D'Amore Personal Injury Law, LLC

What is a Closed Head Injury?

The brain may be the most important organ in the body. It’s the organ that makes you who you are. Thinking, feeling, and remembering are all carried out in the brain. Any injury to your brain affects who you are in a way that can never really be explained or cured. If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury in an accident, you may be facing life-altering consequences.

A closed head injury, also called a traumatic brain injury, is simply any injury to the head where the skull was not penetrated. A serious laceration that needs stitches would not be a closed head injury, even though there would be extensive bleeding. Closed head injuries can seem harmless at first, because there are few outward symptoms.

Types of Closed Head Injuries

Most head injuries are caused by movement of the brain inside the skull. Your brain does not completely fill your skull. There is a space around the brain filled with blood vessels and connective tissue called dura. This space cushions the brain against ordinary bumps and movement. If you suffer an unusually hard impact, like in a car accident, your brain can hit the inside of your skull. This is what causes closed head injuries.

• Concussion: It used to be thought concussions were minor injuries caused by a hit or bump to the head. We now know concussions can be very serious and a concussion can have lasting effects.

• Contusion: Just like any other part of your body, your brain can become bruised. The difference is that the brain has very little room to swell inside the skull. This leads to pressure building up in the brain.

• Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): Also known as axonal shearing, this is a disruption of brain tissue on a cellular level. A severe impact can cause brain cells to separate and lose their ability to communicate.

• Intracranial hemorrhage: The blood vessels that supply the brain fill the narrow space between the brain and the skull. If they are damaged by an impact, there is no place for excess blood or blood clots to go. This quickly leads to pressure on the brain.

Closed head injury symptoms may take hours or even days to develop. It is essential for anyone who has been in an accident with even a potential for a head injury to be assessed by a medical professional.

Effects of Closed Head Injuries

The long-term effects of closed head injuries can be life-altering. We now know that even mild concussions can be cumulative. That is, having one concussion makes the victim more likely to have a more serious outcome the next time they suffer a concussion. There is no minor head injury.

Depending on the location and nature of the injury, a closed head injury could cause any or all of these effects:

• Cognitive impairment: The victim can suffer changes in their ability to think, remember, and perform activities of daily living, such as dressing or bathing.

• Emotional impairment: Changes in mood, emotional instability, extremes of behavior, and sometimes mental illness can be closed head injury side effects.

• Sensory impairment: Loss of vision, hearing, balance, even taste and smell are possible.

• Memory loss: very common and can range from short-term loss of events around the accident, to severe retrograde amnesia going back weeks or months prior to the accident.

• Paralysis: loss of motor control, or other neurological difficulties.

• Epilepsy: narcolepsy (sudden sleepiness), and other neurological disorders are possible.

The effects of closed head injury are profound because the brain carries out so many higher functions. The brain is very slow to repair itself. Most neurologists believe that the brain does not heal in the same way other body parts heal. Instead, new neural pathways are developed, and undamaged portions of the brain take over the same functions. This is a long process for adults and requires a great deal of therapy and patience.

What Can You Expect After a Closed Head Injury?

If you or a loved one have suffered a closed head injury, you may be facing years of rehabilitation and medical bills. You may wonder what your options are to recover compensation for your injuries, especially if you were not at fault for the accident that caused them.

If you were injured due to another person’s carelessness or negligence, you should contact a closed head injury lawyer right away. You have the right to receive compensation for your injury, such as: 

  • Medical costs: You should receive compensation for the cost of treatment, including therapy, rehabilitation, medication, and support devices.
  • Lost wages and income: including lost future wages until you can return to work.
  • Future medical care: If the injury is ongoing, you will need continuing care, follow-up treatment, or are likely to need care as your condition deteriorates, you should be able to claim that.
  • Noneconomic damages: Such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of quality of life.

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 3 years from the date of injury, unless you can show some compelling reason why it should be extended. This is true no matter what type of injury you have. Because the effects of a head injury can take so long to manifest, you should consult a legal professional as soon as possible after an accident.

What a Closed Head Injury Lawyer Can Do For You

When you need an attorney for your closed head injury, contact the attorneys at D’Amore Personal Injury Law. We will help you understand the legal aspects of your case, and help you get the compensation you need for the injuries you have suffered.

We understand the complexities of living with a head injury, and the demands such an injury places on your life and the lives of your family members. You should not have to fight a legal battle while you are trying to get better. Let our team do the hard work for you. Our team will get you the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Contact us today.

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