Skull fractures are often severe injuries that usually require immediate medical treatment. If you suffered a skull fracture due to someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, you could be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Only an experienced injury attorney can tell you your legal options, so it is critical to seek help as soon as you are able.
In the following article, we will address the nature of skull fractures, their diagnoses, and treatments, and ultimately what it takes to recover from such a traumatic injury. The Sacramento and Roseville injury lawyers of The Sevey Law Firm want to make sure that our clients always understand the legal process and their rights, so we hope this is a helpful resource for you.
What is a Skull Fracture?
A skull fracture is a break in the cranial bone, the round area that comprises the top of our head. There are several types of skull fractures, yet they are all caused by one single incident: a blow or impact to the head that is severe enough to cause a fracture.
The nature of the fracture is dependent on where the blow occurred, the location of the injury, and the particular object which caused the injury. Further, a sharp object is more likely to penetrate the skull and lead to a concurrent brain injury. The types of fractures include:
- Closed Fracture: Also known as a simple fracture, this occurs when the skin covering the skull isn’t opened or cut;
- Open Fracture: Sometimes referred to as a compound fracture, this type of fracture occurs when the bone pierces the skin;
- Basal Fracture: This type of fracture happens around the bottom of the skull and near the eyes, ears or nose or at the rear of the skull near the spinal column;
- Depressed Fracture: This type of skull fracture causes the skull to indent or cave in and may likely cause subsequent brain injury.
These fractures occur when the victim suffers a blow to the head. This often happens in a car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, other types of blunt-force or sharp trauma.
Symptoms of Skull Fractures
Obviously, an open fracture may be immediately recognizable. Not all fractures are evident to the naked eye, however. Symptoms of a skull fracture may include:
- Bleeding from the eyes, ear or nose or from the fracture area;
- Bruising around the fracture site, or around the eyes or the ears;
- Pain (often severe) near the fracture site;
- Swelling at the site;
- And redness near the fracture site;
- Blood clots are also associated with skull fractures and head trauma; it is imperative that patients seek subsequent care to make sure no clots arise from the fracture.
These symptoms are strong indicators of a skull fracture. Some less severe symptoms may include a headache, vomiting, blurry vision, loss of balance, confusion or fainting. Immediate medical attention should be sought if any of these symptoms arise after an accident in which you suffered a blow to the head.
Diagnosing Skull Fractures
Some fractures are visible, and some require closer inspection to detect. Doctors can use a variety of examinations to determine the nature and extent of the skull fracture, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans.
With the advent of magnetic resonance imaging, doctors are now able to see both fractures and any damage to the surrounding tissue as well. With skull fractures, CAT scans are used because they can provide a three-dimensional image of the affected area.
Treatment of Skull Fractures
Some skull fractures, when the patient does not present a risk of any neurological damage, are treated the same day and only asked to return if a symptom occurs. Antibiotics are often the only thing a patient is prescribed for a closed minimal or basal fracture.
Frontal bone fractures will often require surgery. Depression fractures usually require surgery as well, as they rarely heal well on their own. Depression fractures also could result in more than just cosmetic issues; in fact, further injury to the brain may occur if the fracture is not treated.
Surgery may also be required if there is any pressure on the brain or if there is any jeopardy of cerebrospinal fluid leakage. During surgery, any loose pieces of bone that may have become unattached from the cranium can and often are removed and replaced in their original position.
Wire mesh may also be used to help reattach any loose pieces of skull material. Once the surgeon resets the bones, your skull injury should heal naturally. As with any procedure involving the head, you and your doctor should thoroughly discuss all surgical and non-surgical options.
Did You Suffer a Skull Fracture? Contact The Sevey Law Firm Today
As with any serious injury, it may take time and many examinations to determine the scope and impact of a skull fracture. While it may be true most skull fractures heal in a few months, and not all require surgery, any brain injury must be handled delicately and with an eye on what future care of the patient may entail.
At The Sevey Law Firm, our attorneys have the experience and resources that you need on your side if you suffered a severe head injury in an accident. We work hard to make sure that the responsible party pays for their negligence. While a serious head injury can potentially impact your life now and far into the future, we can make sure that you have the compensation you need to lessen the burden.
Time is limited to file an injury claim after a skull fracture or another serious head injury. Call us at (916) 788-7100 or fill out a contact form online to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.