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Head Injury Vs. Brain Injury

Do you know the difference between the two?

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As Personal Injury Lawyers, we see clients who have suffered many different types of serious injuries. Whether someone has experienced a bad slip-and-fall, a car crash, or some other traumatic event, head and brain injuries are some of the more serious medical issues our clients have to deal with. Knowing the difference between a head injury and a brain injury can be helpful if you or someone you care about is navigating the healthcare and insurance landscape after a serious accident.

These two types of injuries are often connected, but it’s important to remember that just because you’ve suffered a head injury doesn’t mean you also have a traumatic brain injury, or vice-versa. For example, if you are swimming in a pool and you gash your head on the pool ladder, that’s a head injury. If you fall off of a ladder and bang your head when you land, you may not have any visible external physical damage to your body, but your brain has been jostled around inside of your skull enough that you suffer a concussion. That is a brain injury.

Your bony skull is generally doing its job when you experience a head injury but not a brain injury: your skin or skull may be injured, but your delicate brain inside its protective casing hasn’t been damaged. Head injuries like this are less problematic in the long run for patients, because a person’s brain is still able to function at its full capacity, even as the body heals from whatever external injury it has suffered.

A traumatic brain injury (or TBI), on the other hand, can be a much more serious injury to recover from. A TBI means that the brain itself is damaged. Your brain is very sensitive to pressure, and any type of pressure can injure it. This means that if you suffer a concussion, or if there is unrelieved swelling or bleeding inside of your skull, you could suffer serious and potentially permanent neurologic damage. This means that your brain is not able to function the way it should, and you could experience long-lasting emotional, physical, and cognitive difficulties. Damage has happened to the actual brain tissue, and the function of the brain is altered because of it, sometimes permanently.

All of us here at Burnett & Williams hope that head and brain injuries aren’t things you ever have to give much thought to, but if you do ever find yourself having suffered one of these injuries as the result of an accident, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

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