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Car accident in Providence | Mandell, Boisclair and Mandell, Ltd
October 7, 2022

Common Types of Brain Injuries From Car Accidents

Car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the United States. While TBI can be classified as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe,” all traumatic brain injuries are potentially serious medical conditions that require a prompt diagnosis and timely treatment.

The brain injury attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. have extensive experience helping car accident victims obtain justice after sustaining brain damage and other catastrophic, life-altering injuries. If you have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after a car accident in Rhode Island, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. This is true for all types of TBI, including:


Concussions are among the most common types of traumatic brain injuries sustained in car accidents. They can result from direct blows to the head (including impacts with airbags) or from the brain bouncing against the inside of the skull due to the forces involved in a collision.

New research has shed light on the potential for concussion victims to suffer long-term effects. As a result, drivers and passengers who suffer concussions in car accidents need to prioritize their recovery, and they need to ensure that they have the financial resources they will need to cover their medical bills and other losses.


A contusion is a bruise on the brain. As the Merck Manual explains, contusions “involve structural brain damage. Treatment needs for contusions will vary with the severity of drivers’ and passengers’ injuries, and a CT scan will typically be necessary to provide an accurate diagnosis.

Coup-Countrecoup Injuries

Coup-countrecoup injuries involve contusions on opposite sides of the brain. These injuries occur when the brain bounces off of the skull on one side (causing a contusion in the area of impact) before hitting the skull again on the opposite side (causing a second contusion). Coup-countrecoup injuries are relatively common in car accidents—particularly those involving severe rear-end, head-on, and side-impact collisions.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI)

Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) typically result from rotational forces applied to the brain during a collision. However, DAI can also result from violent forward or backward movement of the head in some cases. Axons are connections between the neurons and cells in the brain that are several times thinner than a human hair. In violent car accidents, these axons can tear, potentially resulting in life-altering or life-threatening brain damage.


A hematoma is a blood clot either inside of the brain, on the outside of the brain, or between the brain and the dura mater—which is the innermost layer of tissue that protects the brain inside of the skull. A blood clot in the brain is referred to as an intracerebral hematoma; a blood clot on the outside of the brain is referred to as an epidural hematoma; and, a blood clot between the brain and the dura mater is referred to as a subdural hematoma. All three types of hematomas have the potential for serious consequences, and surgical removal may be necessary to sidestep long-term or fatal risks.


Hemorrhages are a form of TBI that involve bleeding in the brain or in the dura mater. Like hematomas, hemorrhages are potentially serious injuries for which surgical intervention will often be necessary. There are four primary types of brain hemorrhages (also referred to as intracranial hemorrhages):

  • Epidural hemorrhage (bleeding between the inside of the skull and the dura mater)
  • Subdural hemorrhage (bleeding between the dura mater and the arachnoid membrane)
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area surrounding the brain inside of the arachnoid membrane)
  • Intraparenchymal hemorrhage (bleeding inside of the brain)

Penetrating TBI

Penetrating traumatic brain injuries involve a foreign object piercing the skull and entering the brain. These are extremely dangerous forms of TBI that will be life-threatening in many cases. In car accidents, penetrating TBI can result from various causes, including:

  • Broken glass or metal 
  • Airbag deployment
  • Flying objects inside the vehicle cabin
  • Foreign objects entering the car (i.e. sign posts or parts of other vehicles)

Speak with a Providence Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer for Free

If you or someone you love has suffered brain damage in a car accident, we strongly encourage you to speak with a Providence traumatic brain injury lawyer at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. right away.

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