A brain injury can be caused from any truck and car accidents, falls, sports injuries, acts of violence, improper medical care, or workplace injuries. If a brain injury results from another’s negligence, the victim may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF HEAD INJURIES
Injuries to the head are classified as open or closed injuries. A closed head injury is when the brain makes contact with the inside of the skull. An open head injury occurs when the skull is broken, fractured, or pierced by an object. Both closed and open head injuries can cause severe damage, including loss of cognitive functioning and use of the senses.
CLOSED HEAD INJURIES
Closed head injuries happen when the brain hits the inside of the skull. These types of injuries may result from whiplash or when the head strikes a object. Although there may be no outward physical signs of injury, the brain can swell inside the skull and put pressure on delicate tissues and nerves, causing permanent damage. Closed head injuries are commonly caused by:
- Concussions: a concussion is a mild form of closed brain injury that causes swelling. The brain can usually recover from a concussion; however, the injured person loses consciousness or swelling continues long after the initial injury, serious brain damage may result. Additional concussions, especially sustained before the person fully recovered from the previous one, can be even more devastating and could cause death.
- Diffuse injuries: A diffuse axonal injury causes shearing of large nerve fibers and stretching of blood vessels in many areas of the brain. In addition to bleeding, this type of injury can trigger a biochemical cascade of toxic substances in the brain during the days following the initial injury.
- Mass lesions: this refers to the specific location of the injury, which can sustain bruising (contusion), blood clots (hematoma), and bleeding (hemorrhage), that put pressure on the brain, causing damage.
Closed head injuries are very serious because if bleeding and swelling inside the brain is not controlled, the brain will be increasingly damaged.
OPEN HEAD INJURIES
Open head injuries happen when an object pierces or breaks the skull. In addition to damaging the brain, open head injuries typically have open wounds that can become infected and complete the brain injury. There are 2 primary kinds of open head injuries: skull fractures and penetrating injuries.
- Skull fractures: the skull is a bone like others—but it protects your most important asset. So, like other bones, the skull can be fractured or broken. The most dangerous fractures happen at the base of the skull, where the brain gets its blood and oxygen supplies. The most common fracture is called a linear fracture, which is when the skull is cracked or broken. Linear fractures are very dangerous because if a piece of the skull pushes into the brain, the person can be seriously hurt—this type of situation is called a depressed skull fracture. The skull can also be fractured at suture lines, which are where the brain fuse together during birth. The most serious skull fracture, however, is one that occurs at the base of the skull.
- Penetrating-skull injuries: this is when an object punctures the skull, travels through it, and makes contact with the brain. Gunshot injuries that enter the brain are penetrating-skull injuries.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES
Closed and open head injuries can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI occurs when normal brain function is disrupted because of an impact or a loss of blood and oxygen to the brain. TBIs are often life-changing, resulting in memory loss, paralysis, and cognitive difficulties that require long-term care and rehabilitation. Everyone’s brain and body react differently to brain injuries, but here are some typical symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of memory
- Difficulty concentrating or confusion
- Slow speech
- Blurred vision or other vision changes
- Ringing in the ears
- Balance problems and dizziness
- Neck pain
Your brain is the most important part of your body, and you should receive immediate medical attention if you think your brain has been injured in any way. If you have suffered a brain injury, hiring the right lawyer—someone who understands brain injuries and their cases—is extremely important. Mike Rafi has personal experience with brain injury causes—a close family member had successful brain surgery in 2015. Mike will treat you and your family like you are part of his, and will do everything he can to help you.