While many injuries can be severe, one of the most vulnerable spots for a vehicle accident victim to injure is the head. Because the skin on the head (particularly on the scalp) is very thin, it tends to bleed easily and heal slowly – thus any head injury potentially damages the delicate senses of taste, sight, hearing and scent, in addition to amplifying the risk of brain trauma.
Although the amount of blood loss a victim suffers may not reflect the severity of the injury, the sight of blood coming from the head can also be psychologically traumatic. Fear commonly accompanies any accident, but the anxiety can cause complications if a victim panics over a head injury.
While most people go to great lengths protect this sensitive area of the body, vehicle accidents often override any precautions taken. The treatment for head injuries can be incredibly complex, and the recovery process can be long and grueling. From simple cuts to traumatic brain injuries, an experienced attorney knows how to sort through the potential complexities and uncertainties to get you the settlement you deserve.
Closed Head Injury
Simply because an accident victim’s head isn’t bleeding doesn’t mean that they have escaped a potentially debilitating injury. A Closed Head Injury (or CHI) is a common consequence of vehicle accidents, with over 1.5 million people suffering some kind of non-penetrating head injury every year. Most commonly, the victim’s head suddenly hits a hard surface at great velocity and force without penetrating the skull, yet resulting in internal injuries to the brain. A windshield, dashboard, steering wheel, or car seat can each injure the brain – the most fragile and the most critical organ of the human body. There doesn’t even need to be any impact on the head for a CHI to occur – Whiplash is the most common example, a painful and sometimes chronic hyperextension of the neck.
A victim of a CHI may not even know they are suffering from the injury. In fact, some symptoms are so minor that many victims dismiss them as a headache or muscle spasm. Common symptoms include serious bleeding from the head or face, loss of consciousness, confusion and lethargy, lack of pulse or breathing, or clear fluid drainage from the nose or ear. If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident and suffer from any of the above symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.
Though there are many dangerous consequences resulting from vehicle accidents in the U.S., a coma can be one of the most critical. According to the Coma Recovery Association, vehicular accidents are the number one cause of coma – a reduction of consciousness, often caused by a severe head trauma common to these kind of collisions. Even if a victim emerges from the coma, 100% recovery is never guaranteed, for there can be mental, physical, and intellectual difficulties that can last a lifetime.
While it may seem like a serene and restful state from the outside, a coma is actually a dangerous and potentially fatal position to be in. The victim of a coma is alive but unable to respond to external stimuli. It is similar to a “vegetative state”, often the next state in coma recovery, but differs in that the victim may respond to pain and spontaneously move their limbs or eyes. As a coma becomes more severe, the victim will lose all reflexes and sensation, including the ability to discern pain. Recovery from a coma is always a torturous process, and its success depends on the severity of the trauma, the age of the victim, and the treatment received while in the state.
Those who are the victims of an accident-induced coma are not the only ones who suffer; loved ones often bear the brunt of the grueling rehabilitation process, causing stressful difficulties even in the strongest of relationships. If you or a loved one has experienced a coma due to a vehicle accident, you should contact a lawyer
A raised bump on the head, a span of unconsciousness, and blacking out are all common warning signs of a concussion – the most common type of injury during a vehicle accident. The belief that a headache is the worst effect of a concussion can be a dangerous mistake, so medical attention after the collision can be imperative. While a concussion can be a relatively minor occurrence, it can lead to serious injury if left unexamined and untreated.
Because the brain is so soft and the skull is so hard, any sudden movement can cause the brain to slam against the inside of the skull even when there is no direct impact on the head. The brain takes up almost all the room in the skull; there is little room for it to move when it is suddenly shaken. Blood vessels can tear, nerves can get smashed, and even large areas of the brain may suffer compression damage. You should have your doctor run CAT scans to be sure everything is functioning correctly, and if he deems it appropriate, an MRI may allow him to see things a CAT scan won’t show. These tests are expensive, and most medical insurance will not cover them until it is too late