Head trauma refers to an impact of your brain, skull, or scalp with another object. Bumping your head can cause minor head trauma and might result in bruising and tenderness on your skull. More severe head trauma can cause your brain to hit the inside of your skull, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It can also result in skull fractures.
If you believe you have any symptoms of a possible brain injury or skull fracture, getting the right medical treatment is critical. If your head trauma was the fault of another party, you want to discuss your rights and options with an experienced head trauma attorney.
Common Causes of Head Trauma
Head trauma can happen in many ways and for many reasons. Sometimes, you might not be paying attention, and you might hit your head on an object at home out of clumsiness. Other head trauma can occur because another person or company acted negligently. The following are some common causes of head trauma that can happen due to someone else’s negligence.
Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents
Motorcyclists and bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to head trauma. If they are in accidents, they often fall off their bikes and hit the ground or nearby objects, which can cause head trauma. While helmet laws require head protection in many states, helmets are recommended whether the law requires it or not. However, helmets cannot protect against head trauma 100 percent of the time, and many riders sustain head injuries even while wearing a helmet.
Other Motor Vehicle Accidents
Head trauma is common in other types of motor vehicle accidents, as well.
These can include:
- Car crashes
- Bus crashes
- Commercial truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- RV and motorhome accidents
- Boating accidents
Any time a traffic accident happens, the occupants of vehicles or pedestrians run the risk of hitting their heads that can result in head trauma.
Falls and Falling Objects
Not all causes of head trauma involve motor vehicles, as many head injuries result from falls or getting hit by falling objects. Falls can happen anywhere, as you can slip due to hazards in stores, trip in sidewalks or parking lots, or fall in other locations you are visiting. Even a slip and fall accident can cause a head injury.
When you fall from an elevated position, the risk of head trauma is even higher. This can include falls on stairs, from ladders or roofs, or off balconies and decks. Construction workers might fall from high places due to scaffolding defects or other safety violations of third parties.
You can also sustain head injuries if an object falls from above and hits you on the head. This is common at construction sites, in stores, and similar locations with objects stored on shelving. Objects can fall for various reasons and can be dangerous if they hit someone in the head.
Serious Effects of Head Trauma
Head trauma is particularly serious because it can result in TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries). Any damage to your brain tissue can have severe adverse effects that can be life-changing. Medical treatment is necessary if a head trauma victim notices anything out of the ordinary following the incident, including feeling disoriented, fatigued, or “foggy.” Too often, victims ignore such symptoms and do not receive the treatment they need.
Medical treatment can include diagnostic imaging, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and even surgery for severe injuries. Surgery addresses increased intracranial pressure, which can be fatal.
TBIs can cause many types of impairments, depending on what part of the brain is damaged.
Impairments can include difficulty with:
- Communication and reading
- Information processing
- Emotional control
- Judgment and behavioral control
- Balance and coordination
All of these can impact your ability to work and maintain personal relationships. Some people who sustain severe head trauma might never work again, which might cause them to rely on disability benefits. Brain injury victims might also need a long stay in rehabilitation centers and home health assistance if they cannot care for themselves.
Financial Recovery After Head Trauma
Even minor head trauma can result in substantial losses, and damage from severe injuries can be overwhelming. It is important to speak with a brain injury lawyer who can determine who might be responsible for those losses.
Parties should be liable for damages when they act negligently, carelessly, or intentionally to cause an accident and head trauma.
Liable parties might include:
- Employers of negligent drivers
- Property or business owners
- Product manufacturers
Your lawyer can take action to file the necessary insurance claims to seek compensation for your losses or file a lawsuit. You want to ensure you include all possible damages in your claim because once your claim resolves, you cannot go back and request additional compensation if you left certain losses out. The right injury lawyer will know how to properly calculate all of your damages.
Some losses that head trauma victims might experience include:
- Medical expenses – Even a trip to the emergency room can be costly, and treatment for more serious head injuries can rise into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many severe brain injury victims need ongoing therapies or treatment for years or the rest of their lives, and they deserve compensation for future medical expenses as well.
- Lost earnings – Head trauma victims regularly miss work due to their injuries, which can result in lost income. If a brain injury is severe enough, the victim might never return to their previous job, especially if they have cognitive impairments. It might be necessary to find a lower-paying job or stop working altogether.
- Intangible losses – These losses can include emotional trauma, pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and more. Never discount intangible losses, as they are often the most significant losses in brain injury cases.
Many head trauma victims have a long road to recovery, but receiving compensation from liable parties can help them move forward and have the resources needed for proper care.