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What’s the Difference Between a TBI and a Head Injury?

difference between tbi and a head injuryPeople often confuse the term head injury with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and use them interchangeably even though they are dramatically different. While in some cases a head injury can lead to a TBI, that is not always the case.  Confusing these terms can not only lead to mischaracterization of the injury, but also to an improper diagnosis and treatment.

From the medical standpoint, a head injury is a damage caused to the skull, scalp, or any part of the protective layer around the brain.  The purpose of the skull and scalp is to absorb any trauma or blow to the head thus protecting the brain from any damage or disruption.  While performing this vital function both the skull or the scalp may sustain injuries in the form of skull fractures, lacerations to the skin or scalp, and/or bruising.  In these type of injuries, there is no brain injury.  Unfortunately, there are cases in which the injury to the head is so severe that it can in fact result in a traumatic brain injury.  The best example here is an open head injury in which an object breaks your skull and enters your brain, like a bullet, knife, or skull fractures where a piece of the bone from the skull penetrates the brain.

A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes the brain to stop functioning appropriately.  The external mechanical force can be in the form of a violent blow, a jolt or shaking of the head, or an object entering the skull and reaching the brain.  Depending on the severity of its effects, traumatic brain injuries can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.  Mild traumatic brain injury may lead to only temporary disruption of the brain while a moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries can result in long-term complications, coma, or even death.

Any injury to the head or the brain can be extremely serious, so in case you have suffered either a head or a brain injury it is crucial for you to seek medical attention immediately.  It is also extremely important that the medical professional conducts a thorough evaluation to determine whether you just suffered a head injury or a brain injury.

As attorneys who specialize in head injury and/or TBI cases, we understand the gravity of these type of injuries.  Above all, we understand the devastating consequences that brain injuries may cause on the injured person and their loved ones.  In cases we are hired to help on, we thoroughly analyze our client’s particular circumstances and the mechanism of the brain injury.  We also review and order additional imaging tests if warranted.  Our legal team is staffed with dedicated and passionate professionals with experience in helping TBI victims recover to the extent possible.  Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.