When you hear the phrase, blunt force head trauma, you may immediately relate it to violent crime. The term is frequently used by the news media when the extent of a head injury has not been determined. Typically, the story would contain a line such as "the victim was transported to the hospital with signs of blunt force head trauma." However, these injuries are instigated by any blow to the head where there is no skull penetration.
Common Causes of Blunt Force Head Trauma
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of blunt force head trauma, followed by sports injuries, falls and physical assaults, per the National Institutes of Health. The wearing of seatbelts while driving and helmets when riding a motorcycle, bicycle or skateboard can significantly reduce the chance of a head injury. Wearing protective headgear while participating in sports can also reduce the chance of blunt force head trauma.
The Damage Caused by Blunt Force Head Trauma
Two different forms injury can be produced from a non-penetrating blow to the head - concussion and contusion. A concussion is caused by a shaking or sloshing of the brain within the skull. A contusion results from a direct injury to the brain. In some cases, the brain becomes injured on the opposite side from the point of impact. This injury is known as contrecoup. Contrecoup occurs when the head is in motion and suddenly strikes a stationary object like the dashboard of a car or the ground and rebounds in the opposite direction. According to studies, loss of consciousness may occur from blunt force head trauma which may lead to additional brain damage. Traumatic brain injuries may impact normal brain function dramatically. Some of these severe effects may be irreversible.
The Effects of Blunt Force Head Trauma
Symptoms from a head injury may develop immediately or progressively, within a few days or weeks. In cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) the symptoms make take decades to manifest. CTE can only be diagnosed accurately during an autopsy.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
· Loss of consciousness
· Severe headache
· Blurred vision
· Slurred speech
· Drops in blood pressure
· Diminished coordination
· Personality changes and irritability
· Partial paralysis of one or more limbs
The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury may include:
· Speech and language problems
· Chronic headaches
· Changes or loss of vision, taste or smell
Internal bleeding of the brain can worsen the damage
Treating an Apparent Brain Injury Victim
If you should suspect a person is suffering from a blunt force head trauma, do not try to move them unless they are in harm's way. Do not try to revive them by shaking or slapping. The timing to receive professional care is critical and only a moments delay can have a negative effect on the outcome. Find medical help immediately. Even if the victim insists they are fine, they may be acting irrationally due to shock.
The Importance of a Brain Injury Attorney
A victim of a blunt force head injury should seek the counsel of an experienced brain injury lawyer as quickly as possible. The injury may be the result of negligence or malice. The attorney can correctly determine the responsible party or entity. It may be the driver of another vehicle, a property owner or the manufacturer of a defective product as a few examples. The long-term cost of a traumatic head injury can be enormous. Medical expenses past and future, loss of lifetime income and cost of rehabilitation, are all taken into consideration as well as pain and suffering. The qualified brain injury lawyer will be able to determine the true value of your case and settle for no less, no matter how long it takes.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a brain injury, contact Vititoe Law Group for a free evaluation of your case. It is important to act quickly since there could be specific time limits to filing a claim.