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How do I know if a head injury is serious?

Head injuries can be experienced by anyone at any age, but are particularly common in children and the elderly. Due to a variety of symptoms caused by a head injury, some people find it hard to identify whether they are suffering from a minor or severe head injury.

The definition of a head injury is:

an injury usually resulting from a blow to the head and often associated with brain injury.

Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary, 2010

Serious head injuries can cause damage to the brain or to a blood vessel. A damaged blood vessel may bleed into the brain, or into the area between the brain and skull resulting in a subdural haemorrhage.  The effects of this can be very serious.

Common causes of head injuries

  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle/motorcycle accidents
  • Trips and Falls
  • Sports
  • Acts of violence/assault

Road Accident Claims

Common symptoms of head injuries

A head injury may cause the victim to experience a range of symptoms depending on how serious the head injury is.

If you have suffered a blow to the head and are experiencing the following symptoms, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

  • Headaches
  • Neck pains
  • Lethargy
  • Memory loss
  • Bloody ears
  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Ringing in ears
  • Problems concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weakness/numbness in limbs

Remember the extent of a head injury may not develop until days after the accident, so be aware of any of these symptoms in the following days and weeks and seek medical advice immediately should you notice any unusual.


Diagnosing a serious head injury

Head injuries are diagnosed by medical professionals using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The scale measures the severity of the head injury on a scale of 3-15, 15 being very minor and 3 being very severe. In most cases, sufferers who have a GSC scale of eight or less will be classed as having a serious head injury. Medical professionals will carry out further tests to determine how serious the injury might be. Tests could include an x-ray, a computerised tomography scan and a MRI scan.

The following injuries are the most common experienced by head injury victims:

  • Skull fractures – broken skull may cut the brain and delicate tissues causing bleeding
  • Brain contusion – bruising and/or swelling of the brain
  • Hematoma – bleeding of the brain collecting clots
  • Loss of consciousness – an evident indicator that the brain has been affected from an injury

Head injury claim

How Serious Injury Claims Solicitors can help you

Solicitors who specialise in serious injury claims will be able to help you with your claim and put you in touch with treatment facilities. Serious injury claims solicitors are able to quickly arrange medical examinations, MRI scans, home modifications, nursing care and interim payment to help you in case you are suffering financially.

Serious injury claim solicitors are sympathetic and understanding and will use their knowledge and expertise to help you process your serious injury claim, ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.


 Head injury statistics UK

More than one million people in the UK are admitted to hospital with a head injury each year.

Approximately 150,000 people suffer from a minor brain injury and 10,000 people suffer from a moderate brain injury, according to Team Brain Injury Support.

An estimated 11,000 people will suffer from a serious brain injury, 15% of which will return to work within 5 years, where 4,500 people will require 24 hour care for the rest of their lives.

120,000 people in the UK are suffering long-term effects of a brain injury.

For friendly and professional advice on serious injury claims, call us free on 0800 652 0586.