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Traumatic vs Nontraumatic Brain Injury: Understanding the Differences

Brain injuries can cause an array of symptoms that range in severity. Every brain injury can affect each patient that has suffered these injuries differently. Often, brain injuries are the result of a physical impact on the head, such as in car accidents, construction accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other similar scenarios.

The brain is an incredibly complex organ, and when it is injured, brain function is often impacted. There are traumatic brain injuries and non-traumatic brain injuries, which have differences between them. Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP provides legal representation for brain injury cases. In this informative article, we discuss these types of brain injuries as well as provide legal insight for injured victims in personal injury lawsuits

Doctor Pointing With A Pen On A Brain X-ray Scan

Understanding the Types of Brain Injuries

There are brain injuries that happen as a result of external physical force as well as those that are congenital. Take a look at the different classifications for these types of injuries.

Acquired Brain Injury

An acquired brain injury is an injury that occurs after birth, affecting the nerve cells, and is not related to hereditary, congenital, or degenerative conditions. Acquired brain injuries are not a result of trauma during the delivery of a child, and can be further classified into two types.

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

Non-traumatic brain injuries or non-TBI are brain injuries that don’t come as a result of an external force such as a blow to the head. A non-traumatic brain injury can be caused by a heart attack, aneurysm, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or other disorder.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries are always caused by an outside force. They are common in car crashes, construction accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and similar types of situations. They are further classified as closed traumatic brain injuries, which would include concussions, and penetrating traumatic brain injury, which involves penetrating the skull. Either type of brain injury can lead to devastating consequences for victims, who are often never the same afterward.

Whether you or a loved one have a non-traumatic brain injury or a traumatic brain injury, many complications can arise. They can cause hypoxia, where the flow of oxygen is restricted, or anoxia, which completely deprives the brain of oxygen.

What Is an Anoxic Brain Injury?

An anoxic brain injury can occur with a non-traumatic brain injury or a traumatic brain injury. This type of brain trauma happens when there is brain tissue damage as a result of brain cells being deprived of oxygen for an extended period, such as during cardiac arrest. As cell death occurs from oxygen deprivation, the lack of oxygen can cause death if it continues.

Similarly, a hypoxic brain injury involves oxygen supply to the brain which is more restricted through the blood supply. As the flow of blood and oxygen is impeded, it can lead to brain damage and have a direct impact on executive functions.

Doctor Pointing On Head Scan Of A Woman On The Computer

How Are Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries Treated?

Medical treatment is imperative for handling a non-traumatic brain injury or a traumatic brain injury. Doctors will need to engage in problem-solving tactics quickly after an injury has occurred to assess the best way to treat patients.

Both traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries require prompt medical intervention to address any potential internal factors in the brain tissue such as brain infections, brain swelling, and restricted blood vessels. Brain tumors are an example of non-traumatic injuries that may produce swelling, though a severe concussion may also cause this to occur.

Brain injury rehabilitation is used to treat many patients who have these injuries. It will depend on the severity of the brain injury and brain damage along with the resulting disabilities and impediments. 

Physical Therapy

If physical functioning is impacted by the brain injury, physical therapy will be ordered to help improve mobility. These exercises can help a person regain their ability to perform daily living tasks that were hindered by their symptoms. 

Speech Therapy

Since every brain injury affects different areas of the brain, especially when a lack of oxygen has occurred, it may require the need for speech therapy. 

Occupational Therapy

When a patient has had their motor skills impacted by this injury, occupational therapy may be a necessary treatment. Occupational therapy allows patients to perform basic activities, work, and enjoy leisure activities. 

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Memory loss is often a common result of traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries. The many variables of brain injuries mean that it could require extensive treatments to overcome hurdles to physical and mental health after this incident.

Steps to Take When Brain Injuries Are Caused by Someone Else’s Negligence

When you’ve been the victim of an accident and have a brain injury as a result, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party. It is imperative that you get immediate medical care after any type of accident as these types of injuries often do not have any initial or visible symptoms. When a TBI worsens, the damage to your mental status could be permanent. 

Additionally, you should follow everything the doctors tell you for your medical care. This means taking any prescribed medicine and going to rehabilitation therapies. Evidence is also crucial to show that the other person was negligent and caused you to suffer these life-altering injuries.

In most circumstances that involve brain injuries, patients are in the hospital for a while. It could mean that the evidence from the accident scene is no longer available. The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the better off you will be. Your attorney can quickly launch an investigation into your accident, gather the evidence, and handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.

When you or a loved one has suffered this type of injury, it is essential to get legal representation to protect your rights and recover compensation while you heal. Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP has the experience you need to tackle brain injury claims and we offer free consultations to discuss your case.