A skull fracture may be a life-threatening injuryNot all Wisconsin motorcycle accident skull fractures are the same. However, they do have certain things in common. They may cause you physical pain. They may cause you to incur financial hardship. They may change your life. Accordingly, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can get appropriate treatment and it is important to know how the diagnosis may impact your legal recovery.

Possible Types of Skull Fractures

Your doctor may diagnose your skull fracture as:

  • An open fracture. An open fracture occurs in one of two ways. It can mean that the skull bone has penetrated the skin, or it can mean that there is a deep wound that shows the bone through the skin.
  • A closed fracture. A closed fracture occurs when the skull bone is broken but the skin is intact and you can’t see the injury with the naked eye.

Your doctor may also diagnose your skull fracture as:

  • An incomplete fracture (also known as a greenstick fracture). This occurs when the bone is fractured, but not completely separated.
  • A linear fracture. This refers to a straight-line break.
  • A comminuted fracture. This is a fracture that results in three or more pieces of bone.

Any of these fractures is considered medically important and requires prompt medical attention.

Symptoms of a Skull Fracture

The symptoms of a fractured skull may include:

  • Bleeding. Bleeding may occur from the wound site or from the ears, nose, or eye area.
  • Bruising. Bruising may occur behind the ears or under the eyes.
  • Pupils. Pupils may appear to be unequal in size or unreactive to light.
  • Neurological symptoms. Convulsions, drowsiness, headache, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, restlessness, irritability, and visual disturbances may occur.
  • Sick feeling. Skull fracture victims may experience nausea or vomiting.

Any one of these symptoms—or any other symptom you experience—should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention.

How a Skull Fracture Is Diagnosed

Four common ways a skull fracture is diagnosed are:

  • Image testing. One of the most common and reliable ways to diagnose a skull fracture is through imaging tests. The imaging tests that may be used include x-ray, CT scan, MRI, and cerebral arteriography.
  • Ear exam. A skull fracture may cause the ears to bleed or discharge. Accordingly, a doctor will perform an ear exam to look for these symptoms. The doctor may also check your hearing.
  • Electroneurography. This procedure is done to check for damage to facial nerves.
  • Electromyography. Also known as an EMG, this procedure measures the electrical activity of facial muscles. The muscles are tested at rest and while they are being used.

Doctors may use one or more of these diagnostic tools when determining whether a motorcycle accident victim has suffered a skull fracture.

Treatment for Skull Fractures

Once a skull fracture has been diagnosed, one or more of the following treatments may be necessary:

  • Medication. The medications used to treat a skull fracture include antibiotics to treat and prevent an infection caused by bacteria; steroids to help decrease any swelling that may occur; and pain relievers to help alleviate any pain that may be associated with the injury.
  • Lumbar drain. A lumbar drain may be used in order to decrease the pressure in the victim’s head and brain.
  • Spinal tap. A spinal tap is sometimes used to drain cerebrospinal fluid and decrease pressure in the head and brain of the victim.
  • Surgery. The victim of a skull fracture may need to undergo surgery in order to repair damage to the skull bones or to remove pieces of the bone.

A victim’s recovery depends on a number of factors including the extent of the injury and how quickly medical help was sought.

You May Be Able to Recover Damages for Any Type of Skull Fracture

If you have suffered a brain or head injury due to the negligence of another driver, then you may be able to recover damages for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain and suffering. For more information, please download our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.