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Is a Concussion a Traumatic Brain Injury?


Date Posted:

October 3, 2023

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    When it comes to personal injury cases, the nuances of head injuries are often misunderstood. Two terms that often come up in these cases are “concussion” and “traumatic brain injury” (TBI). But is a concussion a traumatic brain injury? The short answer is yes, but there’s more to it than that. In this article, we delve into the topic of head injuries, exploring what a concussion is, what constitutes a traumatic brain injury, and the legal implications surrounding them.


    What Is a Concussion?

    Let’s begin with the basics. A concussion is a mild form of a head trauma that results from a blow, jolt, or bump to the head. This can happen in various scenarios, from sports-related incidents to motor vehicle crashes, slip-and-falls or assaults. The immediate effects can vary, but concussion symptoms often include dizziness, headaches, confusion, and temporary memory loss.

    It’s important to stress that if you suspect someone has a concussion, you should immediately seek medical attention. Concussions may not always involve a loss of consciousness, and some symptoms can be subtle. Prompt diagnosis and care are essential for recovery and to prevent any potential complications.


    Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) Explained

    Now, let’s delve into the broader category: traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are injuries that range from a mild traumatic brain injury to a severe traumatic brain injury, with varying effects on brain function and brain tissue. 

    Severity Levels of TBIs

    TBIs are categorized by severity:

    • Mild TBI: This includes concussions. In mild traumatic brain injuries, individuals often remain conscious and may experience symptoms like confusion, memory problems, and short-term changes in mental state, however, the effects are generally temporary. 
    • Moderate TBI: In moderate TBIs, there’s a more prolonged alteration of consciousness, typically lasting between a few minutes and a few hours. Individuals may exhibit symptoms like confusion and memory loss that can persist for days, weeks, or even months.
    • Severe TBI: Severe TBIs are life-threatening injuries where individuals lose consciousness for an extended period (hours or even days). These injuries often result in long-term cognitive, physical, or behavioural impairments to normal brain function. Fatal brain swelling can occur in extreme cases.


    Is a Concussion Considered a TBI?

    The critical question is whether a concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury. The answer lies in understanding the spectrum of TBIs. A concussion falls on the milder end of the TBI spectrum. While it’s a form of TBI, it’s essential to distinguish it from moderate or severe TBIs due to their different characteristics and potential long-term consequences.

    Factors that determine whether a concussion is classified as a TBI include the duration and severity of symptoms, loss of consciousness (if any), and the presence of structural brain damage. Mild TBIs, such as concussions, typically involve temporary functional disturbances without structural damage, while moderate or severe TBIs often result in lasting impairments.


    Legal Implications of Concussions and TBIs

    In personal injury cases, the distinction between concussions and other TBIs matters. The severity of the injury can significantly impact the legal claims and compensation sought.

    Documenting Symptoms 

    If you’ve suffered a head injury, it’s crucial to document your symptoms thoroughly. This includes any immediate symptoms, as well as those that develop over time.


    Long-Term Consequences and Compensation


    man in brown and blue plaid shirt sitting and holding his head


    Understanding the long-term consequences of head injuries is essential. Even mild TBIs like concussions can have lasting effects, including memory issues, emotional symptoms, and difficulties with concentration. In more severe cases, individuals may face life-altering challenges that require extensive medical care and rehabilitation.

    Seeking compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and long-term disability is important. Personal injury lawyers with experience in head injury cases can help victims secure fair compensation. They understand the complexities of these injuries and work to ensure their clients receive the support they need.


    Seeking Medical Attention and Legal Advice

    In cases of head injuries, your health should be the top priority. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know has experienced a head injury. In addition to medical care, consulting with a personal injury lawyer is advisable, especially if the injury resulted from someone else’s negligence.


    Making a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim

    Our experienced personal injury lawyers at McNally Gervan LLP are here to guide you through the process of making a claim for your brain injury and ensuring that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. We understand the intricacies of TBI cases and the challenges they present.

    Our dedicated team will start by thoroughly assessing the merits of your case during a free consultation. If we believe you have a viable claim, we will work diligently to gather evidence, medical records, and witness testimonies to build a strong case. We’ll handle all communications with insurance companies and legal proceedings on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery. You can trust us to advocate for your rights and well-being throughout the entire legal process.


    McNally Gervan – Fighting for Justice in Your TBI Case

    While a concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury, it falls on the milder end of the TBI spectrum. Understanding the distinctions between different TBIs is vital, as it can impact the legal aspects of personal injury cases.

    Regardless of the severity, seeking immediate medical attention and legal advice are the first steps to looking after your health and well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about a head injury, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at McNally Gervan for professional guidance and support. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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