A penetrating head injury, also known as an open head injury is caused when the skull and outer layer of the brain is penetrated by a foreign object or a skull fragment. There are two types of penetrating head injuries, high velocity and low velocity. A high velocity penetrating injury is usually caused by a projectile such as a bullet. These types of injuries are grave and lead to death in 92 percent of the cases. In the remainder, there is severe debilitation such as coma, loss of cognitive abilities, vision loss, speech impairment, diminished motor skills, post traumatic epilepsy and more. In high velocity penetrations, caverning of the brain tissue occurs. The high impact on the brain tissue creates an open area three times larger than the penetrating object. In the case of a penetrating spinning object at high velocity, the cavern may be as much as thirty times the size. These spaces quickly close up after impact but the damage to the surrounding tissue is significant. In the case of a high velocity perforating injury, the object passes through the brain and exits the skull on the opposite side. Although the chances of surviving a perforating head injury are even more remote than a penetrating injury, it does happen on rare occasions.
A low velocity penetrating injury can be caused by a knife wound, an arrow, a construction accident, a fall, or even a low speed bullet. There is little caverning effect in a low velocity open head injuries and the mortality rate is much lower. However in the case of a low speed, usually small caliber, bullet, there can be a ricocheting or encircling within the skull which is often fatal. The most common cause of a low velocity open head injury is a skull fracture where a piece of the skull enters the left or right side of the brain. These injuries typically cause symptoms that are treatable though therapy and rehabilitation
Diagnosis and Prognosis for a Penetrating Head Injury
Diagnosing an open head injury, and the associated damage, is done by X-ray, CT scan or MRI. An MRI is only used if there is no chance of a magnetically attractive object being lodged within the brain. The magnet will cause the object to move causing further damage. The prognosis in low velocity brain injuries can range from severely debilitating to relatively minor depending upon the location and degree of penetration and the size of the object. In all open brain injuries there also exists a chance of infection.
Almost anyone who received an open head injury and survived is going to need long term medical care and rehabilitation costing a fortune over their lifetime. They may lose their ability to work at their chosen occupation or even work at all. They may experience seizures, chronic head pain, speech loss, loss of vision, loss of motor skills and cognitive abilities. This type of injury may cost millions over a lifetime, in addition to pain and suffering and a diminished quality of life. In the majority of cases the head injury was of no fault of their own but the negligence or malice of another party.
If you or a loved one suffered an open head injury, through no fault of your own you may be entitled to receive a large cash settlement for your injury. An experienced brain injury attorney will examine the many facts that led to your injury and see where the responsibility lies. It may not only be with the person or persons who directly caused the injury, but through the neglect of a third party. Was there proper security? Did medical personnel treat the injury properly from the beginning? Was a weapon left unattended or unlocked where it got into the wrong hands? These are only a few of many questions that need to be answered. An attorney from Dolman Law Group will get those answers.
The brain injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group have successfully represented a myriad of brain injury victims, recovering large cash settlements. If you or a loved one has suffered injury at the hands of another, call a brain injury attorney from Dolman Law Group today. It will cost you nothing and you may be entitled to a large cash sum.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765