Our brains are incredibly sensitive organs, and although they are protected by bone, fluid, and multiple membrane layers, they can easily be injured. When someone suffers a severe head injury, they can damage and rupture blood vessels in and around their brain, which can cause a brain bleed. This can seriously damage brain tissue, which can lead to severe health complications and even result in death.
Traumatic brain injuries like brain bleeds can cause victims to experience severe health complications, some of which can be fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered from a head injury as a result of another person’s negligence, you may be able to sue them for compensation.
The Houston personal injury lawyers at Reich & Binstock can help you file a claim and receive compensation from the person responsible for your injuries. Call us at (713) 622-7271 to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.
What Is a Brain Bleed?
A brain bleed occurs when the blood vessels in the brain burst, causing blood to leak in and around the brain. As the blood pools, it can create pressure inside the skull, which, if left untreated, can cause brain damage, breathing problems, paralysis, and even death. Brain bleeds can be caused by various factors, including head trauma, high blood pressure, brain tumors, aneurysms, and blood-thinning medications.
Types of Brain Bleeds
There are a few different types of brain bleeds, categorized based on where the blood is located. These types include subdural, epidural, and intracerebral.
A subdural hematoma is a brain bleed that occurs when the blood vessels between two protective layers outside of the brain burst. The brain is protected by a few layers: the skull, the meninges, and the cerebrospinal fluid. The meninges are also separated into layers: the dura mater, which is the outermost layer; the arachnoid mater, which is the middle layer; and the pia mater, which is the innermost layer. A subdural hematoma occurs in the space between the dura mater and the arachnoid mater.
Subdural hematomas are the most common type of brain bleeds and are often caused by a sudden blow to the head. They can also be further classified based on the severity of the brain bleed. Below are the three different types of subdural hematomas.
- Acute subdural hematoma – the most life-threatening of the three kinds and will begin to show symptoms immediately.
- Subacute subdural hematoma – may not show symptoms for days or weeks after a head injury.
- Chronic subdural hematoma – most likely to appear in older people, and symptoms may not present themselves for weeks or months following an accident.
An epidural hematoma occurs when the blood vessels between the skull bone and the dura burst and begin leaking blood. These can occur when a skull fracture damages a blood vessel, causing bleeding.
Unlike subdural and epidural hematomas, intracerebral hematomas occur when blood vessels inside the brain burst and begin leaking blood. The blood can collect in and around the internal tissues of the brain or underneath the skull.
What Are the Early Symptoms of Brain Bleed After Hitting Head?
Since brain bleeds are internal injuries, it can be hard to know when you have one. There are, however, some symptoms to look out for after a head injury.
Some of the early symptoms of internal bleeding in the brain include:
- Sudden, severe headaches (like “thunderclap headaches,” which can be a sign of a subdural hematoma)
- Blurry vision
- Stiff neck
If you begin experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care. Remember, even a mild head injury can cause brain damage, so it’s important to seek medical attention to be safe.
What Are More Serious Symptoms of a Brain Bleed?
In addition to those early symptoms, here are some of the more severe symptoms of a brain bleed:
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of consciousness or coma
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Paralysis, particularly on one side of the body
If you or a loved one has started experiencing one or more of these symptoms after a head injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible. These symptoms could be indicative of a severe brain injury.
What Causes Head Injuries and Brain Bleeds?
Severe head injuries can be caused by a variety of things and situations, including motor vehicle accidents, sports accidents, acts of violence, and fall accidents. Brain bleeds can also be caused by various factors, including head injuries, bleeding disorders, and blood thinners.
Brain Bleed Risk Factors
There are a few risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood of suffering from a brain bleed. These risk factors include being over the age of 75, being on blood thinning medications, using recreational drugs like cocaine, and having high blood pressure.
However, just because someone is not at a high risk of a medical condition doesn’t mean they are immune to it. For example, while older adults are more likely to suffer from a brain bleed, young children can suffer from subdural hematomas due to child abuse.
When to See a Doctor After a Head Injury
In addition to the brain bleed symptoms listed above, you should absolutely seek immediate treatment from a medical professional if you:
- Have an open wound on your head from trauma
- Have a clearly fractured skull bone
- Lose consciousness after a head injury
As a general rule of thumb, if you have suffered from head trauma, you should seek medical attention, even if you do not think you have a traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries can be catastrophic and life-threatening, so it’s better to be overly cautious about head injuries.
How Are Brain Bleeds Diagnosed?
When doctors suspect someone is suffering from brain bleeding, they’ll have the patient undergo head imaging like a CT scan or an MRI. These can help identify things like a skull fracture or subdural hematoma after suffering head trauma. They may also run some blood tests to see how well their blood clots.
Brain Bleed Treatment Options
Doctors can treat a brain bleed in a few ways. One of the most common ways doctors treat subdural hematomas is by drilling into or removing part of the skull to drain blood and relieve intracranial pressure. Doctors can also surgically repair a fractured skull bone.
If the patient only suffered from a minor head injury, doctors may just closely monitor them and allow the brain to heal on its own. Doctors may also prescribe patients medications to promote blood clotting.
Who Is Liable for a Brain Injury?
Liability in a brain injury case depends on whose actions were directly responsible for the accident. For example, if a person slips and falls on another person’s property, the property owner may be found liable for that person’s brain injury. If a person is in a car accident with a drunk driver, that drunk driver could be deemed financially responsible for the victim’s injuries. If a patient is having a brain tumor removed and suffers from a brain bleed, the medical professionals who were doing the surgery could be found negligent and guilty of medical malpractice.
In some situations, however, no one may be liable for a person’s brain injury. If someone suffers from a brain bleed as a result of playing football, they may be responsible for their own sports injuries.
What Compensation Can You Get for a Brain Bleed After Head Injury?
If you or someone you love has suffered from a brain bleed due to negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the parties responsible for the head injury. Victims of head injuries can recover compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
Should I Hire an Attorney After a Severe Head Injury?
Yes, if you or a family member has suffered from a serious head injury, you should hire an attorney who can help you seek compensation. The Houston personal injury lawyers at Reich & Binstock are prepared to help victims of traumatic brain injuries receive fair compensation and seek justice.
Contact a Head Injury Lawyer at Reich & Binstock Today
Head injuries can lead to serious, life-altering, and life-threatening health complications. That’s why it’s so important that victims of negligence receive fair compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has suffered from a subdural hematoma or another type of brain bleed due to someone else’s negligence, call the Houston law professionals at Reich & Binstock.
We help victims of negligence receive compensation so that they can spend less time focusing on medical bills and other expenses and spend more time healing from their physical–and emotional–injuries. Call us at (713) 622-7271 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert attorneys.