Types of Brain Injuries and Their Causes

Brain injuries stemming from personal injury accidents can have lasting consequences for survivors.


  • Brain injuries can be caused by trauma or other factors like stroke or tumors.
  • TBIs can be mild (concussion) or severe, leading to long-term effects on memory, movement, and emotions.
  • Common causes of brain injuries include car accidents, slip-and-falls, sports injuries, and violence.
  • Early medical attention is crucial for brain injury recovery, and legal help can be sought for compensation.

The human brain is one of the most complex systems on the planet, responsible for everything from our thoughts and emotions to our movements and sensations. When this crucial organ is injured, the consequences can be devastating. Brain injuries are often catastrophic, and require lengthy and expensive treatment.

If you or a loved one has suffered from any type of brain injury, you may struggle with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath. At Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia, our team of knowledgeable personal injury attorneys are ready to defend your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch by contacting us online or calling us at (800) 320-HELP to discuss your legal options.

Understanding Brain Injuries

The brain’s complexity means damage can have widespread consequences, impacting a person’s entire life. Diagnosis can be tricky, with symptoms like memory loss or mood swings that can be hard to detect. This hidden struggle can be incredibly isolating and emotionally taxing for both the victim and their loved ones. On top of that, recovery can be a long road, requiring expensive medical care.

Because of these unique challenges, brain injuries require special considerations. Early intervention and proper treatment are crucial. Legal help from an experienced brain injury lawyer can help victims secure the compensation they need to manage the long-term effects of their injuries.

Types of Brain Injuries

There are two main categories of brain injuries: traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and acquired brain injuries (ABI).

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury or TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain, like the force of a car accident or a fall. This can damage brain cells and lead to a variety of impairments.

A concussion is a mild TBI that can cause temporary symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, and confusion. More severe TBIs can involve bleeding, swelling, or coma, and can lead to permanent disabilities.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

An acquired brain injury or ABI is caused by damage to the brain from anything other than trauma. While the causes may differ, the effects on the brain can be just as devastating.

  • Stroke: A blood clot or bleed interrupting blood flow to the brain can cause brain cells to die, leading to impairments depending on the location of the stroke.
  • Brain tumor: Abnormal growth of cells in the brain can put pressure on healthy brain tissue, disrupting its function and causing a variety of symptoms.
  • Infection: Inflammation of the brain or its lining caused by viruses or bacteria like encephalitis or meningitis can damage brain tissue and lead to lasting impairments.
  • Lack of oxygen (hypoxic-ischemic injury): Brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, like during cardiac arrest, can starve brain cells of oxygen, leading to cell death and potential disabilities.
  • Poisoning: Brain damage caused by toxic substances like carbon monoxide can disrupt brain function and injure the brain.

Impact of Brain Injuries on Accident Victims

Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe trauma that leaves lasting disabilities. The effects of a brain injury can vary greatly depending on the location and severity of the damage.

Victims of brain injuries often deal with challenges such as:

  • Physical limitations: Imagine the challenges of daily life with paralysis, weakness, or difficulty with coordination and balance. Loss of vision, hearing problems, and speech impairments can further restrict a person’s ability to engage with everyday life.
  • Cognitive impairments: Memory loss can make it difficult to remember important information or even create new memories. Difficulty concentrating can disrupt work, studies, and even simple conversations. Impaired judgment can lead to poor decision-making, and learning disabilities can hinder a person’s ability to acquire new skills.
  • Emotional effects: The emotional impact of a brain injury can be profound. Depression, anxiety, and personality changes can significantly alter a person’s mood and behavior. Mood swings can make it difficult to maintain relationships, and social isolation can become a real threat.

The recovery process for many types of brain injuries can be long and arduous. In many cases, victims require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation therapy, and support services to regain some level of normalcy. This journey can be emotionally and financially draining, not only for the victim, but also for their loved ones.

Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are often caused by a strong impact, and may be more common than you think. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Car accidents: Car accidents are a leading cause of TBI. The forceful impacts involved in a crash can cause the brain to slam against the skull, leading to injury. Even seemingly minor car accidents can cause concussions or other TBIs.
  • Slip-and-falls: Slip-and-fall accidents are a particular danger for older adults, who are more susceptible to head injuries due to weaker bones and decreased balance. A fall can cause a TBI, especially if the head strikes a hard surface.
  • Sports injuries: Athletes in contact sports like football, hockey, and boxing are at risk for TBIs. Repeated blows to the head, even without causing concussions, can lead to long-term brain damage.
  • Violence: Assault and domestic violence can cause serious brain injuries. Impacts from blows to the head or blows against a hard surface can cause TBIs.
  • Medical malpractice: In some cases, brain injuries can be caused by medical negligence. Surgical errors during procedures on the head or brain can damage brain tissue. Failure to diagnose or treat a stroke or other conditions that can cause brain damage can also lead to serious complications.
  • Military service: Military personnel are at risk of sustaining brain injuries in vehicle collisions, slip-and-fall accidents, explosions, in combat, and various other situations. If you’re having issues getting VA disability benefits for a service-related head injury, check out this page on veteran Traumatic Brain Injury claim denials.

If you or a loved one has received a head or brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, seek prompt medical treatment and get in touch with a personal injury attorney.

Importance of Seeking Medical Attention

If you suspect you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve recovery outcomes and prevent complications. Symptoms of a brain injury can vary depending on the severity.

Seeking medical attention is essential even for seemingly mild symptoms like dizziness or headaches. Medical records created during this time can also become important for documenting the injury, treatment, and long-term prognosis. This documentation can be vital evidence if you decide to pursue legal action with a personal injury lawsuit.

Compensation for Victims of Brain Injuries

Victims of brain injuries can potentially recover several types of compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, depending on the specifics of their case. Here are some of the most common:

  • Medical expenses: This covers past, present, and future medical costs associated with the brain injury. It can include hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation therapy, medication, doctor visits, and assistive devices.
  • Lost wages: This is compensation for wages lost due to the inability to work after the injury, including future lost earning capacity if the brain injury leaves the victim with a permanent disability.
  • Pain and suffering: This covers the physical and emotional pain and suffering endured as a result of the brain injury.
  • Loss of enjoyment: Victims may be entitled to compensation for the inability to participate in activities enjoyed before the injury due to physical or cognitive limitations.
  • And more

A personal injury attorney with experience in brain injury claims can assess your case. Then, they can estimate the damages you may be owed.

Contact WHG for Legal Help for Brain Injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, the experienced brain injury attorneys at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia can help. We understand the complexities of brain injury cases and the challenges victims face.

Our team will work tirelessly to investigate your claim, build a strong case, and pursue maximum compensation for your damages. Contact WHG today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your rights. Call us at (800) 320-HELP or contact us online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of a brain injury?

Symptoms of a brain injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury.  However, some common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Sleep disturbances

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a head injury, it is important to see a doctor right away.

What if I have no health insurance after a brain injury?

Even if you lack health insurance, you can still recover compensation from the at-fault party if you receive a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence. Consult with an experienced brain injury lawyer to explore your legal options.

Are brain injuries fatal?

It depends on the type of brain injury. Some brain injuries are more likely to be fatal than others. Factors like age and promptness of medical intervention can also play a role in determining survival odds. The types of brain injuries with the highest mortality rates are generally severe Traumatic Brain Injuries, such as Diffuse Axonal Injuries.

However, even a concussion, the mildest type of brain injury, can be fatal if you sustain two concussions back-to-back. Second Impact Syndrome is rare but often fatal.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

Werner, Hoffman, Greg
Adam Werner Author Box Headshot

About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

Schedule A Free Consultation

Se Habla Espanol