Doctor Looking at Brain Scans After a Penetrating Injury | Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury LawyerAny surviving victim of an open head wound will likely find that necessary surgeries, therapy sessions, and in-home care are all extremely expensive. It’s all too easy for an entire family to reach a desperate financial position, especially if the victim or their caregiver can’t return to work. If an open head wound with a traumatic brain injury has turned your life upside down, an attorney can help you pursue the compensation you need. 

Penetrating Brain Injuries and Their Potential Impact on Your Life

When hearing the phrase “penetrating brain injury,” your first thought may involve a bullet or some kind of stabbing weapon. Of course, incidents of purposeful violence or accidental firearm discharge can lead to open brain injuries. Those are by no means the only ways for an open head injury to occur, however.

Skull fractures where a foreign object actively penetrates an area of the brain can take place due to:

  • Bicyclist or pedestrian injuries
  • Car crashes
  • Defective product accidents
  • Injuries from sports events or physical activities like longboarding, football, rock climbing, etc.
  • Motorcycle collisions
  • Pool slip and fall accidents, stairways, or uneven floors caused by a negligent property owner
  • Truck accidents, particularly at high speed when a truck jack-knifes on the freeway, or when there’s an underride collision
  • Workplace accidents

The specific physical and emotional effects on your life from a penetrating injury depends heavily on which specific lobe and hemisphere of the brain is impacted, as well as the extent of the damage.

While “closed” head wounds often involve brain damage over a larger area, penetrating wounds tend to be more focused on a specific location. That means you may avoid some brain injury symptoms entirely but find others are a major influence on your day-to-day living. Potential issues you may deal with after a penetrating TBI can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Cognitive decline
  • Coordination and balance problems
  • Depression
  • Language and speech difficulties
  • Loss of impulse control
  • Memory loss or difficulty forming new memories
  • Paralysis
  • Personality shifts
  • Reduction to motor skills, movement range, and muscle control
  • Seizures
  • Vision loss or impairment
  • Wrongful death. In a sadly large number of cases, penetrating brain injuries are fatal. If a loved one passed away after an open head wound, you have the legal right to hold the at-fault party financially responsible.

What to Do After a Penetrating Brain Injury

Obviously, any of those potential symptoms are likely to disrupt your personal and professional life. Many TBI victims can’t return to the office or are forced to find a different line of work entirely that can provide adequate accommodations. 

Other secondary health problems stemming from your injury can be extremely dangerous, such as bleeding or swelling in the brain. If not caught quickly, either issue can lead to death. Immediate medical treatment after your accident is essential to discovering internal injuries, but there are other considerations when it comes to your legal rights.

One crucial reason to quickly seek medical care is to document the injury's extent and how it occurred. That is a necessary and particularly vital part of the process when it comes to negotiating with an insurance company or presenting your case to a jury in a personal injury lawsuit.

There are a number of other important steps to take, besides just heading to the emergency room immediately, to make it more likely you can achieve a financial recovery after the accident. If you are taken to the hospital via ambulance, it may be up to someone else to handle some of those steps. When possible, after any kind of serious accident, be sure to:

  • Get as much evidence from the scene as you can. That means taking photos of the car crash aftermath, the circumstances that led to a slip and fall, and so on.
  • Notify the on-duty manager or property owner if the brain injury occurred in a slip and fall.
  • Speak with any witnesses who saw the accident and get their contact info in case they need to be questioned later or end up testifying in court.
  • Talk to an experienced TBI attorney about your penetrating brain injury as soon as possible.

How to Pursue Compensation for an Open Head Wound Injury

Recruiting a skilled traumatic brain injury attorney is one of the most important steps in the recovery process because your lawyer can determine who is liable for your damages. Someone along the way failed to uphold their basic duty of care required by Virginia law. If that person had been more careful, your life wouldn’t have taken a major turn due to a penetrating brain injury.

The specific negligent behavior leading to the injury could have been distracted or tired driving, failing to repair a broken handrail, releasing a defective product that could explode, or something else entirely. After determining who is potentially liable for your damages, your next step is to decide on an avenue to recover financially. That may involve dealing with an insurance provider, directly filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party who caused your brain injury, or both.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and the negligent party will likely try to avoid paying what you are actually owed. Lost income, funeral expenses, medical costs, and non-economic damages like emotional pain and suffering can be extremely high after penetrating brain injuries. An attorney who has handled TBI lawsuits is needed to investigate your accident and overcome common defenses used in this kind of personal injury litigation.


Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims