A CT scan or CAT scan may be used to identify the location of a skull fracture. Skull fractures involve a break, fracture, or penetration of the skull, usually from a direct impact. Severe skull fractures may be fatal. With any fracture, there is the possibility of bacteria and foreign material to enter the skull, which could cause infection or abscess formation (pus) inside the brain. Bruising of the brain tissue, known as a contusion, can also cause brain swelling and permanent brain damage. Some skull fractures are easily diagnosed due to obvious visible trauma (like a gunshot wound).
Causes of Skull Fracture Injuries
Skull fractures have many causes. They may result in accidents, including auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Contact with the windshield or a crushed roof is a frequent cause of skull fractures in auto accidents. Injuries may also be caused by falling objects at construction sites or mass retail stores. Skull fractures also result in slip and fall accidents and accidents involving falls from heights, and acts of violence, such as gunshots, stabbings, and clubbing.
Types of Skull Fracture Injuries
Skull fractures may be classified as comminuted, depressed, linear or diastatic. A comminuted fracture involves the shattering of part of the skull in to numerous pieces. A depressed skull fracture involves part of the skull being pressed inward (like a dent in a ping-pong ball). Linear skull fractures, the most common type of skull fracture, account for nearly 70% of skull fractures. Linear fractures are breaks in the skull in a relatively straight line. A diastatic fracture is a break of the skull at a suture line, where the pieces of the skull merge together. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, surgery may be necessary to repair damage.
Basilar Skull Fractures
A small percentage of skull fractures involve injury to the base of the skull. They cause breakage of the occipital bone, temporal bone, ethmoid bone, or sphenoid bone. Injuries to the base of the skull near the foramen magnum, the hole where the spinal cord becomes the brain stem, may cause damage to the cranial nerves. Cranial nerve damages can result in facial nerve palsy and hearing loss. Basilar skull fractures have a high risk of meningitis, a life-threatening condition (inflammation of the membranes covering the brain).
How a Skull Fracture Attorney Can Help
Skull fractures are serious injuries that may cause permanent damage and lifelong disability. If you or someone you loved has suffered a skull fracture injury, you should contact an experienced and qualified attorney to determine your rights to compensation. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to your injuries.
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