Raccoon eyes brain injuries can result from many different types of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, severe falls, sports injuries, and accidents at work. After a severe brain injury, you may lose consciousness for minutes, hours, or sometimes even months. Even if you do not lose consciousness, you will likely feel confused, disoriented, overwhelmed, and terrified. On top of all that, brain injuries are incredibly expensive to treat and can take a long time to heal.
In this guide to raccoon eyes brain injuries, we’ll explain how the injury works, what reimbursement you can receive, and when you need to hire a lawyer.
What is a raccoon eyes brain injury?
A raccoon eyes brain injury is a type of traumatic brain injury. “Raccoon eyes”, or “periorbital ecchymosis” in medical terminology, are dark purple or blue bruises that develop under your eyes and resemble the dark circles under a raccoon’s eyes. Raccoon eyes are a symptom of a specific traumatic brain injury called basilar skull fracture and are caused by blood from the fracture seeping into the soft tissue that surrounds the eyes.
Basilar skull fractures, also referred to as a skull base fracture, are typically caused by substantial blunt force trauma involving at least one of the bones in the base of the skull. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, these are the most serious type of skull fracture, and patients with basilar skull fractures usually require close observation in a hospital.
Basilar skull fractures most commonly occur in the temporal bones but may occur in the following:
- Occipital bone.
- Sphenoid bone.
- Ethmoid bone.
- The orbital plate of the frontal bone.
In addition to raccoon eyes, people who suffer basal skull fractures may experience additional symptoms such as blood in the middle ear behind the eardrum, cerebrospinal fluid leakage from the ears or nose, and a crescent-shaped bruise behind one or both ears that is called a “Battle sign” or “Battle’s sign”.
What should I do if the raccoon eyes brain injury happened at work?
If your raccoon eyes brain injury happened at work, it’s important that you quickly take action to protect your rights. If you suffer head trauma in a workplace accident, you should immediately notify your employer and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Brain injuries can be unpredictable, so even if your accident seems like no big deal at the time, you could face brain damage or other injuries in the future. Your injuries may not be immediately apparent, but they could be serious.
A doctor can diagnose the specific type of head injury you have by using x rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other medical tests and equipment. You should never delay receiving medical treatment if you think you may have suffered a serious head injury.
After you get the medical treatment you need, you should regularly take photographs of your injury as it heals. You should also make sure to keep records about the following:
- Daily pain and symptoms you experience.
- Doctor appointments.
- Medications you have to take and their side effects.
- Any time you have to take off work to recover.
- The impact of your injury on your ability to take care of your home and family.
Who pays my hospital bills if the injury happened at work?
If you suffer a brain injury while at work, your injury may be paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program and should cover all types of accidents that occur while you are carrying out your job duties, including:
- Falling from heights, such as off a ladder or scaffolding, or down a flight of stairs.
- Being hit by a falling object.
- Heavy machinery and forklift accidents.
- Vehicle collisions.
- Other accidents that can cause traumatic brain injuries.
However, not all employers offer workers’ compensation coverage, and even when they do, workers’ compensation only covers employees of the company and not independent contractors. In addition, insurance companies will sometimes deny workers’ compensation claims. In all of these situations, you should consult with a brain injury attorney to discuss your other options for recovery.
Can I sue my employer for money if I was injured?
If you accept workers’ compensation for your injuries, you generally cannot also sue your employer. However, if your employer intentionally injuries you or has insufficient workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer in civil court.
In these cases, you may actually be able to recover more money than you would through workers’ compensation, because in addition to lost wages and reimbursement for medical treatment, a lawsuit may allow you to receive payment for your pain and suffering and mental anguish. Additionally, if your accident was the result of gross negligence by your employer, you may be able to receive punitive damages, which are meant to punish the employer for their bad behavior.
When should I contact a personal injury lawyer?
You should contact a personal injury lawyer if you’ve suffered a raccoon eyes brain injury at work and you are struggling to get workers’ compensation to pay for your injuries.
In addition, if you are eligible to file a civil lawsuit against your employer, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and the compensation you are entitled to receive. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years. This means if you don’t file a lawsuit within this time period, you lose your right to sue your employer. The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the sooner they can start working on your case.
Do I need a personal injury lawyer near me?
The cost of healthcare in the United States is always high, but raccoon eyes brain injuries are among the most expensive injuries to treat. People who suffer from traumatic brain injuries often acquire immense medical debt while recovering, including the costs of lengthy hospital stays, extensive amounts of rehabilitation, medication, personal caregivers, and vocational re-training. If your severe head injury requires a CT scan or surgery, you can expect your costs to be even higher. The total expenses for treating a serious brain injury can exceed $100,000 in the first year alone.
The majority of workers’ compensation insurance programs will not come close to covering the full costs of treating a traumatic brain injury. To receive the money you need to move on with your life after a basilar skull fracture or other brain injury, you need a personal injury attorney on your side. Make sure you find a lawyer who has extensive experience handling brain injury cases because these types of personal injury lawsuits can be complex and require an extensive understanding of the medical jargon and treatments involved. In order to get the best results in your case, you need to work with lawyers who have the degree of medical and legal knowledge that is needed to fully and aggressively represent your best interests.
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