Skull Fracture Lawyer
A skull fracture is a type of injury where there is a break in the cranial (skull) bone that surrounds and protects the brain. However, blunt force trauma to the head may result in a fracture in the cranial bone followed by concussion or other types of brain damage. Therefore, anyone who has suffered a direct blow to the head should be closely observed by a medical professional for potential complications.
A fracture in a vulnerable place such as the skull may result in long-term consequences for the injured party. If you suffered a fractured skull in a catastrophic accident caused by negligence, contact our personal injury attorneys today for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
It is essential to retain a lawyer for assistance with your personal injury case. Skull fractures are serious matters that deserve legal attention and fair compensation for medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other damages. To learn more about your options for financial recovery after an accident, contact our law firm today for free, friendly case advice.Most Common Types of Skull Fractures
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are four types of fractured skulls. These include:
- Basilar: A basilar skull fracture is considered the most severe type of fractured skull. It generally occurs from substantial blunt force trauma resulting in a fracture in at least one of the bones that comprise the base of the skull. A patient presenting with a basal skull fracture may have a bruise behind the ear or bruising around the eyes. Patients may also experience clear fluid draining from the ears or nose because of a tear in the area covering the brain. Patients with basilar skull fractures generally require close observation in hospital settings.
- Depressed: A depressed skull fracture may involve a visible or not visible laceration in the scalp. In addition, a part of the skull may sink inward from the trauma in this type of fracture. Therefore, surgical intervention is often necessary to correct the deformity, depending on the extent of the injury.
- Diastatic: When fracture lines transverse the suture lines in the skull and cause widening of the sutures, this may result in a diastatic skull fracture. These are common in older infants and newborns.
- Linear: A break in the bone of the skull that does not move the bone is otherwise known as a linear skull fracture. This is considered the most common type of fracture of the skull. A patient may receive treatment at the hospital for a brief period and return to normal activity in a few days. Interventions are usually not necessary.
The management of a cracked skull will depend on the type of fracture, location, and presence of underlying trauma to the brain. Most skull fractures involve simple linear fractures without underlying injury to the brain and do not require intervention. However, there are patterns in place concerning recommendations for follow-up outpatient care or observation periods.What are the Signs of a Skull Fracture?
A fracture of the skull may present some of the following signs and symptoms:
- An impression on the head
- Blood or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
- Bruising around the eyes
- Dizziness, disorientation, or confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Swelling or bruising on the head
- Vomiting or nausea
If an individual has suffered blunt force trauma to the head, it is essential to be evaluated by a medical professional right away. A skull fracture or head injury may be severe in nature, even if the person seems okay. Since the skull is responsible for protecting the brain, a fractured skull can cause trauma to the brain.What are the Potential Complications of a Fractured Skull?
Some of the complications that may present with a skull fracture include:
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis (CST)
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak
- Cranial nerve palsy
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Loss of hearing
Physicians may order the following imaging to confirm a case of a skull fracture:
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scans: A CT scan of the brain may identify a fractured skull in approximately two-thirds of patients presenting with head trauma, according to UCLA Neurosurgery. However, it may be challenging to detect a skull-based fracture that is non-displaced or linear.
- Multi-Detector CT (MDCT) Scans: A physician may order an MDCT scan if they suspect a basilar skull fracture. This type of imaging is essential for the timely detection of bone fractures in emergency room settings. However, the attention to detail on MDCT for small vascular and neural channels may be misdiagnosed as fractures.
- CT Venography and Angiography (CTV and CTA): For further evaluation of a basilar skull fracture, CTA and CTV imaging may be used to assess vascular injury in acute settings.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): In assessments of nerve damage and evaluations of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak for basal skull fracture cases, MRI imaging may be beneficial. However, CSF leaks are not easily diagnosable. Therefore, fluids should be collected in sterile containers to be sent to the lab to be analyzed for beta transferrin.
Treatment is individualized and will depend on the type of skull fracture, location of the break in the cranial bone, and whether the brain suffered trauma. A patient may be observed in the hospital for a brief period following the accident and may return to a normal routine within days. A physician may prescribe antibiotics to a patient presenting with an open fracture for infection prevention. Conversely, surgery may be necessary in cases of depressed skull fractures and other severe injuries.What are the Common Causes of Fractured Skulls?
A cracked skull generally occurs because of a direct blow to the head. Other potential causes may include motor vehicle crashes, sports-related injuries, and slip and fall accidents.What is a Skull Fracture Case Worth?
The value of a personal injury claim for a skull fracture is challenging to determine as each case is unique. Therefore, it will vary upon the evidence presented. This may include medical records and expenses, complications related to the bone fracture, the chances of permanent injury or disability, and the need for future treatment and accommodations. However, the value of a settlement for a fractured skull case may be impacted based on whether comparative fault and preexisting conditions are involved.What You Should Know About Preexisting Conditions and Personal Injury Claims
In a personal injury case, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to dispute a bone fracture in an accident caused by their insured. The same can be said for first-party claims filed under uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM and UIM) coverage.
Some of how an insurance carrier justifies paying less or denying a bodily injury claim are by claiming preexisting medical conditions caused the broken bone in question. However, a previous injury should not be held against an injured party if another person’s negligence caused a crash that resulted in the aggravation of the health condition.
The key to recovering full and fair compensation is to work with an experienced skull fracture attorney. A lawyer with years of experience handling cases like yours will know the best way to prove the accident exacerbated the injury. The preexisting condition was not disabling in the past but now affects your quality of life. For more information on the various factors that may impact the value of a personal injury case for a fractured skull, watch the video below.Is There a Time Limit on Civil Cases in California?
Like all states, California has a statute of limitations that governs how long a claimant has to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In most cases, an injured party has two years from the accident date to file a suit. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1.
In medical malpractice cases, a lawsuit must be filed no later than one year after the claimant discovers the injury or three years after the date of the injury, whichever takes place first. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5.
Time is of the essence in any bodily injury claim. Therefore, delaying your case may result in more harm than good in the end. The reason being that evidence necessary in proving the claim may be lost or destroyed over time. After an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, protect yourself and your best interests by contacting an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible.Contact a Skull Fracture Attorney Today
A cracked skull suffered in a catastrophic accident can result in life-changing consequences. The impact of this type of injury may exceed physical pain. It may result in emotional and financial challenges, and there is no way to determine the lasting effects a skull fracture can have on an injured party’s life. If you sustained a bone fracture, you need an experienced attorney to represent you and protect your right to a fair financial recovery. At our law firm, we have an extensive history of successful personal injury case results.
When you turn to us for legal representation, we will work diligently to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and resulting losses. We handle cases in Sacramento County and throughout California. Contact our legal team today to discuss your skull fracture case and receive free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.3.22]
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