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Talk and die: The delayed effect of a closed head injury after an accident

Our Michigan brain injury lawyers discuss the little-known, but incredibly lethal, “talk and die syndrome” that preys on accident victims

The serious and potentially fatal effects of a closed head injury are not always immediately obvious to auto accident victims and their loved ones. This is exemplified by the “talk and die syndrome,” which appears to have played a role in the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson.

Below is some information about “talk and die.” To speak with a brain injury lawyer now, call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028. The call and the advice is free.

A fatal brain injury hiding in plain sight

Famous actress Natasha Richardson struck her head when she fell while accompanying her child during a ski lesson in 2009. By all accounts, Ms. Richardson was on the “bunny hill” at the time of the fall. And she was walking and talking “normally” after the fall.

As such, Ms. Richardson remained at the ski resort, rather than going to the hospital for medical care and further examination. Given the signs – or the lack thereof – she reacted to her fall the way many people might: She shook it off and carried on.

However, unbeknownst to Ms. Richardson or anyone else, she had suffered a closed head injury and an injury to her brain was worsening by the minute.

Tragically, that brain injury would eventually overtake Ms. Richardson and end her life.

“Talk and die syndrome”

The tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson in 2009 illustrated the strange, but deadly, phenomenon that can occur with closed head injuries: The effects of the closed head injury do not appear until it’s too late.

The phenomenon can accurately be described as the “talk and die syndrome:” The closed head injury sufferer – possibly an auto accident victim – is able to walk, talk and behave “normally” immediately after the accident, but later succumbs to the fatal effects of his or her closed head injury.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm the threat posed by the “talk and die syndrome.” According to the NIH, the signs and symptoms of a closed head injury can occur immediately or develop slowly over several hours or days. And the CDC has said closed head injury symptoms may not show up for months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday life and more demands are placed upon them.

Why it’s better to err on the side of caution when a closed head injury may be involved

The lesson is to stay vigilant and promptly seek medical attention if and when closed head injury symptoms appear. Just because an accident victim seems fine and “normal” immediately after the accident, does not mean the victim has been lucky enough to avoid a closed head injury.

Help from the brain injury lawyers at Michigan Auto Law

Our Michigan brain lawyers are here to answer all of your questions about closed head injuries, and any other concerns you have about your auto accident.

Call us at (800) 777-0028, or fill out our consultation form. There’s absolutely no fee or obligation.

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