Brain Bleed From Car Accident: What You Need To Know
September 17, 2020 by Steven M. Gursten
A brain bleed from a car accident can cause permanent brain damage or death. The trauma causes blood vessels in a person’s head to rupture and the blood puts life-threatening pressure on the person’s brain. Symptoms of a brain bleed may not appear immediately. This can create a false impression that the person is not injured.
Seeking prompt medical attention and treatment after a car accident for any suspected traumatic brain injury, and especially for a suspected brain bleed, is crucial. Prompt medical attention and treatment can literally be a matter of life or death. The longer bleeding goes undiagnosed and untreated in the brain, the more damage it can cause. Increasing pressure on the brain can cause loss of consciousness, an inability to breathe, coma, serious traumatic brain injury or death.
Delay in seeking immediate medical attention for a brain bleed poses a grave danger. Because the bleeding within a person’s skull may increase slowly and gradually, the symptoms of the person’s injury may not become known for hours or even days after the person was injured in a car crash. It is also entirely possible for a person to appear perfectly “fine” in the immediate aftermath of having suffered a serious head injury in a car accident.
This is known as the “ talk and die syndrome ” situation that can occur with a slow brain bleed. It describes the tragic circumstance where a motor vehicle crash victim and observers never fully realize the car accident victim has suffered a brain injury. This causes a delay in seeking immediate medical care, unknowingly losing precious time that may have saved health and lives.
What is a brain bleed from a car accident?
A brain bleed from a car accident occurs when the trauma of a car crash causes a person’s brain to whip backward and forward, violently striking against the front and back of the skull. The thrashing about of the brain causes blood vessels to rupture, allowing blood to collect between the brain and skull.
Why is a brain bleed from a car accident so serious?
A brain bleed from a car accident is serious and potentially life threatening because the blood that collects between the brain and skull puts pressure on the brain which can result in loss of consciousness, an inability to breathe or control blood flow, coma, permanent brain damage or death.
Symptoms of a brain bleed
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms for a brain bleed after a car accident – either immediately after or in the hours and days that follow a blow to the head after a car crash – then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible:
Severe headache (that starts suddenly and is located near the back of the head)
Sudden loss of or decreased consciousness/alertness
Difficulty with or loss of movement (paralysis)
Loss of feeling
Diagnosis and Testing
Your doctor or the specialist to whom your doctor refers you will conduct a physical examination and likely order one or more of the following diagnostic tests to determine if you have suffered a brain bleed:
Depending on the extent of the bleeding and the pressure on the brain – as well as any damage that may have already occurred – treatment for a brain bleed can involve surgery. The two likely procedures are:
Burr hole trephination (or surgical drainage) – This involves drilling a small hole in the skull over the area of the brain bleed and suctioning out the blood through the hole to relieve pressure on the brain.
Craniotomy – This involves removing (and later replacing) a section of the skull to gain better access to the area of the brain bleed so the blood can be removed and intracranial pressured reduced.
Depending on when your brain bleed is diagnosed, the severity of your brain bleed, the nature and success of your treatment and whether any neurological issues have surfaced, your recovery process may include occupational and physical therapy.
What to do for a brain bleed from a car accident
If you have suffered a brain bleed from a car accident, follow these steps:
Get medical help immediately: Time is of the essence for any type of head trauma or brain injury, but it is even more important in any brain injury that involves a suspected brain bleed. When it comes to properly diagnosing and treating a brain bleed after a car accident, the sooner a person gets the proper diagnostic tests and medical treatment, the better the chances they have of preventing a potentially more serious and permanent brain injury. In fact, it could mean the difference between life and death. Left undiagnosed and untreated, this injury can be fatal. As an injury lawyer, I always advise people that the sooner they can get the necessary and appropriate medical care, the sooner they can get back on the road to good health and a full recovery. Never is this advice more important and more true than it is with any type of injury to the brain, such as a brain bleed.
Diagnostic testing – It is imperative that you get brain imaging immediately. A brain bleed can grow rapidly and become life-threatening quickly.
Inform your auto insurance company about your automobile crash. If you live in Michigan, you must make sure to include this in your application for No-Fault benefits , which is also referred to as your “written notice of injury” – which must be given to your No-Fault auto insurance company “within 1 year after the accident.” (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4)). Treatment for a brain bleed can be extremely expensive, so it is very important to inform your insurance company and properly set up a claim.
Do not sign any settlements, releases, or waivers related to your automobile crash: Until you have talked with an experienced attorney, do not sign any settlements, releases, or waivers that are presented to you by your auto insurance company, the at-fault driver’s auto insurer or any other insurance companies or persons. In this regard, it is often very helpful to talk with an experienced brain injury attorney after seeking medical care. Most experienced brain injury lawyers have helped people who have suffered a brain bleed after a car accident. Unfortunately, most personal injury lawyers have not, so consulting with an attorney who understands the brain, brain injuries and the damage that can be done by a brain bleed and is also familiar with Michigan No-Fault insurance and litigating vehicle crashes is especially important. The initial call is always free so at the very least you will be informed as to what your own No-Fault insurance company is responsible to pay and what medical help and wage loss you are entitled to. An attorney can also help you review your medical records as well as the medical treatment and care you’re receiving to make sure your bills are getting paid and what your case might be worth if your pain and disability was
Can you sue for a brain bleed injury?
Yes. You can sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation as a result of your collision-related injuries. Additionally, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver for other economic damages, such as excess and future medical bills and lost wages.
Finally, If your own No-Fault auto insurance company refuses to pay for – or cuts-off – No-Fault benefits related to your medical treatment and care or wage loss for a brain bleed after a car accident, then you can sue for unpaid, overdue medical bills, attendant care, medical mileage, replacement services and lost wages because your injury has prevented you from returning to work.
Need help finding the right lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law first
If you have been injured in an automobile crash and would like to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.