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Traumatic brain injury may be closed or open

About 1.7 million deaths, visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations happen each year as a result of traumatic injury to the brain. A person in West Virginia can suffer a traumatic brain injury even if he or she is not traveling quickly when he or she hits a hard object. Brain injuries may result from work-related accidents, car accidents and falls.

Two types of brain injuries exist: closed and open. Closed injuries do not involve fractures, but they can be more severe than open injuries because of the chance of brain swelling. A closed injury can also cause potentially lethal blood clots to form inside the victim's skull.

Open injuries happen when the victims' skulls have been fractured. An open injury typically happens as a result of a fall or another type of accident where the head directly contacts a hard object or surface. Both closed and open injuries have the potential to cause the loss of consciousness or paralysis, and they may even lead to death.

If a person in West Virginia has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another party -- for instance, a negligent motorist -- then he or she has the right to file a personal injury claim against that person. Monetary damages awarded in a successfully litigated lawsuit may help to cover medical costs, the loss of wages and other expenses stemming from the injury-causing incident. Damages may also help to address pain and suffering as well as the emotional distress caused by the incident.

Source: FindLaw, "Brain Injury Overview", Accessed on Dec. 6, 2016

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