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Brain Damage Possible From Open Wound or Closed Head Injury

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There are three types of brain injury depending upon how bad the injury is. Lawyers who handle traumatic brain injury cases have to be aware of the medicine and science related to the different categories of brain injury.

The injury lawyer who handles automobile accident cases, slip and fall cases, and all types accidents may encounter either in a person with a closed head injury meaning no open wound or broken skin or in an open head injury where the exterior skin is damaged in addition to the brain inside the skull.

Types of brain injury used in the assessment by rescue personnel are called the Glasgow Coma scale which is looking at the initial apparent severity of the neurological damage to the brain. Where exactly a person falls on this scale may not directly determine the amount of permanent brain function loss or disability suffered by the injured person. Although the term mild is used for the first level, this is a misleading term because all brain injuries are real and serious physical injuries.

Mild traumatic brain injury typically means a brief period of loss of consciousness. The person may just be dazed and confused where this level of brain injury has occurred. The signs of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) include decreased cognition like the ability to focus and remember things. Other signs of mild traumatic brain injury include headaches, nausea and light sensitivity. Problems with fatigue and sleep disturbance are also typical of mild traumatic brain injury. Psychological symptoms include depression, irritability, anxiety, and mood swings. Balance problems may also be present in those having a mild traumatic brain injury. People who suffer moderate traumatic brain injury in an accident typically have longer periods of loss of consciousness up to two hours, confusion lasting up to a period of weeks, and some of the physical, mental and emotional deficits as described above for mild traumatic brain injury lasting for months or sometimes permanently.

Severe brain injury often involves prolonged unconsciousness or coma of a period lasting up to months. The different types of comas are defined based on how damaged the person’s function is in terms of body movement, speech, and vision. Brain death can also result from very severe injury to the brain.

Although not all blows to the head will cause traumatic brain injury, the trauma may occur more than a lay person might imagine. The direct application of force from a motor vehicle crash, fall, or being struck with an object can damage the brain inside the skull. You can have traumatic brain injury which is caused not by a direct blow, but simply by the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head typical in a car accident event wherein the rapid movement pulls apart nerve fibers causing damage to the brain. This mechanism is also the type of brain injury caused in shaken baby syndrome.

If you think that you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, please contact a competent attorney as soon as possible to discuss what can be done, if anything, through an insurance claim and or the court system. Often it is not the person who suffered the traumatic brain injury, but a close loved one or companion who realizes that something is not right in the person’s physical, mental or emotional status after and event like a car crash or fall. Getting in the hands of the correct medical professionals is essential to managing the sometimes long term effects of TBI.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Head and Brain Injuries.