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The Most Common Types of Brain Injuries

The Most Common Types of Brain Injuries

There are many different types of brain injuries, and each one can affect victims in different ways. If you have suffered a brain injury, one of the first things you should do is determine the exact type. This can help you approach treatment in a much more confident, accurate manner. This is especially important if your brain injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. The more information you have as you approach your personal injury lawsuit, the better-equipped you will be to prove negligence and receive compensation.

The way you treat your brain injury also depends on the specific type. Some brain injuries are easier to treat than others, and you may be dealing with the prospect of expensive medical bills. Once you determine what kind of brain injury you have suffered, you can get a sense of what treatment you need – and how expensive your medical bills might be. From there, you can pursue compensation that completely covers your expenses.

The Difference Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Acquired Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can be divided into two main categories: Traumatic brain injuries and “acquired brain injuries.” Also known as “non-traumatic” brain injuries, acquired brain injuries are caused by external factors such as lack of oxygen or toxins. On the other hand, traumatic brain injuries – often abbreviated as “TBIs” – are caused by external forces such as impacts and penetrations. The exact terminology is a little confusing since many health professionals consider all brain injuries that occur after birth as “acquired.”

Closed Brain Injuries vs. Penetrating Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can also be either “closed” or “penetrating.” Here is a breakdown of each type:

  • Closed Brain Injuries: Closed brain injuries occur when the skull remains intact. Often, there is no direct impact whatsoever with these injuries. Instead, the brain impacts the interior of the skull due to violent shaking or back-and-forth motion. For example, you may suffer whiplash during a car accident – causing your neck and skull to jerk rapidly forward and back. This in turn causes your brain to move around within your skull.
  • Penetrating Brain Injuries: With this type of brain injury, the skull is fully penetrated. For example, this might include a bullet piercing the skull. It might also involve a jagged piece of metal penetrating the skull during a car accident.

Secondary vs. Primary Brain Injuries

A primary brain injury occurs during the initial injury. This type of injury is “complete” from the moment of the incident, whether it is a car accident, a fall, or a firearm accident. On the other hand, a secondary brain injury continues to evolve and occur after the initial accident. This may involve chemical and cellular changes to the brain. It may also involve the blood vessels and the tissue of the brain. These changes can occur during the hours, weeks, and even years following the accident.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are many different types of traumatic brain injuries you should be aware of:

  • Concussions: Concussions are very common, with millions of people suffering these injuries each year from sports alone. A concussion occurs when your brain strikes the internal walls of the skull, and it can result in serious changes in brain function.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injuries: This type of injury causes damage to the axons of the brain, and it is commonly associated with direct impacts on the head area. The axons within the white matter can be sheared, rendering them inoperable. Although there is no bleeding with this injury, it can cause swelling and the loss of numerous brain functions.
  • Hematomas: A hematoma occurs when a head injury causes blood to pool within the empty spaces in the brain. This type of injury is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, and it can cause a range of different issues depending on the exact location of the hematoma.
  • Skull Fractures: The skull is quite strong, and therefore fractures of this bone are quite rare. If they do occur, skull fractures can cause serious changes in brain function. If the skull fractures result in leaking cerebrospinal fluid, immediate surgical intervention is necessary.
  • Contusions: A contusion is a common side-effect of a concussion. This is a bruise on the brain, often involving mild bleeding. If the contusion occurs within two separate parts of the brain area, it is called a “coup-contrecoup injury.” If contusions fail to heal, they can progress into the aforementioned hematomas.

Non-Traumatic Acquired Brain Injuries

  • Hemorrhage: This is when uncontrolled bleeding occurs within the brain. This is a common side-effect of a Traumatic Brain Injury, although it might also be caused by an Anoxic Brain Injury via a burst aneurysm.
  • Hypoxic or Anoxic Brain Injury: This type of injury occurs when the brain is starved of oxygen. This may occur during a botched surgery, incorrect anesthesia, and a range of other negligent acts.
  • Stroke: Strokes occur when the brain doesn’t receive enough blood flow.
  • Near-Drowning: A non-traumatic brain injury may also be caused by a near-drowning episode, and this occurs when the brain is starved of oxygen.
  • Tumor: A tumor may also affect brain function, and in many cases, it can lead to brain damage.
  • Infectious Diseases: Some brain injuries can be caused by infectious diseases, such as meningitis.
  • Aneurysm: An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. This can cause serious issues, especially if it ruptures.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced brain injury attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims – including those with head injuries. Regardless of the type of head injury you have suffered, you deserve to hold negligent parties accountable. If someone else caused your brain injury, you can sue them and recover compensation. To determine the best possible route forward, you should book a consultation with us at your earliest convenience. During your consultation, we can assess your unique needs and develop a solid action plan. Reach out today to get started.

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