Blunt Force Head Trauma: Cause and Effect

Blunt force trauma refers to any injury caused by impact from a blunt object. The type and severity of the wound depend on what kind of object a person was hit with, where it hit them, and how hard it hit them. 

Some of the most common causes of blunt force trauma include motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and assaults. Falls and auto accidents — incidents that often result in blunt trauma — are two of the leading causes of death for people under 35 years old. Blunt trauma is also common in the elderly after a fall.

Causes of Blunt Force Head Trauma

When a person sustains an injury specifically to the head or brain, it may be described as “blunt force trauma to the head.” 

Blunt-force head injuries can be sustained in a variety of ways, including:

Wearing appropriate safety gear can reduce your chances of sustaining a brain injury from blunt trauma. Seat belts hold individuals in their seats, preventing severe head injury in the case of a car accident, and helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury. Athletes, cyclists, and motorcyclists should wear safety gear that’s been approved for their activity. 

Anyone can sustain blunt-force trauma to the head, but some groups are more vulnerable than others. According to the CDC, people over the age of 75 suffer the highest rates of traumatic brain injury related to blunt trauma. Problems with mobility and balance increase the risk of falling among the elderly. Men, young people, and children are also at higher risk for blunt trauma. 

The Effects of Blunt Force Head Injuries

Suffering a blunt-force head injury can cause mild or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mild TBI affects brain health temporarily, but the brain is still able to heal and recover. More serious brain injuries can cause permanent damage with long-term complications or even death. 

Keep in mind that the terms “mild” and “severe” describe the potential injury to brain function. All TBIs are serious health issues that require medical attention. 

Symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms of a TBI include physical, sensory, and cognitive/behavioral changes. 

Physical symptoms of a TBI include:

  • Headache
  • Speech difficulties
  • Loss of balance and dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness and fatigue

Sensory symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to sound and/or light
  • Strange taste in the mouth
  • Changes in the ability to smell

Cognitive and behavioral symptoms include:

  • Problems with memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in sleep habits, such as sleeping too much or too little

Some symptoms of a mild TBI can appear immediately after the injury, but others may not be noticed for several days or weeks after the incident. 

Symptoms of Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries

The indications of a moderate to severe TBI typically appear within the first hours or days after the initial head injury. Signs can include any of the symptoms of a mild TBI in addition to the following. 

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Persistent headache
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Numbness or weakness in the toes and fingers
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Difficulty awakening from sleep

The cognitive/behavioral symptoms include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation or combativeness
  • Profound confusion

Young children and infants are unable to communicate symptoms like a headache or blurry vision. 

TBI in a young child may present as:

  • Persistent crying
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Change in nursing or eating habits
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Sad mood
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities or toys
  • Seizure

If you suspect your young child has received blunt force to the head and is showing any signs of a TBI, seek emergency medical care. 

Potential Complications of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Several complications can arise after blunt force to the head causes a brain injury. Some of the complications are treatable, but others may not be. In a recent year, the CDC reported that 69,473 deaths were attributed to TBI-related complications. 

Complications may include changes in consciousness, such as a coma or brain death, and physical problems like headaches and hydrocephalus (fluid buildup on the brain). Intellectual, behavioral, sensory, and mental health complications may also occur. 

Some of these complications are temporary and can linger for weeks or months, while others can be permanent. 

Severe traumatic brain injury or TBI that is the result of repeated blunt head trauma may lead to degenerative brain disease. These conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia pugilistica, will only get worse with time. 

What Damages Can You Recover in a Blunt Force Head Trauma Lawsuit?

If a person sustains an injury to their head because of someone else’s negligence, they may be entitled to receive financial compensation. 

Because a TBI is a complicated injury that may require lifelong medical care, compensation can be substantial, covering a variety of losses, such as:

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your rights and receive the compensation you or your loved one deserves.

Seek Help If You’ve Suffered Blunt Force Head Trauma

Blunt force trauma is a hard impact from an object or the ground. When blunt force occurs to the head, it can cause a traumatic brain injury or TBI. TBIs are serious issues that can lead to a host of severe complications. 

If you or someone you care about has suffered blunt force to the head, seek medical care. Emergency care may be advised if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms of a TBI. Because they can’t communicate the exact nature of their pain, young children should receive immediate medical attention after blunt trauma to the head. 

To protect your financial health, consult a personal injury lawyer to learn whether you have a right to compensation if someone else is at fault for your injury.

Contact the St. Petersburg Brain Injury Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg brain injury law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 796-8282