Types of brain injury: what Alameda residents need to know

Last week, we discussed the case of a serious injury that occurred at a party when a flying object hit a victim on the head. While a brain injury can occur in a diverse set of circumstances, not every brain injury is the same. Let's take a look at a few important differences in brain injuries, with the understanding that the information is not intended as specific legal advice, but as a general background on brain injuries only.

Bruising of the brain is one common type of brain injury. Usually appearing in slip-and-fall accidents and car accidents, the brain becomes bruised when a sudden force causes the brain to move abruptly inside the skull. A traumatic injury can also cause tearing, which is like a web of small cracks that emerge in the brain. Tearing can cause victims to experience severe restrictions in the use of their bodies, depending on which areas of the brain are affected.

Both of these injuries can also cause swelling, a natural response to injury but can seriously complicate a brain injury, as the pressure can cause further damage or even death. Sometimes, a brain injury is accompanied by a skull fracture; this is known as an "open" head injury. When the brain is injured but the skull remains intact, it is called a "closed" head injury. Because of the likelihood of swelling, as well as the possibly of blood clots, a closed head injury can actually be more serious than an open one.

Unfortunately, without a visible wound, victims with closed head injuries may actually be less likely to receive the immediate medical care they need. A thorough medical evaluation will also be necessary to determine the extent of the treatment and rehabilitation the victim will require, whether they will be able to resume working or living independently and other considerations as well.

The damages following a brain injury can be tremendous. It could impact a victim financially as well as physically, mentally and emotionally. Thus, it is important to consider options and legal recourses available. A personal injury action could help with liability and the recovery of compensation.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Brain Injury Overview," accessed on May 5, 2018

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