Head injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries that can result from a car accident. They range from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries that cause brain damage or other long-lasting effects. These injuries are often expensive to treat and victims may not recover from them for several years.
If you or a loved one has sustained a head injury in a car accident, it is important that you understand your right to recover for the damages that you sustained. The experienced Harrisburg car accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer can help you recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering that you have experienced because of the car accident and your injuries.
Causes of a Head Injury in Car Accidents
Head injuries can occur in a wide variety of car accidents, including in low-speed accidents. Some common reasons why head injuries occur in these accidents include:
- Being struck by an object – During a collision, your body may jolt forward or to the side, causing your head to collide with an object like the door, windshield, dashboard or steering wheel.
- Being hit by a projectile – In an accident, items in the vehicle may become projectiles, potentially piercing your skull.
- Shaking caused by momentum – Even if no object collides with your head, you may still sustain a serious head injury because of the violent shaking caused by the momentum in an accident.
Types of Head Injuries
Car accidents can result in any number of head injuries. These head injuries are classified into two major categories: closed head injuries and open head injuries. If not treated properly, both types can result in serious health issues or even be fatal.
Closed Head Injuries
Closed head injuries occur when the force of the accident causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull. The head may collide with a hard surface, such as the dashboard. Common types of closed head injuries include:
- Concussion – This type of injury usually occurs when there is a sudden blow to the head or when the force of the accident causes the brain to strike the skull. If the brain is traumatized because of impact, sudden momentum or change in movement, a concussion may result.
- Coup-contrecoup – This injury consists of contusions (bruises) on both sides of the brain.
- Diffuse axonal – A strong rotation of the head may result in this type of injury, causing the tearing of brain structures.
- Hematoma – Blood vessels or veins may rupture in the skull because of the force of impact.
Open Head Injuries
These types of injuries occur when an external object penetrates the skull, such as glass, metal or an object in the vehicle. The item may pierce the skull or may cause bone fragments to strike the brain.
These injuries may cause neurological damage that must be treated with surgery, which can be very risky.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Brain injuries can result in serious and debilitating medical impairments, including paralysis, loss of body function, dementia or death. The symptoms of head injury are often unique to the individual, and they depend on the type of injury sustained and the severity of the accident.
If you were recently involved in a car accident, be watchful of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty thinking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slowed thinking or response time
- Confusion or disorientation
- Loss of memory
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Difficulty balancing
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Extreme exhaustion
- Low level of alertness
- Numbness in your arms or legs
- Difficulty dealing with emotions
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one sustained a head injury, it is important to seek medical attention if you have experienced any of the symptoms above. Then, seek assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate your personal injury claim.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Schmidt Kramer can provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation to determine if you may be able to pursue compensation for the damages that you have suffered. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing upfront and we only require payment if we successfully secure compensation for your claim.