What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury is a penetrating head injury or a bump, jolt, or blow to the head that disrupts regular brain function. To delve into catastrophic injuries, click here.

Traumatic brain injuries can have mild to severe symptoms, including:

  • Limited cognitive function
  • Impaired motor function
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Impaired senses
  • Mood changes
  • Convulsions
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

The CDC also states that the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are accidental blunt trauma, falls, assaults, and vehicular accidents.

In some cases, a related party may be liable for damages – whether as a result of negligence or malice – and the injured victim can file a case in court for compensation.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can vary on a case to case basis. It’s essential to keep in mind that side effects aren’t always immediately apparent. If you were recently involved in an accident that may have affected your brain, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. After which, it is time to speak with an attorney.

What is a traumatic brain injury attorney’s role? Your attorney can help you recover the cost of past and future medical bills, lifestyle changes, and more.

Knowing what injuries you have incurred can help your lawyer provide a more accurate estimate regarding compensations for medical fees. Common brain conditions caused by direct impact trauma include the following.


Concussions are the most prevalent traumatic brain injury, often resulting in loss of consciousness. Milder symptoms include dizziness and general confusion, while severe concussions may result in permanent brain damage.


Localized bleeding that occurs in the brain is called a contusion. This condition may require surgical removal since these injuries often result in blood clots, which can be lethal.

In severe cases, contusions can occur across various areas in the brain. For example, coup-contrecoup contusions are secondary contusions that develop when the impact force is so high that the brain slams into the skull.


Contusions with more than two-thirds of involved tissue being blood are called hemorrhages. If the bleeding is within the brain, it classifies as an intracerebral hemorrhage. Any bleeding in the space surrounding the brain is a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Both of these conditions often cause vomiting and headaches, and the symptoms become progressively worse if left untreated.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries

Rotational forces or severe shaking can cause the skull to damage the brain’s outer surface and create tears. These are called diffuse axonal injuries.

Symptoms can vary depending on which areas become damaged, but severe cases can result in coma, permanent brain damage, or death.


Many injuries can cause edema, which is the medical term for swelling. While mild for simple bumps, swelling is doubly serious when it happens in the brain. When the brain swells, it causes pressure to build up, which can lead to irreversible consequences.

The common symptoms of brain edema include headaches, vomiting, dizziness, memory loss, vision loss, impaired motor function, and irregular breathing.

Penetration Injuries

As the name suggests, penetration injuries occur when a sharp object enters the brain. If the item goes through the brain, it can cause rupturing, shearing, and tearing of tissue. These injuries may be fatal or impart permanent, debilitating effects.

Liability for Brain Injuries

What is a traumatic brain injury victim to do after an accident?

After receiving medical care, we recommend consulting with an attorney if you think that a negligent party caused your injury. The statute of limitations – or the time limit for filing a legal case – starts from the date you were injured, so it’s in your best interest to act as soon as possible.

The attorneys at Larson & Miller Injury Law have extensive experience handling various personal injury cases, including traumatic brain injuries. Every injury – big or small – deserves professional legal representation. Call us at 417-890-6677 so we can start assessing your claim.