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Two Types of Head Injuries | Mandell, Boisclair and Mandell, Ltd
April 7, 2021

Open Vs Closed Head Injury

Head injuries comprise any type of injury to the brain or skull. The consequences and treatments vary widely, depending on the cause and severity of the injury.

Head injuries may be either open or closed. An open head injury occurs when something penetrates or fractures the skull, while a closed head injury describes injuries that do not penetrate the skull.

It is crucial to understand that any head injury, whether open or closed, can be incredibly dangerous. Not all brain injuries are immediately apparent, and seemingly-mild injuries can cause life-altering changes over time.

The experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd have seen the devastation these injuries can impose on the lives of accident victims. We know the challenges you may be facing after a head injury, and we are committed to pursuing the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled for your losses. 

What Is a Closed Head Injury?

Closed head injuries are defined as injuries to the head that do not break or penetrate the skull. These injuries are dangerous because the damage can be diffuse and extensive. Damage in these injuries often occurs when the brain violently collides with the inside of the skull during impact. This can potentially lead to bleeding, bruising, and swelling in the area where the brain collided with the skull.

In some instances, the brain bounces off one area of the skull and impacts another part of the skull. This can happen in an event such as a car wreck when damage occurs at both the front and back of the brain as it ricochets within the skull.

Closed head injuries can include:

  • Concussion: These can occur in both open and closed head injuries. Concussions occur when a sudden motion or impact to the head damages blood vessels in the brain. While some people with a concussion may feel dazed, others can blackout. Complications like swelling and bleeding of the brain can also accompany a concussion.
  • Contusion: This refers to bruising of the brain. Contusions can happen in open head injuries and surgery is sometimes necessary to treat the condition. Coup-contrecoup injuries can result in contusions in which two sides of the brain are bleeding: both the area of initial impact within the skull and the opposite side of the brain are damaged.
  • Diffuse axonal injury: This type of injury results from tearing of brain tissue as the skull moves forcefully. This occurs when the head is violently shaken, such as in a car accident. A diffuse axonal injury interferes with the brain’s function and chemical processes and can sometimes be fatal.

What Is an Open Head Injury?

Open head injuries occur when the skull is penetrated, fractured, or broken in some way. These injuries can be caused by a piece of metal or other sharp debris striking a person with enough force to pierce or break the skull.

These injuries typically cause significant damage, particularly when objects penetrate the skull and enter the brain. The overall injury can cause dangerous swelling and life-threatening conditions.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a disruption to the normal function of the brain that can result from a penetrating head injury or a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Traumatic brain injuries are almost always a direct result of sudden trauma such as a car crash or a fall that impacts the head.

The CDC estimates that roughly 150 Americans die from TBI-related injuries every day.

Some of the common symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or weakness in the extremities
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Nausea or persistent vomiting
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Mood or behavioral changes
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Tired eyes or blurred vision
  • Loss of coordination

Contact Our Providence Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love has suffered a serious head injury, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd can help. Our accomplished brain injury attorneys have extensive experience in these complex matters. We are committed to helping you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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Please call (401) 273-8330 today to discuss your case with a skilled and compassionate personal injury lawyer in Providence. Your initial consultation is FREE, and you only pay us a fee if we reach a successful outcome in your case.