Are Concussions Considered a Traumatic Brain Injury?

These days, there seems to be confusion surrounding the terms “concussion” and “traumatic brain injury.” Often, we hear about concussions that occur because of a car wreck, slip and fall or sports-related injury. A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury.

What’s the Difference?

Concussions are quite common. It is reported that there are 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. annually. Even though concussions are a type of TBI, not all TBIs are concussions. The term TBI is used to describe the mechanics of an injury. Trauma indicates there has been in an injury to the brain by an outside source. A TBI can be characterized as mild, moderate or severe.

A concussion is considered a mild TBI. But, when it comes to traumatic brain injuries the term “mild” can be misleading. A mild TBI can cause permanent, life-altering changes to the brain. This is why proper diagnosis and treatment is essential. Proper treatment may be the difference between having an injury that resolves after a few weeks or months, or one that is permanent.

Concussions are challenging to diagnose. The most common way a concussion occurs is when the victim experiences a blow to the head or rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head (for ex. shaken baby syndrome or an auto collision). The head trauma may or may not be followed by a brief loss of consciousness. There are countless ways in which these injuries can arise. This is why it is so important to have a physician evaluate your symptoms. Common symptoms can include:

  • Any loss of consciousness;
  • Confusion;
  • Changes in vision;
  • Changes in time perception;
  • Memory loss;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Headache;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Mood or behavior changes.

If you have been injured, it is important to be checked out by a physician. Keep in mind that a concussion can occur in ways you wouldn’t otherwise expect, for example, in the case of whiplash. While a whiplash victim may not have necessarily received a blow to the head, a concussion could still be possible from the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head.

It is also important to note that even when you are checked out by a doctor, a concussion can be difficult to diagnose. You may have a concussion even though you didn’t lose consciousness. Or the concussion may not be readily apparent from a CT scan. It is important however to go through these steps to ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment.

If the injury is a concussion, in many cases, the injury will heal within a few months to a few years. It is important to note however, that in some cases, a concussion can cause long- lasting  or even permanent problems.

If you have been in a wreck and have suffered a head injury, get medical attention right away. Then, call us for guidance. If your injury was caused by the negligence of another party we may be able to help you obtain reimbursement for your medical costs, harms, losses, and lost wages.