplicated concussion.  Accepting the medical literature suportting this argument, a judge awarded our client $1.4 million.