Throughout our lives we’ve fallen. We may be too young or old to walk well. Your driveway was covered in ice. You drank too much and lost your balance. Falls are so common we forget how potentially catastrophic they can be. Bob Saget is a reminder.
Saget was an actor, comedian, and father of three. He was best known for his roles on the TV show Full House, as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and as a foul-mouthed stand-up comedian. He died in a Florida hotel room in January.
Saget Died of Head Injuries Suffered in a Fall
Autopsy findings were released in February. The coroner found he died of “blunt head trauma” most likely suffered in “an unwitnessed fall,” according to the Washington Post. It’s believed Saget fell backward in his hotel room, hit his head, lost consciousness, and died due to the injuries.
The autopsy report states Saget suffered:
- A scalp abrasion on the back of his head
- A fracture at the base of his skull
- Fractures around his eye sockets
- Bleeding and bruising of the brain
David Hafler, the chairman of the neurology department at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Post this was far beyond Saget banging his head on something. It was so severe it may have incapacitated Saget, so he couldn’t get help.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Happen in Falls and Vehicle Accidents
Head injuries can cause minor bruises, bumps, or cuts. They could also result in a concussion, internal bleeding, and brain damage. You don’t need to hit your head on something to cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Tissue and fluid surround the brain, which is encased in the skull. Your spinal cord tethers it in place.
If you’re in a vehicle and belted into your seat, if you’re involved in an accident, the force can violently throw your body back and forth. Your head snaps one way then another, causing your brain to hit your skull’s interior, resulting in brain damage, a concussion, and bleeding that could be fatal.
What might be minor head trauma for someone who’s healthy could be far more dangerous depending on the person’s other health issues. Blood-thinning medications are common for those at a higher risk of stroke. They may make bleeding in the brain more likely and severe.
As in Saget’s case, if the fall victim is alone, seriously injured, incapacitated, confused, or unable to make decisions, they may not get help in time. By the time they’re discovered the brain damage may be severe or fatal.
What You Can Do to Avoid Head Injuries
The easiest, cheapest, and best way to deal with head injuries is to prevent them. That means taking care when walking on or near potential hazards including stairs, rugs, or furniture, and on surfaces that are slippery, wet, or ice-covered. If it’s dark, you’re distracted, or intoxicated, you’re more likely to make mistakes, fall, and hit your head.
What You Should Do After Getting a Head Injury
If you’re younger and more healthy, a minor bump to the head shouldn’t be a problem. Don’t take aspirin if you need pain relief because it acts as a blood thinner. Signs you may have an injury requiring medical attention include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Ongoing headache
- Memory problems
- Difficulty thinking
- Lost balance
- Difficulty speaking
If possible, have someone with you after a head injury. That person can observe you and notice changes you cannot. They can also take you to a hospital or call an ambulance if needed. If the person witnessed your fall, they could also tell your healthcare provider what happened if you’re confused or unconscious.
If you’re alone, you should be more willing to call an ambulance if you think you may have something more than a minor injury. You have no time to lose if you have a brain injury.
Have You Suffered a Head Injury in a Fall or Vehicle Accident in Kentucky and Need an Attorney?
If so, and another party may be responsible, you may be entitled to compensation. Call The Fleck Firm to schedule a free consultation at (270) 446-7000. We’ll talk about what happened, your injuries, the law, and your best options to proceed. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one too.