Sometimes, motorists or their passengers in Alaska who are involved in car accidents might believe they are uninjured and refuse a trip to the hospital for a medical evaluation. However, even a low-speed collision can cause a brain injury that might only become evident hours or days later. The rapid whiplash movement of the head that is typical upon sudden impact of a collision causes the brain to smash against the inside of the skull, causing bruising or bleeding of the brain.
A bleeding brain can ultimately cause death. The blood vessels and arteries that run through the brain and between the brain and the skull can tear or rupture when they are smashed against the hard bone of the skull. The bleeding form subdural and epidural hematomas. The pressure causes the hematomas to leak, filling the space between the brain and the skull with blood.
When this bleeding continues, it can compress the brain so severely that it becomes impossible for oxygen-rich blood to flow into the brain tissue. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, it causes additional swelling, and due to the lack of space inside the skull, the brain starts pushing through the hole at the skull's base. These are the brain areas that control the heart rate and breathing, and the damage from direct contact with the sharp edges of the bone at the hole can stop those functions and could be fatal.
The only way to diagnose bleeding of the brain or another brain injury is to have a medical evaluation as soon as possible after a car accident because surgery might be necessary to provide release of the pressure inside the skull. When this happens, mounting medical bills and income losses can become overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced Alaska personal injury attorney can help the accident victim with the navigation of a civil lawsuit if another party's negligence caused the crash. A successful claim can lead to a monetary judgment to cover damages.