Traumatic brain injuries are so dangerous because they often aren’t visible to the eye, which means victims may not be aware they have occurred at all. Blood pooling between the surface of the brain and skull, which is known as a subdural hematoma, is one of those types of injuries that isn’t always apparent directly after an accident.
Subdural Hematoma Symptoms to Watch for Following an Accident
Blood vessels can break and lead to a life-threatening subdural hematoma in either an “open” wound that penetrates the skull or a “closed” wound when someone’s head strikes a solid object during an accident. While there must be some amount of force applied to cause the bleeding in the first place, it’s important to understand that subdural hematomas can occur even with a minor impact where the victim feels fine.
From slippery floors that aren’t properly cleaned to distracted or drunk driving, subdural hematomas can take place after victims are hurt in:
- Car accidents
- Crashes involving buses, trucks, or other large vehicles
- Head impacts during sporting events
- Intentional acts of violence, such as shaken baby syndrome or situations of domestic battery
- Motorcycle collisions
- Pedestrian accidents involving a vehicle crash
- Slip and fall accidents at either private residences or public locations
- Workplace accidents with falling objects
Symptoms may not start until days or weeks after the accident, which is one reason why anyone who suffers a head wound in any sort of accident needs to see a doctor immediately. Possible symptoms of a subdural hematoma caused by a blow to the head can include:
- Chronic headaches
- Convulsions and seizures
- Disorientation and mental confusion
- Exhaustion and lethargy
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea, with or without actual vomiting
- Numbness or feeling of muscle weakness in extremities
- Overall instability, problems with balance, and difficulty walking in a straight line
- Slurred or incoherent speech
- Vision difficulties
What to Do After Your Brain Injury
If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms and are diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, there are several important steps to immediately take to protect your legal rights and financial recovery. Your first order of business is to report the incident. Depending on the circumstances, that may mean filing a report with corporate if you were hurt at work or contacting law enforcement if you were hit in a car crash.
Your next step is to acquire what evidence you can, such as photographing the scene and gathering the contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident. From there, it is necessary to visit a doctor as soon as feasibly possible. Diagnosing a subdural hematoma typically involves a physical exam to check for symptoms of a brain injury, undergoing a blood test, and then having an MRI or CT scan performed.
Going through all those medical procedures increases the chances you will catch the problem early, which is crucial for two reasons. First and foremost is that brain surgery may be required as the main form of treatment. If the issue isn’t dealt with quickly, a subdural hematoma can lead to lifelong disability or even death.
The second reason to visit a medical professional is that you need a paper trail from your healthcare provider to show exactly when the hematoma was diagnosed and how it impacts your life. Having verifiable evidence for when the injury occurred is crucial to establishing liability and holding the at-fault party responsible for your damages.
With that information in hand, your brain injury attorney can thoroughly investigate the accident and help you file a lawsuit seeking compensation for:
- Hospital bills, surgery costs, and future medical expenses if you require additional treatment or therapy in the future
- Lost wages during your recovery period as well as lost earning potential in more severe brain injury cases
- Out-of-pocket expenses during your treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage if you were in a vehicle collision
Talk to an Experienced Virginia Brain Injury Lawyer About Your Injury
Invisible brain injuries like a subdural hematoma can radically upend your life and leave you both physically and financially devastated. Don’t wait to start the process of recovering financially after a serious head injury. You deserve to have a legal professional in your corner to stand up for your rights and tell your story in court.