As you may suspect or know, older people can be more prone to certain injuries. One type of injury that falls into this category is a head injury. I had an elderly client, in a fairly small motor vehicle, stopped at a red light. A very large SUV made a left but cut the turn too short and the driver hit my client head on. It was a severe impact with air bag deployment.
The client was taken to a local emergency room. Instead of conducting a CT scan of the brain, they were more concerned with a leg injury that turned out not to be there. Studies have shown that due to cranial thinning, which occurs as we age, a CT scan should be taken when there is a head injury of an older victim, just to be safe.
The client was discharged home and a few hours later lost consciousness – due to a subdural hematoma (brain bleed). Since the brain bleed was not treated, it resulted in a massive stroke after which he was returned to the hospital. By then, his condition was irreversible. He wound up being transported to rehabilitation facility where he remained, unable to speak or move, until he passed away a few years later.
This is one of the saddest cases we had.
It morphed from a motor vehicle accident to a motor vehicle accident plus medical malpractice. We were able to show that the hospital failed in its duty of care to this patient. The motor vehicle accident set everything in motion. In this scenario, the person responsible for the motor vehicle accident is responsible for all that follows, while the hospital is responsible for all that follows from its failure.
It is especially important to remember and consider the age of the person involved in car accidents and other types of accidents.