Personal Injury: Serious Brain Trauma Despite the Use of a Helmet
When it comes to traumatic brain injury prevention, the use of a helmet can be of great significance. Helmets can help to protect a person from scalp lacerations and to an extent, even certain skull fractures. When it comes to the participation of recreational activities, the use of a helmet can protect the athlete from undergoing head trauma. The following sports and recreational activities will usually require participants to wear protective headgear in an effort to minimize head-related injuries:
- Horseback riding,
- Motorcycle driving
- Bicycle riding.
The use of a helmet can help to prevent a possible traumatic head injury when it comes to being struck directly in a single area of the head. It is important to understand, however, that a severe brain injury can occur even when the athlete or recreational participant is wearing a helmet. This is because severe head injuries can be caused even without a direct impact to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can occur through a sudden acceleration or deceleration in speed, which will typically cause the brain to jolt inside the skull.
The Importance of Wearing a Helmet
Before highlighting the dangers of head trauma with the use of a helmet, it is important to recognize that helmets can still protect a person from severe injuries. The use of a helmet is imperative in avoiding scalp lacerations, skull fractures, and other similar superficial injuries. Unfortunately, however, a helmet will not protect a brain when the impact occurs within the skull.
Severe Head Injuries Despite the Use of a Helmet
According to a definition provided by the National Cancer Institute, the human brain floats freely inside the skull in what is known as cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF. Even without a direct impact or penetration of the skull, the brain can undergo severe trauma by a sudden and rapid acceleration or deceleration movement. The brain can jolt forward or be hit against the inside of the skull causing traumatic head injuries. This type of injury is usually referred to as a contrecoup injury and it is typically caused by a forced movement of the brain.
Another common result of a severe head trauma can include hematoma, which are blood clots created by ruptured blood vessels. It is important to note that these types of injuries will rarely manifest immediately after the incident occurred. Coup, Contrecoup and Coup-Contrecoup injuries are typically microscopic and will often not show under initial MRIs or CT scans.
Common Symptoms of a Disruption of Cerebrospinal Fluid
When a person has suffered a CSF-related injury through means of a severe head trauma, the symptoms can often go unrecognized for days, weeks and months. Common indications of a CSF leak or injury can include:
- Vision changes
- Hearing loss
Long term injuries include but are not limited to traumatic brain damage risks such as short-term and long-term memory loss, loss of sense of smell and taste, frequent headaches, impairment with decision-making, difficulty with speaking and language comprehension, impaired concentration, loss of balance and coordination and muscle weakness, and in extreme cases, paralysis and comatose.
The Bottom Line
Thousands of recreational activity enthusiasts will rely on the use of a helmet to protect against traumatic head injuries. Unfortunately, many people will fail to recognize that a severe head injury can happen even with the use of a helmet. While many companies and even employers will provide helmets, it is important to recognize that a helmet will not guarantee a person from suffering a traumatic head injury. If a head impact occurs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, if you or someone you know has suffered a severe head injury that happened even with the use of a helmet, seek the legal guidance and support of proficient attorney that has experience in dealing with traumatic head injury cases. There may be the opportunity to pursue products liability claims if the helmet did not act as intended, or was defective in nature. Also, there may be a negligent party that was liable for some or all of the injuries sustained.
The Knez Law Group, LLP. is dedicated to bringing justice to victims of negligence. They are highly experienced in the field of traumatic head injury claims. If you underwent a traumatic head injury due to the carelessness of another, you should know that you have the legal right to seek financial compensation for your grievances.