A closed head injury is just what it sounds like -- a type of traumatic brain injury that may not be immediately apparent because there's no visible wound. In a closed head injury, the brain and dura mater (the outermost tough membranes which cover the brain) are intact, but that doesn't mean that the injury isn't real -- or potentially serious. In fact, traumatic brain injuries (closed head injuries) are the leading cause of death in children under 4, which is why the use of child safety seats is so very important.
Each year in the U.S., an estimated 570,000 people suffer closed head injuries, and 15% of those die from them. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of closed head injuries in teens and young adults, and with today's tendency toward distracted driving, that's not likely to change anytime soon.
It's important to recognize, of course, that there are varying degrees of severity with closed head injuries. You're not likely to have long-term adverse effects from one mild concussion, for example, but the odds increase as the severity increases to moderate or severe head injuries. People who suffer severe closed head injuries have a 30-50% mortality rate, and those who survive are all too often left with severe neurological problems up to and including a permanent vegetative state.
Auto accidents aren't the only cause of closed head injuries. Falls, for example, account for more than 35% of closed head injuries in the U.S., and the most common victims are young children and the elderly.
If you've suffered a closed head injury as the result of somebody else's negligence, whether in a motor vehicle accident, a fall in a public setting, in a sports setting, or from a violent attack, it's important to contact an attorney to make sure that you're fairly compensated for your medical bills and any lingering effects caused by your injury. Power and Brown are the leading attorneys for personal injuries in the state of Alaska. We're located in Anchorage. Contact us today if you've had a closed head injury due to somebody else's negligence or purposeful actions.