Our brains are mysterious. We know a lot about them, but there is just as much, if not more, that we still don’t know about them yet. This makes it a fascinating field of study for neuroscience, but it makes it a frustrating one for medical doctors who are tasked with treating brain injuries.

There are many, many different ways that we can injure our brains, and they can have a wide range of effects. Memory problems are a common result of brain damage. Less common is Capgras delusion, which makes the sufferer convinced that somebody significant to them (like a child or romantic partner) has been replaced by a duplicate. With so many different effects of brain damage, coupled with our lack of understanding, doctors have primarily divided brain injuries into two categories: non-traumatic brain injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at these injuries to see what falls into each category, what separates them from one another, and how they happen in the first place.

What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?

When somebody refers to a brain injury, nine times out of ten, they will be referring to a traumatic brain injury. This is because they are the most obvious to understand and the most frequent type of brain injury.

As the name suggests, these are brain injuries that are the result of trauma. Specifically, trauma to the head. You could fall and hit your head, have something smash into your head, or even have something penetrate through your head. These would all be considered traumatic brain injuries.

While these are always violent in nature, they range in the severity of the injuries. Some traumatic brain injuries can be mild. For example, you’re playing football and take a bad tackle that knocks you out for ten seconds or even just gives you some brain fog for the next hour. This would be a traumatic brain injury, however the effects of the injury are not themselves overly traumatic.

In contrast, there are also severe traumatic brain injuries. Take that same football injury, only this time it takes several hours or a couple of days for them to regain consciousness. This time, the effects are also traumatic.

You may notice that this descriptor has more to do with the cause of the injury rather than the effects of the injury. This is due to the uncertain nature of brain injuries. Two people may take the exact same blow to the head, to the same spot of the brain, and the effects could be totally different. So it is better to focus on the cause of the injury for treatment purposes.

What Are Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Non-traumatic brain injuries can be just as devastating, if not more so, than traumatic brain injuries. The name does not refer to the severity of the injuries, after all, just to the means by which it occurred. That means that non-traumatic brain injuries are caused in a manner of ways that don’t look anything like traumatic brain injuries.

Some ways in which a non-traumatic brain injury can be caused are illnesses and various metabolic disorders, as well as aneurysms and cardiac arrest. Oxygen deprivation and near drowning can also cause non-traumatic brain injuries.

The effects of non-traumatic brain injuries can be compared to those of traumatic brain injuries, but they can also be quite a bit worse because of the way they work. When you suffer a traumatic brain injury, the damage is done to a specific area in the brain. While two people might have different effects, the nature of the effects is often the same.

But non-traumatic brain injuries aren’t limited to a specific area in the brain and so the damage can be spread out across several areas. This is because these injuries attack the cellular structure of the brain itself. To understand, just imagine damage due to lack of oxygen. It is the entire brain that is lacking oxygen, so it makes sense that the damage would not be localized to any one section.

What Causes Brain Injuries?

The two kinds of brain injuries occur in very different fashions.

Traumatic brain injuries are due to trauma inflicted on the brain. This can be caused by:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Falls
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Explosions
  • Being attacked physically
  • Workplace injuries
  • Construction accidents

Basically, any type of accident that could result in your head being stuck violently could result in a traumatic brain injury.

Non-traumatic brain injuries are caused quite differently. They are commonly caused by:

  • Drug abuse
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Meningitis
  • Stroke
  • Contracting a virus
  • Infection of the brain
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain or anoxic injury
  • Toxic injury, such as coming into contact with a dangerous chemical
  • Metabolic injury, such as when kidney failure stops the body from removing chemicals it manufactured
  • Brain tumors

Non-traumatic brain injuries are often the result of circumstances that nobody can control. However, many can and are still caused by the negligent behavior of others, such as doctors prescribing harmful medications or companies using harmful chemicals without proper labeling.

Do I Need a Brain Injury Attorney?

When you suffer a brain injury due to another person’s negligence, you deserve compensation. A brain injury attorney can help you to seek that compensation, even if you weren’t immediately diagnosed or doing a good job of documenting your injury. They can speak with doctors on your behalf to put together a case and determine how much compensation you should seek.

When you’re suffering from a brain injury, the task of putting together a compelling case shouldn’t fall to your shoulders. A brain injury attorney can help you to develop an effective legal strategy, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, or seek compensation through more aggressive means should they be necessary. A dedicated brain injury attorney will ensure that every step possible is taken to get you the compensation you deserve for the injury you suffered.