Unlike a closed traumatic brain injury, “open” head wounds take place when some object physically fractures or penetrates the skull. If it isn’t treated quickly, this type of head injury often results in life-altering repercussions. While you should consult a Richmond personal injury attorney after suffering any blow to the head, open head injuries are particularly complex cases that require specialized legal assistance.
Dangers of Open Head Injuries
This type of catastrophic head injury often takes place in high-speed vehicle collisions, but open head wounds can also occur in a slip and fall as well as other accident types. No matter what the victim hits, their scalp may become depressed towards the brain due to the force of the impact, or the skull may actually shatter.
Although any damage to brain tissue is extremely concerning, it isn’t just the brain itself that’s susceptible to harm in an open head injury. Fractures at the base of the skull closer to the neck may cause extreme damage to nerves and blood vessels. Leaking spinal flood, injury to olfactory glands involving the sense of smell, and damage to the eyes are all possible. There is also a serious risk of infection if the scalp is cut in the accident.
Due to the adrenaline released in the accident, some victims don’t realize how badly they are hurt at the scene, however. Getting a full medical checkup is crucial following any blow to the head, whether you tripped and fell down the stairs, were struck by something in a workplace injury, or were hurt in a car or truck collision.
Symptoms of an open head injury and additional complications from the wound can potentially include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Black or blue discoloration around ears, jaw, or neck
- Blurred vision
- Chronic headaches
- Cognitive difficulties
- Dilated pupils
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, and vertigo
- Fluid leaking from ears or nose
- Frequent nausea
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Mood swings, often to unexpected degrees that aren’t appropriate for the situation
- Raccoon eyes (black and blue bruising around eyes indicating potential sinus or nerve damage)
- Problems interpreting language and using formerly-familiar words
- Sensory problems, such as changes to (or total loss of) smell or taste
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
Why You Need to Speak With an Attorney After an Open Head Injury
Simply attending doctor appointments and trying to return to work is often more than an open head wound victim can handle. You will likely require help developing a support system from friends and loved ones to acclimate to a new normal after an open head injury.
Unfortunately, those aren’t the only difficulties you can expect after the accident. Victims often aren’t prepared for the devastating cost of medical bills when dealing with any kind of skull fracture or traumatic brain injury. Multiple surgeries over an extended period of time are a strong possibility, as well as the need for long-term therapy to deal with the physical, behavioral, and cognitive changes that can result from an open head injury.
Your number one concern should be your physical and emotional health, which is why you should allow an attorney to handle the financial side of your recovery. A lawyer helps by protecting your legal rights and investigating the accident to find out if your injury was caused by negligence.
After the negligent party is identified, an attorney assists in getting you back on your feet by negotiating with the insurance company and potentially filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, negligent property owner, store manager, etc. With an attorney’s help, you can seek compensation covering:
- Bills for the extensive medical care needed after an open head injury
- Future costs if you require additional therapies or surgeries down the line
- Funeral expenses if a loved one died because of the accident
- Non-economic damages covering the pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life caused by an open head injury
- Wages for the time you can’t work, as well as lost earning potential in the future
Speak With a Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer About Your Accident
Don’t wait to start the process of recovering financially after a serious head injury. When you are already dealing with the physical and emotional fallout of a serious car crash, the financial impact can be particularly devastating. You deserve to have a legal professional in your corner to stand up for your rights and tell your story in court.
If you've been injured in a car accident, contact us today at 804-409-0876 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We have been proudly servicing clients throughout Richmond, Virginia and surrounding areas.