When you’re trying to enjoy your retirement, the last thing you want is to end up getting involved in a car crash and suffering serious injuries. If you do get into a crash and hit your head, that head injury could have lasting implications for your health and the rest of your life.
Head trauma is one of the leading causes of mortality among older individuals. In the elderly, the combination of a new head injury with other chronic medical conditions increases the risk of death. In fact, when compared to younger head injury victims, elderly patients were more likely to pass away as a result. Elderly, in this context, is anyone 65 or older.
Motor vehicle collisions are a common cause of traumatic injuries
Data shows that the second-most common reason for traumatic injuries includes car crashes. Patients who are 65 or older are three times more likely to pass away after suffering high-energy trauma in a crash compared to younger victims.
Why? It comes down to anatomical changes. In elderly people, the dura is more likely to be attached to the skull. That means that it is more likely to tear if they hit their head or suffer from other head trauma. This leads to a greater risk of subdural hematomas (bruising under the skull) and bleeding.
Elder victims are more likely to have delayed symptoms and to seek treatment later as a result. This results in poorer outcomes, an increase in symptoms and a higher risk of mortality.
How will a head injury impact a geriatric victim?
Victims who survive head trauma may have more significant brain damage as a result of the bleeds and bruising that happen due to age. They may suffer from memory loss, trouble walking or other symptoms that may significantly impact their ability to enjoy retirement. Though occupational and physical therapy are available, those therapies may not be as effective in the elderly population.
Survivors tend to have long-term neurological complications such as focal weaknesses, sensory deficits and seizures. This is something to consider if you were injured in a crash or have a loved one who was. The compensation you seek may need to be significant to account for these serious complications.