Posted On: March 18, 2009 by Finch McCranie, LLP

Minor Falls Can Lead To Severe Brain Injury

Our Atlanta lawyers see many cases involving serious head injuries which at first appear to be minor or nonexistent. The recent report about actress Natasha Richardson who fell at a Canadian ski slope is a prime example. According to reports, Ms. Richardson, suffered a minor fall while skiing.

According to reports, she was talking and joking after she fell Monday. But soon after she returned to her hotel room she complained of head pain and was taken to a nearby hospital, then to a larger medical center in Montreal. She was later flown by private jet to a New York hospital, where she is reportedly in critical condition.

A blow to the head that at first seems minor and does not result in immediate pain or other symptoms can in fact turn out to be a life-threatening brain injury. Immediate treatment is essential after a brain injury because damage caused by swelling is often irreversible.

The initial fall or injury doesn't have to be hard at all. The delay in symptoms can range from five minutes to three hours after the accident.

Experts report that a patient can appear deceivingly normal at first, but they may actually have a brain bleed and as the pressure builds up, they experience classic symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. This condition is commonly referred to as "talk and die" syndrome, because the patient can decline so rapidly.

These injuries are known as epidural hemorrhages. Blood gets trapped between the skull and the dura which is a hard layer of skin between the bone and brain. As the blood flows from the ruptured artery, the fluid builds and can puncture the dura.

The pressure is pushed on the brain, causing it to swell. Since the brain is restricted by the skull, there is often no room for it to move inside the skull cavity.

Nausea, severe headache, glossy eyes, sudden sleepiness, are all common symptoms of a brain injury. Getting to a hospital within the first few hours is critical to prevent permanent brain damage. Immediate treatment is essential after a brain injury because the initial damage caused by swelling often is irreversible.

Experts warn that the most important thing to do to lower your risk of a brain injury is to wear a helmet.

The Atlanta, Georgia lawyers of Finch MCCranie, LLP have litigated hundreds head and brain injury cases throughout the years. There are many aspects of this type of litigation which require a highly skilled and experienced legal team. Our lawyers bring these skills to every such case.