Skull Fractures


Simple Fractures

A simple skull fracture involves a break in the skull without damage to the skin surrounding the fracture.

Linear Skull Fractures

Linear skull fractures are breaks in the skull that closely resemble a thin line. Distortion, splintering, or depression of the bone matter is not present in linear skulls fractures.

Depressed Skull Fractures

When a skull is crushed or subjected to blunt force it can result in an inward breaking of the bone. This is referred to as a depressed skull fracture.

Compound Fractures

A compound skull fracture refers to a skull fracture that includes a loss of skin or a break in the skin accompanied by splintering of the skull beneath.

Fractures at the Base of the Skull

Fractures at the base of the skull involve leaking of the cerebrospinal fluid.


Generally, skull fractures are diagnosed when a patient undergoes computed tomography (CT) testing. A CT scan is more reliable for diagnosing a skull fracture than is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI is better suited to diagnose traumatic brain injuries. Some skull fractures do not require the assistance of imaging for a diagnosis as the fracture is quite evident by visual and physical examination.

Skull fractures by their very nature accompany traumatic brain injuries. The skulls is the structure that houses and protects the brain from injury. Therefore, fracturing of the skull can be a very serious medical condition. In many circumstances a person that experiences a skull fracture may undergo brain surgery.

Symptoms of a Skull Fracture:

  • Bleeding from the wound Headache
  • Bruising under the eyes or behind the ears Loss of consciousness
  • Changes in the pupils of the eyes Confusion
  • Slurred speech Balancing issues
  • Bloody or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose Visual disturbances
  • Swelling of the head or site of injury Stiffening of the neck
  • Nausea and vomiting

The treatment of skull fractures is dependent on several factors. A physician will assess the fracture and determine what treatment is best suited for the type of skull fracture involved.

Fractures at the base of the skull typically do not require surgery and heal on their own. Surgery may become necessary if the leaking of cerebrospinal fluid does not stop. Depressed skull fractures may require surgery especially if the skull puts pressure on the brain or there are pieces of the skull in the brain. Compound skull fractures may also require surgery depending on the extent of damage to the skull and brain.


The DOUGHERTY LAW FIRM has handled numerous personal injury cases involving skull fractures. When an individual suffers a skull fracture in a slip and fall, truck crash, motor vehicle crash, or while participating in sports, they may be entitled to monetary compensation if it can be shown that another person’s negligent conduct or intentional act caused the skull fracture. If you or a loved one have suffered a skull fracture and you believe that another person is to blame, call our experienced brain injury attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

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