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Legal Blog

Traumatic Brain Injury vs. Concussion

Traumatic brain injuries and concussions are often confused, especially by those who have not experienced either. Unfortunately, concussions are not uncommon because of how wildly popular sports with a high level of physicality are in the United States (i.e., football). Many of us know one or more people who have experienced a concussion, sometimes more than once. The regularity of concussions makes their occurrence less significant, so they often go untreated, resulting in short-term and long-term problems.

When someone suffers physical trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, they are prone to experiencing a traumatic brain injury. This can often result in the person being unconscious for up to 30 minutes, followed by a whole host of symptoms. It is essential to keep in mind that while not all traumatic brain injuries should be considered concussions, all concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury.

Whether you have suffered a concussion or a traumatic brain injury, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately. You should also speak with a traumatic brain injury attorney to determine who caused the physical trauma that led to your injury and whether that party or parties potentially owe you any financial compensation.

What Is a Concussion?

Concussions represent a state of temporary unconsciousness or confusion. While a blow to the head causes them, one does not have to experience a traumatic event to have a concussion. There are times when people experience a concussion and they are not even aware of it. For those that do not know they had a concussion, how do they eventually find out? If symptoms linger and they go to the doctor to run a battery of tests, it may become apparent that they sustained a concussion.

Concussions can be difficult to diagnose and treat because of their unpredictable nature. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and the severity and duration of symptoms can also vary. The bottom line is that a doctor should examine anyone who has suffered a blow to the head to better understand whether they sustained a concussion or a traumatic brain injury and how best to treat it.

Common after-effects from a concussion include:

  • Vision changes
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Convulsions
  • Decreased coordination
  • Slurred speech

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines traumatic brain injury as “a form of acquired brain injury” that “occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.” Traumatic brain injury can occur when a person’s head suddenly and violently encounters another object or when that object impales the skull. The symptoms associated with the injury can be mild, moderate, or severe.

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 223,000 hospitalizations a year related to traumatic brain injuries. Of these hospitalizations, there are nearly 65,000 deaths. In other words, more than 600 people a day are hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries and almost 180 of them do not survive. These numbers do not include traumatic brain injuries that go unreported because they were treated in the emergency department, primary care, or urgent care, not to mention those that go untreated.

Symptoms of a TBI can include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Changes in sleep
  • Behavioral changes
  • Memory problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Head pain
  • Loss of coordination
  • One of both pupils are dilated

What Are the Differences Between a Concussion and A Traumatic Brain Injury?

While there are similarities between concussions and traumatic brain injuries, it is essential to understand the differences. As mentioned earlier, not all traumatic brain injuries are concussions, however, all concussions are traumatic brain injuries – most commonly referred to as mild TBI.

The differences lie in the severity of the symptoms because traumatic brain injuries are most often more severe than concussions. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to speech issues, severe headaches, vomiting, the inability to wake up, and disorientation, among other symptoms. In comparison, concussions might cause ringing in the ears, light and sound sensitivity, and balance issues.

As with a concussion, traumatic brain injuries should be taken seriously and treated immediately. A doctor is best equipped to determine the type of injury you have experienced and the appropriate next steps. Speaking with a traumatic brain injury attorney is also a smart move so you can hold those responsible for your injuries and damages accountable.

Contact The Krist Law Firm Today for A Free Consultation

If you are the victim of an accident and suffer a head injury, it may dramatically alter your life. You may be experiencing lost wages, the medical costs associated with prescriptions and short-term and long-term medical treatment, disability issues, and other consequences because of this serious event. In addition to seeking medical attention, you deserve to be compensated by those responsible for the harm they caused you with their reckless and negligent behavior. At The Krist Law Firm, our experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers understand what you are going through and want to help make things right. Contact us today so we can discuss your unique situation and work together to help you receive the justice and compensation you need and deserve.