When a brain injury is diagnosed after an accident, the patient is likely to have both primary and secondary injuries. Primary injuries are the initial injuries that happen at the time of the accident. For example, if you hit your head on a dashboard and fracture your skull, this would be a primary injury.
A localized injury is another kind of primary injury. It is an injury in which part of the brain is injured, leading to bruising or bleeding. Another kind of primary injury is a diffuse axonal injury. If a person loses consciousness during an accident and has damage throughout the brain, this kind of injury may be the cause.
Secondary injuries happen later, typically within a few days after the primary injury. For instance, swelling may limit the amount of oxygen to the brain, or a blood clot may break off and stop blood flow. Low blood pressure and expanded pressure in the brain can lead to damage.
The extent of a brain injury is typically measured on the Glasgow Coma Scale and starts with the primary injury. As the patient gets better or worse, the scale will be used to adjust the patient’s score and prognosis.
Once a patient is stable, it’s easier to tell what kind of settlement the patient should aim for during negotiations with insurance agents or when suing the at-fault party. Our website has more information on the information you need when you file a claim.