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July 16, 2021

What Are the Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injury?

The term brain injury encompasses a wide range of damage related to the brain, skull, and scalp. Required treatments and potential complications can vary greatly, depending on the location of the injury, how the injury was sustained, and the extent of brain damage.

In cases of severe traumatic brain injury, the consequences can be life-altering. Victims of serious brain injury face the possibility of long-term or permanent physical or mental disability and a lifetime of special care. In the most tragic cases, brain injuries can be fatal.

The experienced brain injury attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd have seen the devastation these injuries can inflict on the lives of our clients and their families. We have substantial experience in these difficult cases. Over the course of 45 years, we have built a reputation for excellence in traumatic brain injury claims, and have helped many victims of brain injury recover the full compensation they deserve for their physical, emotional, and financial losses. 

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries differ in severity. Some of the types of head and brain injury include:

1. Concussions

Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that are caused by blows, bumps, or jolts to the head, shaking, or a violent movement that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth, such as whiplash. 

When this type of sudden movement occurs, it can cause the brain to bounce or twist within the skull, causing a chemical change in the brain and possibly stretching and damaging brain cells.

Following a concussion, symptoms can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing ears (tinnitus)
  • Fatigue
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Concussion symptoms can last for days, weeks, or even months after an injury. One of the greatest risks of a concussion is the threat of second impact syndrome, or recurrent traumatic brain injury. Just as scabs that are reopened take longer to heal, a second brain injury can cause even more catastrophic damage. Repeat concussions can cause a degenerative condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which affects behavior, cognition, and memory.

2. Brain Contusions

Brain contusions are brain tissue damage. Brain contusions are often the result of blood vessels that break and leak. When the brain is bruised, tissues swell and blood pools within it. This causes elevated intracranial pressure that can lead to symptoms such as chronic headaches, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and more. Increased intracranial pressure can be extremely dangerous. Left untreated, it can cause catastrophic damage to the brain, such as hemorrhaging or other potentially fatal complications. 

Brain contusions require immediate medical care. Advanced imaging can pinpoint blood clots in the brain as well as issues below or above the brain’s lining. This information enables physicians to determine the best options for treatment.

3. Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the brain collides with one side of the skull and then bounces forcibly against the other side. This can happen in a car accident or serious fall, when the head experiences abrupt and rapid acceleration followed by sudden deceleration.

In coup-contrecoup injuries, contusions form on each side of the brain. Comprehensive imaging is crucial to identify bruising on the area of the brain that is opposite from the location of the initial impact.

4. Diffuse Axonal Injuries

The nerve fibers that send electrical signals from neurons to other parts of the body are called axons. In cases of severe head trauma, nerve fibers may be cut, causing severe brain damage.

Nerve fiber damage can significantly impair numerous neurological processes. Individuals who experience diffuse axonal injuries can become comatose or enter a long-term vegetative state.

What is the Difference Between an Open and Closed Head Injury?

Open head injuries happen when the skull is fractured and/or an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. When any injury exposes the brain, the consequences can be catastrophic. Not only are open head injuries forceful enough to break the skull and harm the brain, but open wounds increase the risk of infection and other complications.

The term closed head injury refers to head injuries that do not penetrate the skull. Closed head injuries can range from minor trauma to devastating, life-threatening events.

Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer in Providence

Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has served brain injury victims for 45 years. Our seasoned attorneys have unparalleled experience in these complex cases. We understand the challenges faced by our clients and we work with medical experts to build strong cases on their behalf. We meticulously prepare every claim with the goal of recovering the maximum compensation our clients need and deserve.

See our million-dollar and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements

Don’t face your injuries alone. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain injury, contact the experienced brain injury lawyers at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd today at (401) 273-8330 for a free consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout Providence and across Rhode Island.