A high-energy, direct blow to a small surface area of the skull can cause a depressed skull fracture, where the bone is broken and displaced inward. Most depressed skull fractures occur near the frontal lobe or parietal lobe, where the bone is thinnest and the location of the skull is most prone to an attack. Depressed skull fractures are sometimes called ping-pong fractures, and doctors use the visual description of a dented ping-pong ball to describe a depressed skull fracture injury. About 11% of severe head injuries involve a depressed skull fracture. Depressed skull fractures are a type of comminuted skull fracture.
Complications of Depressed Skull Fractures
All head injuries come with the risk of traumatic brain injury and brain damage. When the skin and bone protecting the brain are broken in a depressed skull fracture, the brain is extremely susceptible to infection. Immediate medical treatment is almost always necessary after a depressed skull fracture injury. Antibiotics and other drugs such as corticosteroids may be administered to reduce brain swelling and combat infection. Without medical treatment, the victim may not survive.
Treatment of Depressed Skull Fractures
Unlike linear skull fractures, which usually do not require surgery, depressed skull fractures often require surgery. If the broken bones in the skull cause pressure on the brain, surgery will likely be required to lift the broken bones off the skull and relieve pressure. In addition to surgery to remove broken bone fragments, additional surgeries may be necessary to reduce intracranial pressure or to implant synthetic skull pieces to protect the brain from further injury. Post-operative rehabilitation may be necessary to regain neurological function and cognitive thinking skills.
Causes of Depressed Skull Fracture
Depressed skull fractures are unique injuries. For a depressed skull fracture to occur, something hard must strike the head with great force. Sometimes, in cases of assaults, it is not possible to determine what struck the head. In auto accidents, a depressed skull fracture may occur if the head is struck by a shard of glass or metal object. Falling objects in warehouse stores and home improvement stores have also been known to cause depressed skull fractures.
Compensation for Depressed Skull Fracture Injuries
The California brain injury lawyers at Estey & Bomberger understand both the medical and legal implications of depressed skull fractures. Our attorneys have helped brain injury victims recover the full and fair compensation they deserve for their injuries, including many verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars (see our case results). If you or a loved one has suffered a depressed skull fracture that was caused by somebody else’s negligent or reckless actions, you should not have to bear the financial burden of the accident alone. An attorney can help you recover monetary damages for medical costs and expenses, emotional pain and suffering, and lost earnings.
Estey & Bomberger offers a free consultation for victims of all types of accidents causing serious injury or wrongful death. To speak with a California depressed skull fracture attorney about your potential case, call (800) 925-0723. All consultations are free, and if we represent you, we will not charge any fees unless we win your case.