Brian White | January 17, 2021 | Houston Personal Injury Attorney
Blunt force head trauma is one of three types of injuries that can lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Almost any kind of accident can cause blunt force head trauma. Whether your head hits your side door during a car accident or strikes the floor after a slip-and-fall accident, the blunt force can bruise your head, fracture your skull, and injure your brain.
Here is the information that you need to know when it comes to the causes and effects of blunt force head trauma and how you may be able to receive compensation for your injury.
What is Blunt Force Head Trauma?
Blunt force head trauma is one of three categories for common brain injuries.
The three types of head trauma that cause brain injury are:
- Penetrating Head Injury: This occurs when an object penetrates the skull and physically enters the brain. An example would be a construction site accident in which a nail accidentally penetrates the skull and brain of a worker.
- Blunt Force Head Injury: When the skull is battered without being penetrated, it is known as a blunt force head injury. A blunt force injury can bruise the brain.
- Asphyxiation: During asphyxiation, the brain is injured by a lack of oxygen. For example, a blood clot can deprive a part of the brain of the blood and the oxygen it carries.
Blunt force head trauma is probably the most common of these head injuries. This is because blunt force head trauma can happen almost any day, under almost any circumstances. For example, you could suffer from a blunt force head trauma while playing sports, falling down the stairs, or crashing your car.
Common Causes of Blunt Force Head Trauma
Blunt force head trauma can have many causes, including:
In a direct impact, the head collides with an object. The object might be propelled toward the head, such as a falling object at a construction site. Alternatively, the head might strike a stationary object. Examples of this would include hitting your head on the floor during a slip-and-fall accident or a steering wheel during a car accident.
Acceleration and Deceleration
The blunt force in this case comes from the motion of the head. As the head whips backward and forward, the brain sloshes inside the skull. This type of blunt force head trauma can happen in car accidents when a rapid deceleration causes the head to jerk forward or backward.
The pressure wave caused by an explosion can cause a blunt force head injury. The pressure wave causes a pressure differential inside and outside of the skull. This pressure change can cause the brain to swell or even bleed. This type of blunt force head trauma can happen in workplace accidents involving explosives.
These kinds of head injuries can happen in all kinds of situations, some of which may lead to a personal injury claim, while others will not.
Compensation Recovery for Blunt Force Head Trauma
In some situations, you may not be able to recover compensation for your blunt force head injuries. For example, if you were injured while playing sports, you could probably be barred from recovering compensation by a legal doctrine called “assumption of risk.”
Under this doctrine, willing participation in a dangerous activity provides an affirmative defense against liability for any injuries that occur. Thus, a recreation center probably cannot be sued when you suffer a head injury while playing football. If the injury occurred in the normal course of a football game or practice, you probably assumed the risk of injury.
However, many other situations can create liability, including:
Vehicle collisions can cause blunt force head trauma in many ways. You could strike your head on the interior of the vehicle, suffer a concussion as your head whips about during an accident, or strike your head on the road after being ejected from the vehicle.
Blunt force head trauma occurs frequently during motorcycle accidents. Even if you are wearing a helmet, the head striking the pavement could cause a blunt force head injury.
A slip and fall, a trip and fall, or a fall from a height can result in a blunt force head injury if the head impacts the ground, railing, or other stationary objects as you fall.
Intentional acts like assault can support a personal injury claim. For example, if someone hit you during a bar fight in which you were an innocent bystander, you could seek compensation for your blunt force head trauma.
These are just a few examples of the situations in which a blunt force head trauma might call for a personal injury claim. You should consider speaking to a lawyer if someone negligently or intentionally causes an object to strike your head.
Effects of Blunt Force Head Trauma
Blunt force head trauma can lead to a temporary or permanent brain injury.
Brain injuries from blunt force head traumas fall into two categories:
A contusion is a bruise. When an object impacts the brain or the brain impacts the inside of the skull, blood vessels can break. Blood builds up and leads to a localized contusion. A contusion can sometimes heal on its own, but recovery can take a long time. In other cases, people with brain contusions will have lifelong problems caused by the accident.
A concussion is a mild, but widespread brain injury. It occurs when the brain experiences pressure from sloshing around inside the skull, an impact, or an explosion. People with concussions usually recover after a week or two. Some people with concussions experience lingering symptoms that last beyond a few weeks.
Diagnosis of a contusion or concussion usually requires medical imaging with an MRI.
Common Symptoms of Brain Injury from Blunt Force Head Trauma
The symptoms of a brain injury resulting from blunt force trauma can vary.
However, some of the more common symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Speech impairment
- Memory loss
- Behavioral changes
- Shortened attention span
- Loss of coordination
Most of these symptoms will clear up on their own. However, some people with brain injuries from blunt force head trauma may require extensive physical therapy, speech therapy, and psychological counseling to recover.
Compensation for Blunt Force Head Trauma
Someone who suffers a brain injury from blunt force head trauma can incur substantial medical expenses. A TBI might also prevent a person from working. As a result, partnering with a personal injury lawyer to recover compensation could help you to meet your basic living needs and cover the medical expenses that you incur.