A closed head injury occurs when a sudden or violent motion causes the brain to knock against the inside of the skull – for example, when the head strikes the windshield of a car. Although there may be no physical signs of injury, the brain can swell inside the skull, putting pressure on tissues and nerves and causing permanent damage.
An open head injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull or when the skull is broken. In addition to physically damaging the brain, open head injuries invite infection in the open wound, which can complicate the condition.
Years ago, doctors believed that a closed head injury was less serious than a penetrating injury because it did not involve a skull fracture. But experience has shown that the closed head injury can be just as severe as the penetrating injury because of brain swelling and inflammation.
The damage from a closed head injury varies widely. Less serious injuries may result in a brief dazed feeling or in a momentary loss of consciousness. On the serious end of the spectrum, people can lose consciousness for hours, days or longer. Seizures may also occur. Another concern is that patients who have suffered a severe head injury often have other injured organs. For example, a head injury is sometimes accompanied by a spinal cord injury.
Slack & Davis personal injury attorneys have the legal experience and technical knowledge necessary to handle complex cases that involve a brain injury or spinal cord injury. Our full-time, on-site legal nurse consultant, Kristy May, R.N., with 23 years of medical and hospital background, provides additional insight to help bridge the gap between legal and medical disciplines. With a bachelor of science degree in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin, Kristy provides patient-care and rehabilitation expertise, allowing our attorneys to view the case from many different perspectives. Kristy’s ability to interact with leading medical experts in order to review the details of head-injury cases has been an important aspect of the due diligence that Slack & Davis provides. Contact us to find out more. (Related information: Burn Injuries and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children)
The North American Brain Injury Society