What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries a Person Can Receive in an Auto or Semi-Truck Accident?

Everyone understands that a collision with a motor vehicle can do great damage to the human body. After all, even the smallest of automobiles are relatively heavy objects that can move at high rates of speed. When collisions result, the body can be thrown violently, absorb unnatural forces, and even be crushed. These consequences are only magnified when the collision involves the massive size and weight of a semi-truck.

Although its difficult, if not impossible, to rate one type of injury as worse than another, its undeniable that brain injuries can cause some of the most debilitating consequences imaginable. In this article, we’ll discuss brain injury in general, and specifically address the types of traumatic brain injury a person can receive in an accident with a car or tractor-trailer truck.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The definition of traumatic brain injury (sometimes abbreviated “TBI”) generally references any injury to the brain which results from an external force. This could include any type of blow to the head (or penetrating injury) which disrupts the brain’s normal functioning. Examples of such blows include the intentional hitting someone in the head, falling down and striking one’s head, or trauma caused by motor vehicle collisions. The definition does not include acquired brain injuries such as those caused by disease or stroke.

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

Every year, approximately 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury in the United States. Moreover, traumatic brain injury contributes to 30.5 percent of U.S. injury-related deaths. Falls are the top cause of traumatic brain injuries, but motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of TBI-related deaths. In 2010, TBIs caused an estimated medical cost of $11.5 billion. The total economic cost was estimated at 76.3 billion dollars.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are a number of different labels and ways to define the severity and type of a traumatic brain injury. In this article we will use “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe.” Below we’ll provide some information for each category. Keep in mind that trained professionals assess the level of TBI using the Glasgow Coma Scale. Click this link for a list of common symptoms for each category of traumatic brain injury.

  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - mild TBI can be caused by a blow to the head or shaking of the head that damages the brain. These injuries are often labeled as concussions. Any loss of consciousness is usually 30 seconds or less. Even though labeled as “mild,” they can significantly affect behavior or cognition.
  • Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury - moderate TBI often results in loss of consciousness from as little as several minutes to as much as several hours. If full recovery is possible, it can take months. Sometimes full recovery is not even possible.
  • Severe Traumatic Brain Injury - severe TBI results in an extreme level of injury. The victim often is comatose, and in many circumstances suffers permanent brain damage. Permanent care may be required.

Call with Questions

At Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, we understand that traumatic brain injuries can completely change a person’s life. We also believe that those who negligently inflict these types of injuries must be held accountable under the law so that other Oregonians will be protected. Our attorneys have great experience with traumatic brain injuries, as well as with the law governing automobile and semi-truck accidents. If you have questions, please call us. We will be happy to give you answers.


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