Closed head injuries are a common injury seen in brain injury claims. This type of injury occurs when the head suffers a significant blow from a physical object or shock wave, but there is no penetration through the scalp or skull. Closed head injuries can be mild to moderate, severe, or life threatening with most being mild. These types of injuries are also known as the silent injury because they are often not immediately noticeable. Due to the limited amount of room inside the head, the brain is vulnerable and any kind of sudden, violent blow can cause it to hit the side of the skull with force. If this force is hard enough, brain cells can be destroyed and neurons could be torn. When this happens, the connections between the cells become disrupted; therefore, hinders communication in the brain. Blood vessels might also be broken and cause long term damage over a period of time. For all of these reasons, it is prudent to get medical attention whenever a person’s head has suffered from a violent impact or force.
Concussions are considered to be the most common type of closed head injury. In general, there is no internal bleeding and they can be mild to severe. A person who has suffered a concussion could experience temporary memory loss or confusion, but these symptoms should pass in 3-5 days. A second impact to the head while the person has the concussion could be life threatening, so rest and limited mobility is recommended.
A contusion is considered to be a serious closed head injury and refers to bruising on the brain. Another name for this is hematoma. Although bruises on other parts of the body are often not serious, when on the brain, they can be life threatening or lead to permanent damage. Consequences to a contusion type of injury include:
- Loss of blood to the brain
- Loss of oxygen to the brain
- Swelling, also known as edema
- Destruction of brain cells
Identifying the Symptoms of a Closed Head Injury
Closed head injuries are not always obvious. In fact, it is possible for them to be dismissed as a minor concussion by doctors, especially when the injured person can function right after the accident. Symptoms might not show themselves for weeks; some include:
- Vision or hearing problems
- Memory loss
- Inability to balance
- Coordination problems
- Changes in any of the 5 senses
- Tingling sensation in half of the body
- Constant headache
If you are experiencing any of the above, or are noticing new symptoms, you should get medical attention. Failure to do so could cause permanent brain damage or death. It might also affect your ability to file a legal claim.
Have You Suffered a Closed Head Injury?
If you or a loved one has suffered from a closed head injury because of another person’s negligence, you may be able to hold that person responsible for their actions with the help of a brain injury lawyer Miami, FL residents rely on. Likewise, if a doctor failed to diagnose your brain injury, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into brain injury cases.