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Basilar Skull Fractures

A basilar skull fracture can lead to persistent issues like cerebrospinal fluid leaks, which may manifest as clear fluid draining from the nose or ears. There’s an increased risk of meningitis due to potential bacterial entry. Patients might experience cranial nerve damage, resulting in problems like facial weakness, hearing loss, or vision changes. Headaches and dizziness are common, and there’s a possibility of olfactory dysfunction. On this page, we answer common FAQs about this injury and the process for seeking compensation.

Basilar skull fracture xray

Helpful Information

A basilar skull fracture is a break in the bones at the base of the skull, typically caused by severe head trauma. This type of fracture can lead to serious complications such as cerebrospinal fluid leaks, damage to cranial nerves, and brain injuries. Symptoms often include bruising around the eyes or behind the ears, blood in the ear or nose, and neurological issues. Due to its location and potential for significant complications, a basilar skull fracture is considered a serious medical condition requiring immediate attention.

What are the most common types of accidents that could lead to a basilar skull fracture?

Basilar skull fractures are caused by severe trauma to the head. The most frequent accidents leading to such injuries include high-impact vehicle accidents, falls from significant heights, sports injuries in high-contact or high-risk sports, physical assaults involving strong blows to the head, and industrial or construction accidents where falls or impacts from heavy objects are possible.

How are basilar skull fractures treated?

Treatment of basilar skull fractures primarily focuses on managing symptoms and preventing complications. As these fractures often heal on their own, surgery is rare unless there are severe complications like cerebrospinal fluid leaks or damage to the brain or nerves. Treatment usually involves close observation, pain management, and addressing any associated injuries. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infections, especially if there is a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Rest and avoiding strenuous activities are crucial for recovery. In some cases, physical therapy might be needed to aid in the rehabilitation of any neurological symptoms or deficits.

How do basilar skull fractures differ from other types of skull injuries?

Basilar skull fractures differ from other skull injuries due to their location and potential complications. They occur at the skull’s base, a region housing critical blood vessels and nerves, unlike other fractures typically found on the upper or rounded parts of the skull. This makes basilar fractures particularly serious, as they carry a higher risk for complications like cerebrospinal fluid leaks, brain injuries, and cranial nerve damage.

Can I bring a personal injury claim for a basilar skull fracture?

Yes, you can bring an injury claim for a basilar skull fracture if it was caused by someone else’s negligence or a deliberate act. This could include situations like a car accident, a fall due to unsafe premises, or an assault. The claim would seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The personal injury team at McCarthy + Co can provide further guidance to anyone seeking to initiate a claim.

How much compensation will I get?

This very much depends on the severity of the injury and its impact on your life. In cases where serious complications such as cranial nerve damage have occurred, general damages in the region of €50,000-€75,000 could be awarded for those with persistent ongoing pain, in addition to an award for expenses such as medical care and lost wages. Take a look at the Judicial Council’s Personal Injuries Guidelines, for further information.

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Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

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wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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