There are multiple types of TBI that range in severity and prognosis. Concussions, for example, are a relatively mild brain injury—although they can result in severe post-concussion syndrome. On the other hand, many diffuse axonal injuries (DAIs) make it impossible to work or perform routine, daily tasks.
Your brain injury is as unique as you are. However, regardless of the severity of your symptoms, you should always seek immediate medical care—especially if you lost consciousness during the crash. Studies show that the sooner you get treatment for a TBI, the better your chances are of recovering some function.
Doctors typically categorize brain injuries into several different categories.
Mild TBI (Concussion)
A mild TBI, or concussion, is far and away the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Mild TBIs are usually caused by some sort of blunt force trauma to the head or an event that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth within the skull. This can lead to damaged brain cells and even chemical changes within the brain. As a result, people who have suffered one or more concussions often experience a change in their cognition, emotions, behaviors, and sleeping and eating patterns.
Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAIs)
Less common than a concussion, these severe injuries involve damage to your brain’s delicate bundles of nerves, called axons. As your brain violently bounces off the wall of your skull, nerves are sometimes stretched, torn, or damaged. Unfortunately, your brain cannot process or transmit messages as easily with damaged axons.
Traditional MRIs sometimes cannot identify the subtle (but profound) damage of a diffuse axonal injury, making these cases difficult to prove—unless you have an experienced brain injury lawyer by your side.
Contusions are bruises, and you can severely bruise your brain during a car wreck. Unfortunately, a contusion can cause swelling and pressure in your brain, causing severe and permanent damage. However, other brain contusions are relatively minor, only causing symptoms like fatigue, poor concentration, and mental confusion.
RELATED: Hurt in a Texas Car Accident? Here’s What to Do