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Diagnosing Skull Fracture After an Automobile Accident in Brooklyn, New York

July 11, 2019 Brain Injury,Car Accidents,Motorcycle Accidents

If somebody loses control of their car and the vehicle suddenly comes to a halt, their body still remains in momentum and keeps moving.

This is precisely why it is vital to strap yourself to a seat belt whenever you are in a moving vehicle. However, this is not the complete solution as seat belts cannot provide adequate protection for your head and upper torso.

If a vehicle is overturned or is rotated in awkward positions, then it may lead to severe injuries to a person’s head. The head may get crushed against steering wheel, windshield or the door. As these collisions could involve a large amount of force, they may cause skull fractures and other severe head or brain injuries in Brooklyn, New York.

What is a Fractured Skull?

Skull Fracture

A skull is made up of a large number of bones such as the temporal bone, the frontal bone, the occipital bone and the parietal bone, among others. If you sustain a skull fracture, then one or more of these bones may break.

Skull fractures can occur in a variety of ways. A linear fracture forms a single fracture line and it goes from one area of the skull to the other. The comminuted fracture involves several bones, some of which may even float freely in the brain.

In case of a depressed skull fracture, the pieces of free floating bones may be pushed into brain tissues, leading to brain damage. A compound skull fracture is an extremely serious condition and may involve rupture of the bone.

Symptoms of a Fractured Skull: Brooklyn Auto Accident

Any fracture in the skull generally results in a feeling of sharp pain in the head. The exact location of the headache may help in pinpointing the site of the fracture. The fractured skull bone and the surrounding area will also likely have bruising and swelling.

In the case of open skull fractures occurring in a vehicle accident in Brooklyn, NY, the fracture may be accompanied by a laceration of the forehead or the scalp.

The laceration may increase the risk of infection and as the skull cradles the brain, it may also cause brain infections including encephalitis or meningitis.

The skull fracture may also involve the damage to the dura which covers the brain and contains the cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid may leak when the dura is damaged. This type of leakage may occur through nose or ears and offers a solid sign that there is a fracture in the skull.

The Severity of a Fractured Skull Injury in a Car or Motorcycle Accident

Many auto accident related skull fractures may lead to internal bleeding in the brain. They may also cause subdural hematoma or epidural hematoma, which needs to be addressed to in a timely manner. The broken bone may have to be removed surgically. Otherwise the injury may cause pressure in the brain, leading to further damage.

Many types of skull fractures do not lead to hematomas but remain depressed, causing direct damage to the brain.

The patient may show various symptoms such memory, loss, focal neurological deficit including paralysis of a limb, loss of consciousness or confusion. Some of these symptoms may be caused by brain bruising or swelling and may subside after a while, whereas others may become permanent.

Following are some of the key signs of a fracture in the skull occurring as a result of an auto accident in Brooklyn, NY:

  • Bleeding around the eyes, battle signs behind the ears, bruises in these areas.
  • Altered pupil size.
  • Issues in maintaining balance.
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Changes in vision
  • Vomiting
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

If there is any such sign, then it may be the indication of a fracture in the skill. In these types of cases, an immediate medical action is recommended so that the damage may be controlled.

Medical Tests for a Fractured Skull in Brooklyn, New York

There are various types of tests which may be used for detecting a fracture in the skull. A skull fracture is a serious medical condition and generally accompanies a TBI or traumatic brain injury. Following are the main tests which are used for diagnosis:

  • X-ray
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

These tests have their pros and cons and therefore should be administered in a proper manner to avoid causing any further damage to the delicate brain tissue.

X-Ray in the Diagnosis of a Fractured Skull

An x-ray is one of the most widely used and oldest imaging techniques to identify fractures. This technique works on the basis of bone density. Bones are highly dense material and thus any fracture become highly apparent in x-ray images. The following types of skull fractures may be detected using this tool:

  • Linear skull fractures
  • Basilar skull fractures
  • Diastatic skull fractures

Should I Be Worried about Skull Fracture after a Motorcycle Accident in Brooklyn, NY?

If there is a possibility of a skull fracture, then x-ray images should be taken from lateral, anterior and posterior views.

This way, compound or linear fractures may be detected. Additionally, the existence of a foreign item like a fragment of the bone in the brain may also be detected. Nowadays, CT scans are also used for this purpose and this tool may also show extent of brain damage or inner bleeding due to the fracture.

Once the bleeding is detected and the size and the area of injury is determined then a burr hole may placed in the skull. This is done to drain any hematoma in the brain. CT scan is helpful in detecting bleeding, bruises and bone scanning.

How Common are Skull Fractures?

Each year, there are nearly 42,409 cases of skull fractures admitted to the hospitals in the US. Many of these cases are of open head damage, representing nearly 0.02 percent of the total population or 1 in 6,413 people.

The biggest risk associated with a broken skull is the closeness of the skull to the brain. Brain injury is the primary reason behind the high rate of mortality and morbidity associated with these fractures.

Automobile accidents are one of the biggest reasons behind skull fractures. The driver or passenger may strike their head on the roof of the vehicle or may have hit the dashboard.

In many cases, the victim may be ejected from their seat, hitting the ground or the windshield. A skull may also be injured upon a person falling from a height or from playing any sports.

A fractured skull may be caused by a head injury. If these injuries are not treated promptly then they may cause long term complications in the brain, or even death. In many cases, the patient or their family may have a case for compensation if the accident and injury occurred due to another’s fault.

A fracture in the skull may also be caused by child abuse and as a result of other forms of physical violence. Other penetrating injuries like an injury by a gunshot may also lead to fracture in skull.

Types of Skull Fractures

Any break in the skull may be referred to as a skull fracture. Some of the most prominent types of skull fractures are simple skull fractures, wherein the bone breaks apart but does not cause any damage to the skin.

Compound skull fractures lead to the breaking of the bone and the damage to the skin due skull bone splintering. Linear skull fractures involve the damage to a cranial bone and the fracture looks like a thin line.

Penetrating skull fractures are caused by an object piercing through the skull. These types of fractures cause localized and distinct injury to various tissues in the brain. They are typically severe in their nature and take a long time to heal.

Brooklyn Vehicle Accident: Skull Fracture Complications

Automobile Accident

Skull fractures in a motor vehicle accident in Brooklyn, NY may be caused in a variety of ways. The driver’s head may smash against the dashboard, steering wheel, vehicle roof or door, leading to fractured skull. In other cases, the victim may be ejected from the vehicle and may get fractured skull upon striking the ground.

The major risk associated with a broken skull is the proximity of the skull to the brain. Minor injuries may resolve in a few days and may not require medical intervention.

However, in the case of major injuries, it is important to have quick and timely medical attention as these fractures may cause many complications including brain damage, bruising, infection, and bleeding in the brain.

These internal head wounds may cause confusion, loss of consciousness, memory lapses or limb paralysis. Some of these conditions may be temporary while others may linger on for a long time or may become permanent.

Basal Skull Fracture – A Common Occurrence in Auto Accidents in Brooklyn, NY

A vehicle accident in Brooklyn may cause many types of injuries, and basal skull fracture is among the most serious injuries. The victim’s skull may experience fractures in several places including its base. The base of the skull acts as a floor for the skull cavity. This is the place which cradles brain in the head.

A basal skull fracture is considered highly risky as it may turn into a traumatic brain injury. If a part of the skull is broken off and it crashes with a brain tissue or any blood vessels in the brain, then the chances of a brain traumatic injury happening are quite high.

This may further lead to an intracerebral hemorrhage or a cerebral contusion, causing several other complications or even death.

Signs and Symptoms of Basal Skull Fractures

The battle sign and the halo signs are two major indications of a basal skull fracture. If it is believed that a person has suffered a basal skull fracture then they should be administered a CT scan for confirming the injury.

Once the existence of fracture is confirmed, the steps must be taken to heal the injury. If the fracture is displaced, then there may be requirement of surgery for putting the bones back to their place. However, if the fracture is not displaced then the patient should be kept under close scrutiny to watch out for complications.

A Case Study: Skull Fracture Diagnosis after a Vehicle Accident

Healthcare professionals look out for a variety of symptoms and signals for detecting basal skull fracture. These symptoms were studied in a recently published case study.

A young male patient incurred a major vehicle accident which involved his vehicle rolling over multiple times after getting off the road. The resulting 911 call was promptly responded to by emergency medical professionals.

The victim was assessed at the site of the accident. He was found to be in critical condition and was successfully intubated for the purpose of preserving the airway. The preservation of airway was important as otherwise the patient may have choked and died.

The medical professionals stabilized the vital signs of the victim after the successful intubation. It was noted that the patient was wearing a seatbelt. He was taken to the local hospital, where he was properly examined.

He was going in and out of consciousness but all of his four limbs were mobile. The physical examination of the patient showed blood coming from his right ear.

The further investigation revealed a perforation in the patient’s eardrum and the blood was oozing out of the ear canal. The blood was soaked into the bed sheet and left a halo pattern, thus named the halo sign. This is a major signal of a basal skull fracture. Another major signal is the battle sign.

The battle sign refers to the bruises on the mastoid bone. However, it may not be revealed by the physical examination. CT scans may be used for confirming such fractures.

Contact Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyers for Head Injury Cases including Cranium and Skull Fractures

If you or someone close to you has undergone a serious head trauma or suffered a fracture in the skull in Brooklyn, New York due to a vehicle accident, then it is natural to have concerns about your current and future medical care costs and your ability to work and lead a normal life.

We have a team of experienced auto accident skull fracture lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff law firm who understand all your requirements and will offer you the proper direction.

Our legal team has extensive knowledge and experience in representing people who suffered complex head injuries and are seeking damages from the at-fault party. We are committed to providing you the best legal guidance and help you win the maximum possible compensation.

If you are searching for a Brooklyn, New York law firm with long experience in dealing with brain injury and skull fracture cases, then you should contact us.

We will provide you a no-strings attached case evaluation which will help you decide whether to pursue the case further. You may call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff at 212-697-9280, or may contact us online today.