What Bob Saget’s Death Can Teach Us About Blunt Force Head Trauma

Young man with head bandage suffering trauma.

Young man with head bandage suffering trauma.Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are shockingly common across the United States. But unfortunately, the devastating nature of a TBI often goes unmentioned until someone noteworthy dies of a head injury.

Sadly, this was the case with actor and comedian Bob Saget. Best known as the longtime host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and Danny Tanner on “Full House,” Saget died on Jan. 9, 2022, from a head injury he sustained after a fall in his hotel room.

Saget’s death was a tragedy ― and an all too common one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he was one of more than 160 Americans who died of a traumatic brain injury that day alone. If there is any silver lining to his shocking death, we hope it spreads awareness about the dangers of head injuries and warns others not to underestimate the effects of blunt force trauma.

How Did Bob Saget Die?

News reports say Saget died from blunt force trauma to the brain and skull. He was found unresponsive at his hotel room in Orlando, Fla. After an autopsy, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that Saget most likely sustained his fatal injury after slipping on the marble floor in the bathroom and hitting his head.

“The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma,” the Saget family said in a statement after officials released the autopsy results. “They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it, and went to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved.”

Dr. Roshini Raj, an associate professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Health, told People Magazine that “This report shows that the [skull and] brain suffered trauma which led to skull fractures, bruising of the brain and actual bleeding in the space around the brain. This blood can compress the brain and cause death.”

What Are The Dangers of Head Injuries?

CDC research shows there were about 224,000 hospitalizations for brain injuries across the country in one recent year alone. All head injuries should be taken seriously, as untreated damage can be irreversible. Potential complications from blunt-force head injuries include:

  • Skull fractures
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Loss of bodily functions, including partial or complete paralysis
  • Memory problems
  • Speech problems
  • Personality changes
  • Mental health disorders (PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.)
  • Coma
  • Death

What Causes of Blunt Force Trauma?

Blunt force trauma occurs when the body comes in contact with a firm, broad object or surface. Some of the most common sources of blunt force trauma in the United States include:

  • FallsEven a seemingly minor fall can cause blunt force trauma to the head, as was the unfortunate case for Bob Saget. While falling backward is a more common cause of head injuries, they can also happen if someone falls forward or to the side.
  • Motor vehicle accidentsWhether a victim hits the steering wheel, window, or dashboard, traffic collisions can easily cause a blow to the head. Motorists and motorcyclists risk sustaining catastrophic head injuries if they are ejected from their vehicles onto the roadway or into a stationary object like a tree.
  • Bicycle accidentsCyclists struck by cars or trucks can land with tremendous force if thrown from their bikes. Even with a helmet, the force of impact can be enough to cause dangerous blunt force trauma.
  • Pedestrian accidentsLike cyclists, pedestrians can sustain catastrophic injuries when struck by a car or truck. The initial impact alone could cause a head injury, along with the secondary impact of striking a wall or the ground.
  • Violence – Physical attacks can cause blunt force trauma injuries in several ways. The victim may sustain a direct blow to the head from someone’s hands or feet during an assault.

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What Are Some Signs That You May Have a Head Injury?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common signs of head injuries include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Trouble speaking
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
  • Feeling confused or disoriented
  • Memory issues
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Loss of consciousness for several minutes or longer
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Intense, persistent headaches
  • Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose

What Should You Do When You Suffer a Head Injury?

See a doctor right away if you experience a harsh bump on the head. As Saget’s tragic case shows us, a seemingly minor injury can still prove fatal. You don’t have to lose consciousness to have a concussion, and even mild TBIs can have long-term consequences.

Once you’ve called 911, here’s what to do next:

  • If you can, take pictures of the area of the accident scene anything that might have contributed to the incident. For example, if you were in a car crash, take photos of all the vehicles involved, the area around the crash, and any visible injuries.
  • File a report with the police or other authorities.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment regimen exactly as ordered.
  • Save all your medical records and receipts.
  • Don’t say anything to any insurance companies until you’ve spoken with a traumatic brain injury lawyer.
  • Contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Of course, not all head injuries will provide grounds for a personal injury claim. Smacking your head on a kitchen cabinet could just be a freak accident, with no one to blame. But if the cabinet detached from the wall and struck you due to defective installation, you might have a legal case. The best way to find out is by talking with a proven personal injury attorney.

Contact a Head Injury Lawyer in Atlanta Today

Some of the legal team of Butler KahnA head injury caused by blunt force trauma can have catastrophic consequences. If you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, Georgia law allows you to seek compensation for your injuries and their related expenses. The experienced attorneys at Butler Kahn have helped many people in the Atlanta area demand fair compensation after a traumatic brain injury. We’re prepared to do the same for you. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

Matt Kahn
Matt Kahn is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer and a partner at the law firm Butler Kahn. Matt has dedicated his career to fighting for individuals and families who had been harmed by the negligence of others. At Butler Kahn, he has had the honor of helping families who have lost children in motor vehicle accidents and people who were critically injured. He helped a family secure a $45 million settlement to provide lifetime care for their son, who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. Matt is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and has been recognized as a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star and by Best Lawyers as One to Watch. He has received an Avvo 10.0 Top Attorney rating. Connect with me on LinkedIn

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