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Undetected Head Trauma After a Car Accident

The symptoms of mild head trauma after a car accident may take time to develop, making it difficult to prove the injuries were caused by the accident.

head trauma

The physical injury caused by an automobile accident will vary in type and severity. One of the most common injuries seen are head traumas and brain injuries. While most of these types of injuries are immediately obvious, the symptoms of milder head traumas may take a few days to develop, making it difficult to show how it was caused by your accident. Despite the injury not being immediately detectable, you may be entitled to pursue compensation if the accident was not your fault. Ask a St. Louis car accident attorney to review your records to see if you have a valid claim.

Acute Subdural Hematoma

A common brain trauma suffered in a car accident is a subdural hematoma. This is when a blow to the head causes bleeding inside of the skull on the surface of the brain. Severe subdural hematomas and those left untreated can be life-threatening. The symptoms of an acute subdural hematoma will be evident almost immediately and require medical attention right away. These may include a loss of consciousness, seizures, vision problems, and slurred speech or the inability to speak at all.

The emergency room staff will confirm the subdural hematoma with an imaging test such as an MRI or CT scan. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, surgery to the area may be ordered to relieve swelling on the brain. Even after treatment, the car accident victim could suffer long-term consequences with permanent muscle weakness or seizures.

Chronic Subdural Hematoma

A mild or chronic subdural hematoma is common in low-impact car accident such as a rear end collision. Similar to whiplash, the symptoms may not appear right away, causing the victim to go home thinking they are fine rather than getting checked at the emergency room. As the condition worsens undetected, the victim will begin to feel the same symptoms as seen with an acute subdural hematoma, with the addition of headaches and numbness in various parts of the body.

Case Study – Undetected Head Trauma

By this point, days may have passed since the car accident, making it possible for the defense to claim the injury is unrelated. This was the case with a Missouri driver whose mild subdural hematoma was diagnosed days after being rear-ended at an intersection. In order for her to receive the $110,000 settlement that she was entitled to for her medical care, a car accident attorney had to provide expert medical testimony and an accident re-constructionist to show how the injury was directly related to the crash.

St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney

It makes no difference what the extent of damage to your car is to how you feel after an accident – you should always seek immediate medical attention. Emergency room physicians are trained to look for certain injuries after an accident even if no immediate symptoms are present. If you believe that you have lost your chance at compensation for delaying medical treatment, talk with a St. Louis car accident attorney before giving up your right to pursue it. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.

Updated: February 8, 2019