Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

traumatic brain injuries (TBI) Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries 

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur during a car accident, a fall, a collision with another person – often while playing sports – a blow to the head, whiplash, or shaking. The severity of the TBI, however, will vary depending on the force of impact, where the person was hit, and the individual themselves.

TBIs are usually categorized as either severe, moderate, or mild. While there are symptoms and responses that are typical to these injury classifications, every person with a head injury will react differently. TBIs are often difficult to diagnose because each brain responds so differently to the injury depending on which areas of the brain are affected. Diagnosis of a brain injury is critical, however, as repeated head injuries in quick succession can lead to Second Impact Syndrome, a fatal head injury.

Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)


Concussions can occur in both open- and closed-head injuries. The most common type of brain injury, a concussion can develop from a sudden change in movement or an impact to the head. The jolt of a car accident, for example, can easily cause a concussion. If there is an absence of swelling, bleeding, or open wounds, or if symptoms are not evident immediately, a concussion can easily be overlooked or misdiagnosed, delaying treatment. Some people needs weeks, months, and even years to fully heal from a concussion.

Head Contusion

A contusion on the body is a blow to subsurface tissue that doesn’t break the skin and results in a bruise. Though this injury may seem mild, that is not always the case. When the brain suffers a contusion, usually from a direct blow to the head, there can be a brain bruise or bleeding. Contusions often heal on their own without medical intervention, but the more severe contusions of the brain often need to be surgically removed. Athletes and children are some of the most common sufferers of head contusions, which are categorized by swelling, skin discoloration, and pain.


If any bone, skin, hair, or other fragments penetrate the skull and are forced into the brain, this is considered a penetrating traumatic brain injury. This serious, life-threatening injury can rupture brain tissue and requires immediately medical care. Gunshot wounds to the head are the largest cause of death from a TBI, but this injury can also occur in an auto accident, being struck on the head by an object, and other severe blows to the head.

Diffuse Axonal

A diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is rapidly shifted inside the skull. The quick acceleration and deceleration of the brain, which is moving more slowly than the skull, results in the tearing of connective fibers and nerve tissue in the brain. The diagnosis of a diffuse axonal injury can offer proof of Shaken Baby Syndrome, and this TBI can also occur in auto accidents. Severe shaking or rotation can lead to brain damage, coma, and death.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

All traumatic brain injuries do not present the same way. When a head injury is not obvious – for example, there is no loss of consciousness – identifying the symptoms can be complex, especially immediately after the injury. It may take time for the effects of a TBI to make themselves known, but some subtle indications of a head injury include:

  • Confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Cognitive difficulty
  • Changes in behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Impulsivity
  • Physical impairments

Do You Need a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?

These brain injuries noted here are not a comprehensive list of TBIs. Various types of TBIs can occur, depending on the cause of the injury and the reaction to the injury.  If you believe that you suffered a TBI at the negligence of another person, or that your brain injury was misdiagnosed, contact an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney at Thurswell Law for a free consultation. There are no fees unless you collect. Contact us at (248) 354-2222.

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