A serious car accident can result in severe trauma to the head. When you hit your head in a California accident with a great deal of force, it’s possible that you’ve experienced a skull fracture. A skull fracture may accompany a brain injury, but the brain isn’t always damaged when the skull is fractured.
Types of Skull Fractures
There are several different types of skull fractures including the following:
- Simple skull fracture – Also called a closed skull fracture, a simple skull fracture consists of a break in the skull bone, but no damage to the skin.
- Compound skull fracture – Also called an open skull fracture, this type of fracture involves tear or loss of skin and splintering of the skull bone.
- Penetrating skull fracture – An object pierces the skull and injures the brain tissue.
- Depressed skull fracture – The fracture causes the skull to indent and sink into the brain cavity.
- Linear skull fracture – This is a break in the skull bone that resembles a thin line which doesn’t move the bone or cause a depression or splintering.
Signs and Symptoms of a Skull Fracture
If you suffer an open skull fracture or a depressed skull fracture, it’s pretty clear that your skull has been seriously injured. However, it is possible that if your fracture is closed, you might not realize right away that you have experienced a skull fracture.
If this happens, your symptoms may include:
- Headaches or pain at the site of the injury
- Swelling at the trauma site
- Warmth or redness at the trauma site
- Bleeding from nose or ears
- Bruising under the eyes or behind the ears
- Change in pupil size
- Slurred speech
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance or loss of consciousness
Complications of a Skull Fracture
If you experience any of these symptoms days or weeks after an auto accident, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible. Having a fractured skull increases the risk of other complications, and you may not realize how seriously you have been injured at first.
If the fracture occurred at the back of the skull, it’s possible for it to tear the layers of tissue that cover the brain. This increases the risk of bacteria entering the wound which can cause a serious infection. You could also experience a contusion, which is bruising of the brain tissue, or a hematoma, which is bleeding in or around the brain.
Treatment of Skull Fractures
Treatment of a skull fracture will depend on the type of fracture and how seriously injured you have been, including whether there has also been a brain injury. The severity of your skull fracture will depend on the location and type of fracture. Many skull fractures will heal on their own over the course of several weeks.
Your doctor may recommend observation in the hospital for a period of time. Skull fractures that are severe may require surgery, particularly if the position of the fractured skull has the potential of causing future brain damage.
After an Accident
If you have been in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence and have experienced a fractured skull, it’s important to consult an expert in the field of personal injury law. A fractured skull can lead to extensive medical bills. It may also cause you to lose wages and to experience a great deal of pain and suffering.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Kuvara Law Firm using the form on this page and one of our lawyers will contact you to discuss your California accident and see how we can help.