What’s the Difference Between a TBI and a Head Injury?

Young man's head injury from car accident.

Any blow to the head is a serious one. But contrary to what many people think, a head injury and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are not the same. Using the terms interchangeably can cause confusion about the long-term effects of the injury and the type of medical treatment that is needed.

Texas accident victims could be entitled to financial compensation to cover the medical costs, lost income, and other damages that often accompany TBIs and other head injuries. It’s important to work with an attorney with extensive knowledge of brain injuries and their complex consequences to give you the best possible chance of obtaining a full and fair award.

Schedule a free consultation with a Texas brain injury lawyer from Fleming Law, P.C. today. Our compassionate attorneys know how challenging life after a head injury and/or TBI can be. We’ll fight to obtain maximum compensation for you so that you have the resources you need as you recover.

Don’t wait another day to start the process of seeking money you need. Call or contact us today.

What Are Common Head Injuries?

An accident victim may sustain a head injury, brain injury, or both. In a head injury, the damage is limited to the scalp, skull, and layers inside the skull that protect the brain. No brain tissue is damaged with a head injury.

Common examples of head injuries include:

  • Lacerations to the scalp or tissues surrounding the head
  • Bruising
  • Skull fractures

Even with no brain damage, a head injury can be very serious. Victims may need surgery to repair a broken skull and to prevent shards of bone from breaking off and piercing the brain tissue. Any person who has suffered a head injury also needs to be checked for a brain injury, since they certainly can occur together.

How Do Head Injuries Happen?

A head injury typically occurs due to some traumatic force or impact applied to the scalp, skull, and tissues within the skull. In motor vehicle accidents, victims may suffer a head injury from striking the dashboard, windshield, or window.

Head injuries can also happen from being struck by or against objects. These types of trauma often happen in workplace accidents, such as when a construction worker is struck by a falling ladder. Physical assaults, bullets, and explosions can also cause head injuries.

Can You Have a Head Injury Without Suffering a Brain Injury?

Our skulls are designed to protect our brains. For that reason, it’s possible for a person to suffer a head injury without a brain injury. If a person suffered a head injury but no TBI, that would be because the scalp, skull, and other tissues did their jobs to shield the brain from harm.

However, with sufficient force, a head injury can also result in a brain injury. Head injuries and brain injuries have different effects and require vastly different treatments. It’s critical to identify whether an injured person has suffered a brain injury. The longer a TBI goes without treatment, the more damage to the brain is possible.

What Is Considered a Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is classified as any injury to the brain tissues. While TBIs vary in severity, all can cause neurological dysfunction or dysregulation (at least temporarily). A TBI can result in cognitive impairments, emotional problems, deficits in motor skills and coordination, and sensory issues.

Brain injuries heal over time. For some, the neurological complications disappear. But catastrophic brain injuries have long-term effects, impacting a person’s ability to move, eat, speak, and remember information. Severe brain injuries can also result in long-term complications like coma, seizures, persistent vegetative state, and post-traumatic dementia.

People with mild concussions may be able to return to daily life with a short period of rest and relaxation. But for survivors left with permanent disabilities after a brain injury, the consequences can be life-changing.

Many Texans are left unable to work after a severe TBI and need long-term nursing or a full-time caregiver to help them manage the tasks of daily life. For these people, obtaining compensation from the party responsible for their accident can mean the difference between getting appropriate care and falling into serious debt. If this sounds like you, contact a knowledgeable brain injury lawyer right away to learn about your rights to compensation.

What Are the Different Types of Brain Injuries?

Physicians and medical experts classify brain injuries in several ways:

  • Acquired brain injury (ABI): An acquired brain injury describes any damage that occurs after birth and does not result from any external force. Examples of ABIs would include brain damage resulting from asphyxiation or drowning, or brain damage resulting from infection, disease, or another medical condition (e.g., stroke, aneurysm, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.).
  • Traumatic brain injury: A TBI describes any brain injury that occurs due to an external force placed upon the head or brain. TBIs are further categorized by the types of trauma caused, such as concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoup injuries, and diffuse axonal (shearing) injuries. A TBI could also be open, coming from an outside object penetrating the skull, or closed, where the damage is fully inside the skull.

Get Legal Help from a Reliable Houston Brain Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury after an accident, you need aggressive legal representation to secure maximum compensation for your losses. Turn to a Houston brain injury lawyer from Fleming Law, P.C. today.

You can count on our law firm to handle every aspect of your case from start to finish. We’ll fight for a full and fair settlement that compensates you for past expenses and anticipates future needs.

Ready for help? We’re ready to get started. Call right away for your free consultation.

Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.