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A car crash could result in minor injuries like bruises or minor cuts, or it could result in catastrophic personal injury—or worse. Likewise, a car accident could result in no injury at all.
Unfortunately, not every car accident injury is visible or obvious, even to the injured person.
A common car accident injury is whiplash. Most of us tend to think of whiplash as a neck or back injury, but you could suffer a brain injury from whiplash, even if your head does not make impact with another object.
A brain bleed—also called an intracranial or cerebral hemorrhage—is when blood leaks between the brain tissue and the skull into the brain itself. This is a serious injury that could lead to permanent brain damage or death.
There are three membranes where bleeding could happen.
|Epidural hemorrhage||Outermost layer||Between skull and dura mater|
|Subdural hemorrhage||Middle layer||Between dura mater and arachnoid|
|Subarachnoid hemorrhage||Innermost layer||Between arachnoid and pia mater|
A brain bleed restricts oxygen from reaching the brain and the blood pools outside or within the brain, which causes pressure in the skull. If the blood cannot flow properly, brain tissues become damaged. Within as few as three to four minutes, brain cells could die and the functions they control can be damaged. Symptoms of a brain bleed usually happen quickly and progress to a worse condition, which would lead to a life-threatening situation.
Can you survive a brain bleed? There is treatment available if provided quickly to minimize brain damage and improve the possibility of recovery.
Causes of a brain bleed
Any trauma to the head or brain could cause a brain bleed; this includes but is not limited to car accidents. While it could happen to anyone, there are some conditions that would make certain people more susceptible than others.
Conditions that make a person more likely to experience a brain bleed with head trauma include:
- High blood pressure
- Heavy drug use
- History of cerebral aneurysms
- Abnormal vein and artery connections
- Bleeding disorders
Symptoms of a brain bleed
Several symptoms could indicate a brain bleed. These include:
- Sudden or severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Fine motor skills difficulties
- Trouble understanding speech or speaking
- Balance changes
- Vision changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weakness, numbness or tingling in arms or legs, sometimes on a particular side
Of course, these symptoms can indicate other conditions, too. If you experience any of these, it’s best to call 911 immediately for help.
How a brain bleed is diagnosed
If your doctor suspects that you might be experiencing a brain bleed, they will evaluate your symptoms and perform a number of tests that can make a conclusive diagnosis.
You might have an MRI, CT scan, or other diagnostics. An angiogram is a procedure where a catheter is inserted into an artery and threads up to the brain. Once the catheter is in place, the doctor will inject dye that allows blood flow to be seen on an X-ray.
You could also have tests on your spinal fluid, including a lumbar puncture or cerebrospinal fluid exam.
Lasting effects of a brain bleed
If you survive a brain bleed, you might experience continued issues as a result. This could include difficulty with executive function, including speaking, reading or writing; memory loss; headaches; vision problems; numbness or weakness; partial paralysis; seizures; emotional problems or personality changes; confusion or loss of judgment; or headaches.
Can you file a lawsuit for a brain bleed?
If your brain bleed is because of an accident resulting from someone’s negligence, then you can sue the liable party for your damages.
Your lawsuit would be for the accident or injury that resulted in the brain bleed. For instance, you’d sue for negligence that caused a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, or other type of injury.
Types of damages you can recover for a brain bleed
“Damages” refers to the money you can receive from a personal injury lawsuit, either as a verdict or settlement award.
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to make a plaintiff whole. In other words, the plaintiff (injured person) is entitled to be restored to the financial position they would be in if the accident hadn’t happened.
If you suffered a brain bleed as a result of a defendant’s negligence, you can claim damages for costs that include:
- Medical treatment, including diagnostics and imaging, doctor or hospital visits, surgery, etc.
- Ongoing rehabilitation
- Home modifications and assistive devices
- Lost wages, either present or future loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering or emotional distress
- Wrongful death if you’re the survivor of a family member who died from a brain bleed
If you or a family member has suffered a brain bleed and believe you’re entitled to compensation, you can contact a personal injury lawyer for guidance.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation
Learn about the compensation (damages) you may be entitled to in your personal injury case.
Especially if the brain bleed leaves you permanently disabled and unable to return to work, it’s very important to consult a lawyer before accepting any insurance payout or settlement amount. Once you’ve accepted a settlement, you can’t go back and ask for more. It can be very difficult to estimate how much money you’ll need for up to a lifetime of expenses if you’re disabled and need to provide for yourself or your family.
Your lawyer is an expert at determining what a claim is worth, including costs related to your disability and how much you’re losing in earning capacity. They will also consult medical experts who can estimate your future treatment needs so those costs can be covered, as well.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today for assistance if you’re experiencing symptoms of a brain bleed or other issues related to a traumatic brain injury.
See our guide Choosing a personal injury attorney.
Injured and need a lawyer?
- Guide to traumatic brain injuries
- Resources to help after a brain injury
- How to recognize a brain injury and what you should do about it
- Concussions and auto accidents
- Rehabilitation and therapy after a brain injury
- Second impact syndrome and sports injury lawsuits
- Legal guide to brain death
- What is CTE?
- A loss of oxygen can lead to an anoxic brain injury
- Can you recover costs for the accident that caused a brain bleed?