What Are the Three Types of TBI?

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When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, they are generally classified as either a concussion, brain contusion, or penetrating brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can result from various types of head trauma, from a simple blow to the head to penetrative damage to the brain. Accidents involving cars and trucks can result in various serious injuries, with TBIs being the most common. Brain injuries can result in a range of  distressing symptoms, including impairments in cognitive function, physical pain, and an inability to control one’s emotions. Yet, traumatic brain injuries vary from patient to patient. Neurologists and other healthcare professionals classify traumatic brain injuries into a wide variety of types and categories according to how a patient sustains the injury, the location in the brain where the injury occurs, and the symptoms that the patient is experiencing.

Do I Need Legal Help for a TBI?

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Pursuing compensation for your injuries can help alleviate the burden of medical expenses, lost income, and the physical and emotional pain that often accompany these types of injuries. Tatum and Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ have a team of skilled attorneys dedicated to fighting for your rights so that you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind. Let us handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on what’s most important – healing and regaining your quality of life.

The Three Types of TBI Explained

Despite the fact that traumatic brain injuries can vary widely in prognosis and severity, most are broadly categorized into one of three categories: concussion, contusion, or penetrating.


Concussions are classified as minor traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) brought on by jolting, shaking, or hitting the head with a strong impact, causing the brain to bounce on the skull. A concussion can induce loss of attention, awareness, or loss of consciousness in many circumstances. In situations where a person has experienced several concussions, the symptoms may be more severe, and the individual may even be in danger of losing their life. On the other hand, the majority of concussions do heal on their own. Nonetheless, a diagnosis is necessary for them; one should treat the condition seriously if certain symptoms are present. A person can sustain a concussion even if they are not struck in the head, and any blow to the body that is severe enough has the potential to jostle the brain and produce symptoms consistent with a concussion.

Brain Contusion

A contusion is a bruise on the brain itself and can result in bleeding and edema within the brain. Contusions are a serious type of head injury because they can cause life-threatening blood clots to form inside the head. The extent of the bleeding, how long it continues, and the location of the brain injury all play a role in determining how much damage a person may sustain as a result. If the bleeding does not stop, medical intervention might be required. Concussions are frequently accompanied by the formation of contusions. Accidents involving automobiles, slips and falls, sports-related accidents, and any other circumstance in which the brain is subjected to significant impact are all potential causes of contusions.

Penetrating Brain Injuries

A penetrating brain injury can be caused by various traumatic events, including automobile accidents, bullet wounds to the head, large falls, and injuries sustained during sports, or acts of physical aggression.

Severity Levels of TBI

There are three different degrees of head injury severity. A severity scale is associated with head injuries, ranging from mild to severe. A qualified medical professional can only evaluate the severity of your head injury.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Even a minor blow to the head might cause a momentary lapse in consciousness that lasts for a few minutes. Nonetheless, sufferers may feel disoriented or puzzled due to the event. Even relatively minor head trauma needs to be assessed by a trained medical expert.

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury

After losing consciousness for several hours, moderate head or brain trauma may be sustained. Confusion brought on by these kinds of injuries can linger for a considerable time, and the risk of consequences increases.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Severe traumatic brain injuries are the most serious sort of brain injury that can occur, and are usually the result of penetrating injuries or a crushing blow. These injuries have the potential to be extremely severe and even fatal. Even if a patient survives a serious blow to the head or a penetrating wound, there is a possibility that they will have lifelong brain damage.

How Are TBIs Classified?

There are two main categories into which brain injuries can be divided:

Closed Brain Injuries

These brain injuries often occur as internal injuries in the skull. These injuries are often complex, as they are not visually detectable from the outside and are difficult to treat. These injuries often damage the brain and its tissues, causing different types of sensory and motor loss in the victim.

Open or Penetrating Brain Injuries

Open or penetrating brain injuries occur when something pierces through the skull, damaging the brain tissue. Skull fractures are also included in open brain injuries. These are often fatal, as any sharp object can damage the important areas of the brain. They are also common in homicides from knife or gunshot wounds.

How Do I Know If I Have a TBI?

Awareness of the symptoms of TBI is crucial, and if you suspect you have sustained a head injury, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately. The following are some typical signs and indications of traumatic brain injuries.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Changes in the size of pupils
  • Distortion of perception
  • Severe headache
  • Inability to move one or more limbs
  • Confusion
  • Low breathing rate
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Fracture in the skull or face
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Stiff neck or vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions

How to Diagnose TBI

It does not matter what kind of traumatic brain injury someone has; getting medical treatment as soon as possible is absolutely necessary for the best possible outcome. Physicians utilize the following categories of diagnostic instruments and examinations consistently to diagnose traumatic brain injuries:

  • A body examination
  • Digital imaging, like CT scans,X-rays, and MRIs
  • Observations made with the help of the Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Neurophysiological testing
  • In certain situations, blood tests are performed.

An individualized treatment plan can be initiated for a patient once the medical staff has established a diagnosis.

Why Should You Contact an Attorney Specializing in Traumatic Brain Injuries?

The unpleasant reality is that traumatic brain injuries occur frequently in the US. In fact, TBIs are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Medical expenses related to traumatic brain injuries can be extremely costly. In the event that you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you should never be forced to pay out-of-pocket for your damages. A traumatic brain injury attorney can assist you by:

  • Demonstrating that the carelessness of another party caused your head injury
  • Preventing the insurance company from bringing down the value of your claim
  • Making sure that everyone who contributed to the brain injury is held accountable for their actions
  • Assist you in finding your way through the steps of submitting a claim and a lawsuit

When you pursue legal action for personal injury or a disability claim due to your brain injury, the financial compensation that you obtain could assist you in paying for your medical expenses, repairing any physical losses to your personal property, and even making up for the wages you lost while you were unable to work. Your attorney will assist you in achieving the most favorable conclusion possible, so you must focus on getting better.

The effects of a brain injury vary from person to person and are largely dependent on the location and severity of the injury. Traumatic brain injuries may heal quickly or may take a long time for symptoms to manifest. In some cases, traumatic brain injury may lead to permanent disability, paralysis, or death. Rehabilitative therapy can be effective in helping people with brain injuries recover. On the other hand, brain damage is sometimes irreversible after a mild to severe injury. Patients who fully recover may be bothered by some of their original symptoms for years to come.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in North Carolina, do not hesitate to contact Tatum & Atkinson, “the Heavy Hitters,” for a free consultation. Contact us at (800) 529-0804 or online to schedule a personal review of your case.