Types of Brain Injuries and Symptoms

Last updated Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

Types of Brain Injuries and Symptoms

Types of Brain Injuries and Symptoms

Traumatic brain injuries affect an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States annually, and brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. Learn about the Types of Brain Injuries and Symptoms, commonly known as coup contrecoup symptoms, in our latest blog. As a consequence of these injuries, an estimated 5.3 million individuals are living with a permanent brain injury disability in the United States.

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Brain injuries vary in severity, and a wide range of symptoms can appear immediately or be delayed, such that it is worth taking the time to become aware of and understand what a brain injury is and the signs to look for to signal the need for treatment.

Understanding the types of injuries and how we can be proactive to prevent injuries can be the difference between temporary and permanent disability and the difference between life and death. Failure to seek medical attention can be devastating – immediately contact a medical professional if you suspect you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury Defined

Types of Brain Injuries and Symptoms

Traumatic brain injuries are often referred to as TBIs. The term means an injury or action in which the brain was suddenly jolted or harmed and potentially damaged.
One common and well-known traumatic brain injury is a concussion, but one should be aware of many other types of brain injuries. Some brain injuries can be severe and lead to significant injury, disability, or even death in extreme cases.

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Common Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can occur from various accidents, such as impacts during physical sports, military activities, car accidents, slips and falls, workplace injuries, and more. Let’s review some of the most common types of brain injuries.


A concussion is perhaps the most common traumatic brain injury and can vary in severity. Concussions happen when you suffer a sudden change in momentum, and the brain strikes the skull’s interior. This could be from extreme acceleration, a rapid change in direction, or a blow to the head.


A contusion refers to a bruise, and in the case of a brain injury, it is caused when the brain is bruised from a sudden impact. It is typically more severe than a concussion. If both sides of the brain are injured, it is called a coup contrecoup injury.   A contusion could often lead to slurred speech, trouble concentrating, cognitive disabilities, difficulty balancing, numbness and tingling, and more.

Diffuse Axonal

This traumatic brain injury is often caused by severe rotation or shaking rather than a sudden impact. An impact may occur and appear to be the leading cause, but there is generally more movement involved with a diffuse axonal injury.  Diffuse axonal differs from a contusion or concussion in that the rotation causes tearing of the nerve fibers in the brain. These are hard to capture on imaging scans and, in severe circumstances, may lead to a coma.


A penetration or penetrating brain injury occurs when something passes through the skull and reaches the brain. Sports equipment, loose items in a car during a car accident, and mismanaged tools in a workplace can all cause penetrating brain injuries. Such injuries are always severe and can cause permanent disability or death.

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Primary Vs. Secondary Brain Injury

Both primary and secondary brain injuries can occur. A primary TBI is a sudden injury to the brain that occurs at the time of the incident. A car accident, a fall, and other types of injuries will cause sudden injury. You can often identify the injury and assess it right away.

A secondary injury can take time to show symptoms. A brain injury may present itself right away or take time to show symptoms, and those symptoms can change over time and worsen. These are identified as secondary brain injury to the primary incident.

Brain Injury Symptoms

In addition to knowing something about the types of injuries, it is important to be familiar with brain injury symptoms so that you can seek immediate medical attention if a brain injury is suspected.

  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Problems with speech, slurring
  • Headaches
  • Any period of unconsciousness
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in ears
  • Change in taste or smell
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Weakness or numbness of fingers or toes
  • Difficulty concentrating

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

Should you or a loved one suffer a traumatic brain injury caused by an accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer to learn more.

Contact Mezrano Law Firm

Suppose you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury in an accident. In that case, you can count on the experienced personal injury lawyers at Mezrano Law Firm to fight for your right to fair compensation for your injuries.

Mezrano Law Firm wants to be your first call.

Get Your FREE Case Review Today

Contact us today and we will help you get the compensation that you deserve.