A closed head injury occurs when the brain suffers damage due to trauma. This injury typically is associated with sudden, violent movement, such as striking one’s head against the pavement after exiting a vehicle and slipping on ice.
Unlike an open head injury, there is no penetration of the brain or breakage of the skull with a closed head injury. A closed head injury may be limited to one area (focal point) or throughout the brain (diffused). Injuries may be classified as mild, moderate or severe. Concussions are common examples of closed head injuries.
Long-term complications will vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury.
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How do closed head injuries occur?
Closed head injury may occur in association with acceleration or deceleration events — whenever the victim’s body and head move in a sudden manner.
Potential causes of closed head injury include:
- automotive accidents (the cause of as many as 40 percent of newly reported brain injuries in 2012 in Ontario, according to the Ontario Brain Injury Association);
- falls (including slip and fall and trip and fall accidents);
- sports injuries (such as during soccer, skiing, snowboarding, hockey, football and so on);
- pedestrian accidents;
- bicycle accidents;
- snowmobile crashes;
- motorcycle accidents; and
The nature of the injuring event may provide important details to medical providers about the best course of treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of a Closed Head Injury
A closed head injury can prove debilitating or even fatal. It is crucial to recognize the signs of closed head injury and seek prompt medical attention after an accident or injury-inducing event.
Below are some of the signs of closed head injury:
- dilated pupils;
- blurred or double vision;
- changes in personality (irritability, confusion, etc.);
- slurred speech or other problems talking;
- trouble remembering events leading up to and after the incident;
- clear or bloody fluid coming from the nose or ears;
- trouble breathing;
- seizures/convulsions; and
- loss of consciousness.
Some symptoms of closed head injury will be immediately apparent, such as a child “blacking out” after taking a blow to the head during an ice hockey game. Other symptoms – such as changes in mood or memory – may take hours or even days to manifest.
Prompt treatment may prove life saving. It also may help mitigate some of the long-term damage associated with a closed head injury. Seek medical care in any instance where there is injury potential.
Do I have the right to pursue compensation to treat my closed head injury?
Matters of negligence and liability may come into play in situations involving accidents and physical assault. For instance, a property owner or occupier may be liable for a victim’s closed head injury if the victim suffered a slip and fall accident on icy steps.
Meanwhile, Accident Benefits are available in cases involving motor vehicle accidents – including pedestrian and bike accidents. Learn more about potential avenues of financial recovery during a free case evaluation with a lawyer at the Preszler Law Firm – 1-800-JUSTICE®.