Davis Brain Injury Lawyer
There are many different ways that someone can suffer brain damage that ranges from genetic disorders to strokes and everything in between. One of the most abrupt causes of brain damage involves a traumatic event that directly leads to damage to the neurological tissue itself.Many Types of Forces Can Cause a Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury develops when a physical force either directly or indirectly causes damage to the brain tissue inside of the skull. There are a variety of causes of brain injuries, including:
- Blunt Force Trauma: Blunt force trauma involves a solid object that does not penetrate the skull itself but causes an impact to the head that leads to an indirect impact on the tissue inside. Examples of blunt force trauma include physical assault (with a baseball bat, golf club), a car accident, or even a pedestrian injury. Because the skull is a hard surface, it can cause a bruise or bleed in the brain tissue, just as in other areas of the body. Blunt force trauma may also cause a skull fracture. These bone fragments could also damage the brain matter in ways similar to penetrating trauma.
- Penetrating Trauma: The other category of trauma to the brain is called penetrating trauma. Penetrating trauma involves a sharp object, such as a knife or bullet, breaking through the skull cranium and causing direct damage to the brain tissue underneath. While this does cause a skull fracture, the tearing of brain tissue by the object causes the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to develop. The symptoms will vary depending on the location of the brain damage; however, bleeding will occur with this type of brain injury.
As mentioned above, bleeding can develop with all different types of traumatic brain injuries. Bleeding in the brain is serious not only because of the blood loss but also because the blood will pool and take up space in a closed cavity. Because there is a finite space inside of the skull, it is possible that the brain could get squeezed out of the skull, leading to serious (and many times fatal) consequences. There are three different types of common brain bleeds, called hematomas, and these are:
- Epidural Hematoma: This is one of the most common types of traumatic brain injuries. It is also one of the most dangerous. This develops from trauma to the temple region of the skull that shears the middle meningeal artery, a blood vessel that supplies oxygen to the brain. This injury receives its name from the location of the bleed, between the skull and the dura mater. The dura mater is a case of fascia that protects the brain. This brain injury is diagnosed with a CT scan that will show a “lens” shaped (convex) bleed. This bleed is particularly dangerous because patients will lose consciousness, wake up, and then lose consciousness again, permanently. The lucid period has given this injury the name “walk, talk, die” hematoma.
- Subdural Hematoma: An acute subdural hematoma is extremely deadly because of the type of force it requires to cause it. A tremendous force is required to cause this injury, such as a person being thrown from a car with their head impacting the pavement. Subdural hematoma shears open many of the veins that supply the brain and blood begins to pool outside of the brain. On a CT scan, this will show up as a concave bleed, contrasting it with the epidural hematoma above. The symptoms will gradually crescendo as the bleed crowds out the brain tissue. Symptoms include headache, confusion, vomiting, and worsening symptoms over time, contrasting it with the epidural hematoma from earlier.
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A subarachnoid hemorrhage develops when trauma tears an artery near the Circle of Willis, a network of arteries that feed blood to the brain. The tear is often in a pre-existing aneurysm. Patients will describe the onset as a “thunderclap headache,” or the “worst headache of their life.” There is not a gradual crescendo or a lucid interval. A CT scan will demonstrate bleeding in the middle of the brain, contrasting it with the epidural and subdural hematomas above.
When patients suffer a brain bleed, the first step is to make more space for the brain and prevent a herniation. This requires removing the blood that has already pooled and increasing the size of the skull cavity and giving the brain room to swell in response to trauma. Neurosurgeons will perform a procedure called a craniotomy. They will remove a skull flap (a piece of the bone itself) so that the brain has room to swell. They will also remove the blood that has pooled and stop any bleeding if bleeding is continuing. Once the brain has reduced back to its normal size, it will replace the skull flap and allow the injury to heal. As the patient recovers, their prognosis will become clear as a new baseline for their level of mental and physical function is established.
In the video below, Dr. Robert Fenstermaker with the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center discusses the recovery process following a craniotomy.Contact an Experienced Davis Brain Injury Attorney
A Davis Brain Injury Lawyer can assist you during this difficult time by helping you find out if another person is at fault for causing your traumatic brain injury. If it is determined that someone acted negligent and/or careless and caused your injuries you are entitled to recover compensation from this individual. An experienced brain injury lawyer can also help you obtain the medical records you need in order to prove your case. The lawyer will accurately document all of your past and future expenses as well as the losses you have incurred.Brain Injury Lawyer in Davis
I’m Ed Smith, a Davis Brain Injury Lawyer. Traumatic brain injuries can cause significant bleeding that leads to permanent symptoms. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please call me for free, friendly advice at (530) 392-5400 or (800) 404-5400.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.14.19]