An intracranial hematoma, commonly called a brain hemorrhage or brain bleed, occurs when blood from the brain collects in a victim’s skull. A brain bleed can be caused by a vehicle accident in which there is direct impact to the head or severe whiplash that knocks the brain back and forth against the inside of the skull, rupturing blood vessels. A brain bleed is a very serious, life-threatening injury that requires immediate medical treatment.
Types of Brain Bleeds
A brain bleed can fall into one of three categories:
An epidural hematoma takes place when head trauma ruptures a blood vessel between the dura mater and the skull, allowing a mass of blood to form and put pressure on the brain. The victim usually loses consciousness or goes into a coma. Without immediate treatment, an epidural hematoma can be fatal.
In a subdural hematoma, blood vessels burst between the outermost layer of the dura mater and the brain. If not immediately treated, the resulting hematoma that presses on the brain tissue can cause loss of consciousness or death as it grows larger. In an acute subdural hematoma, symptoms are evident immediately, whereas the symptoms of a subacute hematoma surface more slowly over days or weeks. A chronic subdural hematoma is less severe and characterized by even slower bleeding. Symptoms might not be evident for weeks or months.
An intracerebral hematoma occurs when blood gathers inside the brain tissues after head trauma or the rupture of an aneurysm. Brain tumors, high blood pressure, and genetic defects are also potential causes of an intracerebral hematoma.
Symptoms of Brain Hemorrhage
The early symptoms of a brain bleed include:
- Unequally dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Speech problems
- Mood Swings
- Sensitivity to light
- Drowsiness or passing out
- Temporary paralysis
A brain bleed that’s not immediately diagnosed and treated can put increasing pressure on the brain and cause memory loss, lethargy, seizures, or unconsciousness. Even if you have no symptoms after an accident involving head trauma, you should seek medical attention right away. A diagnostic test such a CT scan, MRI, or angiogram can reveal a brain bleed before it becomes symptomatic. Early diagnosis and treatment can literally make the difference between life and death.
Possible Treatments for Brain Bleed Injuries
Treating a brain bleed generally requires one of two types of surgery:
- Surgical drainage involves the suction of blood through a small hole drilled in the skull to relieve the hematoma’s pressure on the brain.
- A craniotomy is a more radical procedure in which a section of the skull is actually cut away. After the collected blood has been removed and the pressure on the brain reduced, the removed section of the skull is replaced.
Extreme procedures like these are astronomically expensive and generally require a long period of recovery during which the brain bleed victim cannot work.
Your Legal Options After a Car Crash Brain Bleed
If you suffer a brain bleed as a result of an accident caused by someone else, you have some legal options for recovering your losses. If you can prove liability, the at-fault driver who injured you could be held responsible for your damages, which include medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. Your first step toward recovering compensation will generally be a damage claim filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Because a brain bleed claim is so expensive, however, the insurer is likely to look for any way to dispute, devalue, or deny your claim in order to save money for its shareholders.
If the insurer will not offer a reasonable settlement, you may file a lawsuit against the defendant and seek justice in court. Even on your best day, though, you’re probably no match for the insurance company’s lawyers, who are well trained and well paid to offer you as little money as possible for your damages. When you’re focused on recovering from a brain bleed, you’re not likely to pursue your claim successfully on your own. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you seek a fair recovery by:
- Investigating your crash to prove liability
- Organizing and presenting your medical evidence
- Projecting your future medical needs
- Monetizing your pain and suffering to evaluate your claim
- Demanding fair compensation from the insurer
- Negotiating a reasonable award
- Filing a lawsuit and fighting for you in court if a fair settlement is not offered
- Filing a third-party suit if more than one defendant shares liability for your damages
Contact us online or call us at 540-341-0007 to schedule your free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.