When we hear the term blunt force head trauma we may immediately think of violent crimes like assault. This is because the term is frequently used in the news when the exact cause of injury is not yet known. “The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries resulting from blunt force head trauma,” would typify a line from the morning news. The truth is that blunt force head trauma can be caused by any blow to the head which does not penetrate the skull.
What Is Blunt Force Trauma?
Blunt trauma is a physical injury caused by a non-penetrating impact via a blunt object or surface. The opposite of blunt force trauma would be penetrating trauma which is when the injury breaks the surface of whichever organ is injured. Blunt force trauma can range from the simple hammer smashing a finger while driving nails to a driver’s head being injured by impacting something in a car accident.
Causes of Blunt Force Head Injury
The most common cause of blunt force head trauma is motor vehicle accidents. This is followed by sports injuries, physical assaults, and falls, according to the National Institutes of Health. Wearing protective headgear in sports and seat belts while driving can significantly reduce the cases of blunt force head injury. Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or bicycle can also greatly reduce the chance of head injury.
Types of Blunt Force Trauma Injury
Blunt force head trauma can produce two different types of injury, which are concussion and contusion. A concussion is caused by the shaking of the brain, while contusion results in a direct injury to the brain. In severe cases, the injury can also occur to the side of the brain opposite of the impact. This injury is known as contrecoup.
Contrecoup occurs when the head is in motion and suddenly strikes a stationary object as in a head-to-head collision in football or ahead to dashboard impact in a car crash. Loss of consciousness may occur from blunt force head trauma which may lead to additional brain damage according to braininjury.com. The effects of traumatic brain injuries may have a dramatic effect on normal brain function. These severe effects are often irreversible.
Effects of Blunt Force Head Trauma Injuries
When a person suffers a blunt force head trauma, symptoms may develop immediately or manifest slowly within a few hours, days or even weeks. In the case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the symptoms may take ten years or more to become apparent.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
- Partial paralysis involving one or more limbs
- Loss of consciousness
- Personality changes and irritability
- Drops in blood pressure
- Diminished coordination
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Severe headache
The long-term effects caused by traumatic brain injury may include speech and language problems, chronic headaches, changes or loss of vision, taste or smell and coma. The damage can be worsened by internal bleeding of the brain.
Care for the Victim of a Suspected Blunt Force Trauma Injury
If you find a person who you suspect is suffering from a blunt force head trauma, do not move them unless they are directly in harm’s way. Do not shake them in order to regain their consciousness or revive them from a daze. The timing in these cases is critical and a delay of minutes, in receiving proper medical treatment, can greatly affect the outcome. Get medical help immediately. Even if the victim insists they are fine; they may not be acting rationally due to shock.
Filing a Lawsuit Over Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many of those that suffer blunt force head trauma could have avoided an injury altogether had certain parties not acted negligently. For example, someone could be driving and have the right of way but someone making a right while trying to text on their phone and turn at the same time hits their broadside and causes them to suffer a head injury. The driver that caused the accident acted negligently because they knew that texting while driving put other drivers in danger yet they did so anyway causing an accident. Since traumatic brain injuries are so severe, someone harmed this way could seek compensation for the damages they suffered as a result by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance.
In the best-case scenario, a settlement can be reached that provides fair compensation that can cover all the damages suffered. Unfortunately, there needs to be a bit more work put towards this endeavor since insurance companies will do anything they can to limit the money they payout. This means gathering evidence of the at-fault party’s fault, the injuries suffered, and the damages caused in order to use as leverage when negotiating a settlement. Sometimes a settlement cannot be reached which means that a lawsuit is likely the only way to proceed. This process is much longer and demanding and will consist of a trial where the outcome is not as controllable as with a settlement. This is why it is imperative that those seeking compensation for traumatic brain injuries seek the assistance of an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney.
Possible Damages from a Blunt Force Head Trauma Injury
Should someone sustain a blunt force trauma injury to the head, then they may be able to receive compensation for various damages caused by the injury. It goes much farther than the price of a medical bill. A head injury has serious ramifications and since the damages are considered greater then the settlements are much larger as well to compensate for this.
The most obvious thing that someone liable for a blunt force trauma head injury provides compensation for is medical bills. This doesn’t mean just the bills for initial treatment but for ongoing care and treatment that usually accompanies such a serious injury for a lifetime. This includes medication, physical therapy, checkups, tests, etc.
Also, there are lost wages. A blunt force trauma head injury can knock someone out of work; sometimes permanently. If someone is out of work for only a short time then the lost wages are calculated based on the hourly wage and the hours the victim usually works. If someone is made unable to work then the situation is a bit more complicated. Suffering a blunt force injury to the head has the potential to cause long-term issues that can result in an inability or reduced ability to perform in one’s career. Many people lose career prospects due to traumatic brain injury symptoms which can lead to significantly reduced earning capacity since one may have to change positions at their job or abandon their career altogether. This as well can be considered a damage that may be claimed in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit.
Intense pain and suffering accompany a blunt force head trauma injury. There is a great degree of physical pain that can come with a blow to the head both in the immediate inflicting of the injury and with chronic pain long after. Mental anguish also accompanies many brain injuries since the symptoms can be extremely debilitating both physically and emotionally. Luckily, victims can receive monetary compensation for this based on the nature of the injury, its intensity, time knocked out of commission, etc. There is no exact mathematical formula to calculate pain and suffering damages and therefore they can vary widely depending on the case.
How a Brain Injury Attorney Can Help Your Case
A victim of a blunt force head injury should seek the advice of an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible. The injury may be the result of negligence or malice, in the case of an assault. The attorney can determine who is responsible. It may be another driver, the owner of the property, the manufacturer of a defective product, or many others. The cost of a traumatic head injury over a lifetime can be astronomical when future medical costs, loss of long-term income, rehabilitation, and other expenses are considered. The experienced brain injury attorney knows the true value of your case and will not settle for less.
Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Today
The brain injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have the resources available to front the cost of your case for as long as it takes to recover the damages you deserve for past, present, and future, medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation, career retraining (if you are capable of working) as well as pain and suffering. Reach out to Dolman Law today for a free consultation. There is no cost to you until you receive what is coming to you. Call 727-451-6900 or fill out the contact form on our website today.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765