Anytime a Texas resident walks away from an accident, they probably feel lucky. Some people believe that since they have no visible signs of injury they are fine. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. You may be at risk for what is known as "talk and die" syndrome. A person seems fine, they are walking and talking after the accident, but they may have a serious invisible injury. One of those injuries is a closed head injury called an epidural hematoma. The medical community calls it “closed head” because no outwardly visible signs of it exist. Many emergency room doctors and neurologists nicknamed this the “talk and die syndrome” because of the absence of visible symptoms that would alert medical professionals to a head injury. People have said they felt fine after an accident, but later die.
What Makes This Injury so Dangerous?
The lack of obvious signs makes an epidural hematoma the most dangerous of closed head injuries. You can walk, talk and go about your daily life while you experience bleeding between your skull and brain, earning it the gruesome nickname of "talk and die" syndrome because of the absence of visible symptoms. In some cases, the only clue that alludes to this condition is the fact that something struck you in the head.
Eventually, the amount of blood and the pressure on the brain catches up to you, and it can happen suddenly. As blood accumulates in this space, it can exert pressure on the brain, potentially causing symptoms like severe headache, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, confusion, and seizures. Timely surgical intervention to remove the accumulated blood is often necessary to prevent further brain damage and complications. The condition is life-threatening. If not diagnosed in time, it can be deadly, which is why this condition has earned its nickname, "talk and die" syndrome. Don't walk away and die.
Head injuries should never be taken lightly. Whether you hit your head on something during the crash, something hit your head, or your head shook side to side or back and forth during the accident, you may be at risk of a serious brain injury. Even if you feel fine and don't see any signs of a brain injury, you should seek medical attention right away and notify doctors that you might have a closed head injury.
You can seek this follow-up medical treatment at a local hospital, emergency room, or urgent care center. If you were in a motor vehicle collision or other serious accident, a qualified medical professional should check you out as soon as possible. You should seek follow-up medical treatment even if you are not sure whether you have sustained any injury.
An experienced team of personal injury attorneys can review the circumstances of your accident with you, as well as your medical records and bills, and can determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault person for your accident. They can then assist you with pursuing the monetary compensation that you need for your injuries.
How Do Serious Head Injuries Occur in a Car Crash?
Whenever a driver or passenger is involved in a serious car crash, they can suffer a serious head injury, including an epidural hematoma or some other closed head injury. The extent of a person's head injury sustained in a car crash depends upon a variety of factors, including the type of collision (rear-end, head-on, or T-bone) and the force of the impact. Generally speaking, when the force of the impact in a collision is significant, the accident victim is more likely to suffer a serious head injury.
Also, when it comes to head injuries, the mechanics of the injury become important. In some cases, the force of the impact alone causes an accident victim to strike their head on something in the vehicle, such as the driver or passenger's side headrest, the steering wheel, or the window. When that happens, the vehicle occupant can suffer a serious closed head injury, which can lead to serious complications (even a fatality) in the event the injury does not receive treatment within a short time.
If you suffered a closed head injury following a serious accident, priority number one on your list should be to obtain immediate medical attention—even if you are not sure if you suffered injuries. An emergency room or urgent care doctor will be able to assess your condition and provide the necessary medical care and treatment if you need it. The doctor can also perform the necessary imaging studies to determine if there was brain damage from the accident. An emergency room doctor will also be in the best position to make a recommendation about any follow-up care and medical treatment that you might need for your head condition.
Seek out an experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. An attorney will be able to speak with you about the circumstances of your accident and can help you pursue the monetary compensation that you need and deserve for your car collision injuries.
Medical Treatment Following a Car Crash Head Injury
If you suspect that you suffered a head injury in a car crash, you should first follow up with a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room—or with your primary care doctor. A treating health care provider might also recommend follow-up care and treatment with a specialist—such as a neurologist—who can provide ongoing care for brain injuries. Make sure to discuss any head trauma sustained in the accident with your doctors.
If you are undergoing treatment for a closed head injury that you suffered in a car crash, you want a skilled injury attorney handling all of the legal aspects of your brain injury claim. The sooner you call, the sooner a lawyer can begin to gather your medical records and all other related documentation in preparation for presenting a claim to the at-fault driver's motor vehicle insurance company.
The demand package will also include important documentation, including:
- Copies of your medical bills and records that evidence the treatment that you received
- Copies of your lost wage documentation that shows the number of days that you missed from work as a result of your accident and related injuries—as well as the income you lost from not working
- A victim impact statement that explains the impact that the accident and your injury have had on your ability to live, work, and function in your daily life
- Photographs of property damage to your vehicle (can be used to evidence the force of the impact)
- Witness statements that describe how the accident occurred
- A police report that depicts the scene of the collision, who was at fault, and whether or not the officer issued any traffic citations to the at-fault driver
Once the insurance company adjuster assigned to your claim has received and reviewed the demand package, he or she will decide whether or not to accept liability for the motor vehicle collision.
If the insurer admits liability of the policyholder for the collision, the adjuster will usually make an introductory settlement offer to try and resolve the case. Your brain injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company in hopes of getting the settlement offer up. If that does not work, your lawyer can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in the Texas state court system and pursue litigation.
Even after the litigation process has been initiated, your case can still settle at any point along the way. You want to be sure that any settlement offer adequately compensates you, not only for your medical bills and lost wages but also for your past and future pain and suffering and the cost of any future medical treatment that you need. This additional medical treatment might include the cost of a future medical procedure, such as an operation.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will tell you whether a particular settlement offer fully and fairly compensates you for your injuries, given the extent of the injury that you suffered, the cost of your medical treatment to date, and whether you suffered a permanent injury that might require additional medical care and treatment.
We can also assist you with pursuing a favorable settlement offer in your case, and if necessary, litigating the case in court at trial or arbitration.
What About Your Financial Losses?
After a diagnosis of an epidural hematoma, you can spend a significant amount of time in the hospital and recovering. During this time, you may not be able to work, and the medical bills can pile up. You have enough to worry about during this time, including whether you can suffer any permanent brain damage from your ordeal.
If another driver caused the accident that caused you to suffer from talk and die syndrome, you may pursue compensation for your financial losses, both past and future, by filing a personal injury claim in a Texas civil court.
When an accident victim files a personal injury claim, he or she has the burden of proving all of the legal elements of the case by a preponderance of the evidence. Specifically, the accident victim must establish that it is more likely than not the collision occurred because of another person’s carelessness or negligence. In other words, the other driver must have acted unreasonably under the circumstances and without ordinary prudence and care.
In addition, the accident victim must be able to demonstrate that as a result of the collision, he or she suffered one or more injuries and damages. In short, the accident must be the cause of the injury or injuries suffered at that time.
In terms of monetary compensation and damages, an individual who suffers a closed head injury in a car accident someone else caused can file a claim for economic damages. These damages aim to compensate accident victims for the cost of their medical care and treatment that stemmed from the accident.
In other words, a healthcare provider must be willing to state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your injuries and medical treatment were causally related to the accident. You might also be eligible to recover these medical damages even if you had health insurance in place at the time of the accident and that health insurance paid for a portion of your medical treatment.
Also, in terms of economic damages, you might be able to recover some or all of the wages that you lost as a result of not being able to work following your accident and the injury that resulted from it. Any other out-of-pocket costs that you incurred as a result of the accident will also fall under the umbrella of economic damages.
In addition to these economic damages, you can also pursue monetary compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages are more subjective and compensate car accident victims for all of the pain and suffering they had to endure due to their injury or injuries. Accident victims can also claim damages for inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent damage or disability that resulted from the closed head injury.
Finally, in some serious car accident cases, the accident victim might be able to make a personal injury claim for punitive damages. These damages intend to punish the at-fault driver for extreme carelessness or recklessness that caused the accident. Punitive damages also aim to discourage other drivers from similar careless and reckless activities and behaviors.
If you have suffered a closed head injury in a motor vehicle accident, you must talk with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The right legal team will zealously advocate for your legal interests and pursue the maximum amount of monetary compensation and damages that you deserve for your serious injuries.
Talk With a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney Today
An epidural hematoma is a debilitating injury, nicknamed by medical personnel as "talk and die" syndrome, that can lead to severe complications down the road if it is not addressed promptly after your car accident. The same can go for other closed head injuries that do not have immediate symptoms.
If you have suffered a closed head injury in a car collision that someone else’s negligence caused, first seek immediate medical care and treatment.
Next, speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate brain injury attorney. An attorney can immediately set to work investigating the cause and circumstances of your accident, and if necessary, can file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties on your behalf. Remember—injury lawyers do not receive payment unless they recover monetary compensation for you through a settlement, arbitration award, or favorable jury verdict.