Bleeding in the brain, or a brain hemorrhage, can occur as the result of a vehicle accident.
Those who have suffered such an injury could face a lifetime of severe disabilities. Whether you’re in a vehicle or on a motorcycle, if your head hits an object hard enough or shakes back and forth with enough force, brain damage can result. This includes bleeding in the brain, which can kill brain cells, possibly resulting in permanent disabilities or death. If you or a loved one suffered a brain hemorrhage in an accident in New Jersey, we can help protect your legal rights and seek compensation for your injuries.
The average brain weighs about 3.4 pounds and is made of extremely delicate, soft tissue floating in fluid within the skull. Underneath the skull there are three layers of membrane that cover, cushion and protect the brain. Brain tissue is soft and may be squeezed, pulled and stretched within limits.
If there’s sudden speeding up and slowing down of your body, such as in a vehicle crash, your head can lurch violently back and forth and allowing the brain to move around violently inside the skull, striking it, possibly resulting in injuries and internal bleeding. Brain injuries can also occur if your head directly strikes a hard object, such as the interior of your car, or if another vehicle, tree, post or guardrail intrudes into your car’s interior.
A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke. Brain hemorrhages are also called cerebral hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages or intracerebral hemorrhages. When blood from a damaged, bleeding artery irritates brain tissues, swelling results, known as cerebral edema. This pool of blood is a hematoma. It increases pressure on brain tissues, blood flow is reduced and brain cells die as a result. Unlike most cells in the body, brain cells don’t regenerate after an injury.
Bleeding can occur in many areas, including inside the brain; it can also happen between the brain and its covering membranes, between the covering’s layers, or between the skull and the brain’s covering.
Head trauma is the most common cause of bleeding in the brain for those younger than 50. Symptoms may take time to appear or may happen at the time of the accident. Symptoms can vary, depending on the location, severity and the amount of brain tissue impacted. If you were involved in an accident and show the follow symptoms, you may have suffered bleeding in or around your brain:
- Sudden, severe headache
- Seizures with no prior history of having had them
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Nausea or vomiting
- Decreased alertness or lethargy
- Changed vision
- Tingling or numbness
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty understanding speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty writing or reading
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Hand tremors
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of balance
- Abnormal sense of taste
Since these symptoms may not show at the time of the accident, it’s important that you be medically evaluated as soon as possible after an accident. This may allow prompt action by health care professionals that could limit the damage done by the bleeding.
To diagnose a brain hemorrhage, physicians may use any number of tests, including CT scans or MRIs, to look for internal bleeding or blood accumulation. A neurological exam or eye exam, which can show swelling of the optic nerve, may also be performed.
Treatment depends on the location, cause and severity of the hemorrhage. Surgery may help reduce swelling and prevent bleeding. Typically used medications include painkillers, corticosteroids or diuretics to reduce swelling and anticonvulsants to control seizures.
Long-term side effects can vary widely, depending on the location and severity of the brain hemorrhage.
- They may include loss of body function, loss of perception (including decreased or lost vision, hearing, smell and taste), personality change and cognitive limitations.
- A person may become totally or partially but permanently disabled.
- The person may be unable to work or to care for himself or family members.
- Rehabilitation efforts may make the accident victim more capable, but life-long support may also be needed.
In severe cases of limitations due to brain hemorrhages caused in vehicle accidents, the total damage awards as a result of legal action may be substantial. Insurance companies facing this situation will probably fight very hard to limit their financial exposure. If you or a family member suffered this kind of injury, dealing directly with an insurance company may play right into their hands; your statements may harm your legal claims, or you could waive your legal rights if you sign forms without knowing their true and complete meaning.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another party that resulted a brain hemorrhage, call the Law Offices of James C. DeZao at 1-855-432-2489 or fill out our contact form so we can talk about the accident, how the law may apply and how you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.