Among the worst injuries you can suffer as a result of a car crash, workplace accident, medical malpractice, or act of violence are traumatic brain injuries. Injuries that affect the brain can be a result of either open or closed head injuries.
Open Head Injuries
An open head injury occurs when an object forcefully penetrates the skull and damages brain tissue or the membranes that surround it. Infection and contamination inside the skull can further complicate these already catastrophic injuries. Gunshot and stab wounds, construction accidents, falls from high places, and motor vehicle accidents are the most likely causes of open head injuries
Closed Head Injuries
In closed head injuries, the skull and dura mater, the tough fibrous membrane between the brain and the skull, the brain, are left intact. Closed head injuries comprise about three-quarters of the roughly 17 million brain injuries that occur every year in the United States. They range in severity from mild concussions to diffuse axonal injuries, which cause coma and frequently, death.
Closed head injuries can cause a lifetime of cognitive, psychological, and physical impairment.
Types of closed head injuries include
- Concussion: a head injury causing temporary disruption of normal brain function
- Intracranial hematoma: a pooling of blood caused by a broken artery or vein in the area of the brain (subdural hematoma) or between the brain and the skull (epidural hematoma). Intracranial hematomas press against the brain, which if left untreated can be fatal.
- Cerebral contusion: bruising of an area of brain tissue
- Diffuse axonal injury: an injury to the axon of the neuron, often fatal; causes coma and usually, if the victim survives, permanent brain damage or persistent vegetative state
Symptoms of Brain Injuries
The symptoms of a brain injury are not always apparent immediately after the trauma. They begin to show after the brain has had time to swell, which can happen over hours, days, or even weeks.
Common symptoms of a head injury include
- Slurred speech
And in the most severe closed head injuries,
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent vegetative state
Secondary Psychiatric Symptoms
More than half of victims who survive a traumatic brain injury develop psychiatric symptoms. Head injury survivors have more difficulty holding a job, which tends to exacerbate mental problems. Secondary psychiatric symptoms include
- Social problems
- Cognitive disabilities
The brain is the seat of the personality and the intellect. It controls important physical functions as well as psychological and cognitive ones. Brain injuries are life-threatening and life-changing; they almost always have long-term consequences. Victims of brain injuries often need lifelong care and treatment. Many are unable to ever work again, and most are not able to earn as much as they did before the injury. The recovery a brain injury victim claims should be enough to cover present and future costs of medical treatment, psychological therapy, occupational therapy, and in many cases, day-to-day care.
If you or a family member suffered a brain injury due to someone’s negligence, you need an experienced, aggressive personal injury lawyer on your side who is accustomed to handling catastrophic injury cases. The attorneys at the Abronson Law Offices are expert negotiators and litigators with the knowledge, experience, and access to investigators and experts to help you get the recovery you need and deserve. Call our office for a free consultation. You don’t need money to hire the best and you pay us nothing unless we win a case for you.
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