Call for FREE Legal Advice: (401) 273-8330
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury in Accidents
December 9, 2020

Types of Brain Injury

Any head injury should be taken seriously. The long-term consequences of trauma to the brain can be immense, and timely intervention is crucial for diagnosing the severity and developing a plan of treatment.

If you suffer an injury to the head, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you should speak to a brain injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Brain injuries vary in seriousness and the extent of damage. Some of the most important types of head injury and brain damage to be aware of after an accident include:


Although most commonly associated nowadays with sports injuries, concussions may also occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, and more. After a concussion, you may experience symptoms such as:

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

The symptoms of a concussion can persist for several days, weeks, or even months after the head injury. One of the biggest concerns with concussions is the potential impact of future head trauma. Repeat concussions may result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition that can affect memory, cognition, and behavior.


A contusion is a bruise. If an injury bruises the brain, blood pools and tissues swell inside the brain. This results in an increase in intracranial pressure. You may experience a persistent headache, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Elevated intracranial pressure can be a medical emergency. If left untreated, the brain may suffer further damage. Hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain) and other complications can be fatal.

The best course of action for a contusion to the brain is immediate medical attention after sustaining a head injury. Advanced imaging can locate blood clots in the brain and above or below the lining of the brain, enabling doctors and medical staff to identify treatment options.

Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

Coup-contrecoup refers to a specific type of injury where the brain impacts one side of the skull and is then forced back against the opposite side. It happens in car accidents and other collisions where the head is subject to sudden and rapid acceleration followed by deceleration.

Contusions form on both sides of the brain in a coup-contrecoup injury. Comprehensive imaging is essential, otherwise bruising on the portion of the brain opposite from the impact may be overlooked.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries

Axons are nerve fibers that transmit electrical signals from neurons to other parts of the body. In the event of severe head trauma, nerve fibers may be sheared, resulting in significant brain damage.

Damage to nerve fibers can seriously impair multiple neurological processes. Victims of diffuse axonal injury may become comatose or enter a persistent vegetative state.

Open vs. Closed Head Injury

To this point we have discussed injuries that affect the brain without fracture or penetration of the skull. These are known as closed head injuries.

In an open head injury, meanwhile, the skull is broken and/or an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Obviously, any injury that leaves the brain exposed is serious. Not only is the injury itself severe enough to fracture the skull and damage the brain, but an open wound increases the risk of infection and other complications.

Contact Our Brain Injury Lawyers Today

For more than 40 years, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has been serving clients in claims involving brain injuries and other types of catastrophic injury. Our knowledge of the medicine in these cases is unmatched, and we work with qualified experts to build a strong claim on your behalf.

Our attorneys have earned more million-dollar and multi-million-dollar settlements and trial results than any other law firm in Rhode Island. We thoroughly prepare each case with the goal of securing the full compensation our clients deserve.

Please call (401) 273-8330 today for a free consultation with Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. Our brain injury lawyers serve clients in Providence and throughout Rhode Island.