Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

What Are The 3 Main Types of Head Injury?

A head injury can be a major medical emergency, especially if it leads to concussion, second impact syndrome, or another type of head trauma. Even a seemingly mild traumatic brain injury, such as minor bumps or lacerations to the head area, can cause traumatic brain injuries to the skull and brain underneath, resulting in serious complications and even death in some cases.

Knowing what type of head injury you may have experienced as a result of an accident can help brain injury victims take the appropriate measures for recovery.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of head injuries and their symptoms, risks, and recovery times:

There Are Three Main Types of Head Injury That Can Be Sustained in an Accident

1. Open Head Injuries

Open head injuries are also known as penetrating head injuries and occur when an object pierces the skull. They include gunshot wounds (GSWs), stabbings, and falls onto an object like a rock.

2. Closed Head Injuries

Closed head injuries do not involve any break to the skull but can still result in damage to the brain. They are caused by a blow to the head, which causes bleeding, bruising, and swelling of the brain. Brain damage is possible with a closed head injury due to bleeding on or around your brain. A closed head injury can also cause death if it affects your respiratory system or heart rate.

A closed head injury may cause:


A concussion is a brain injury that causes a temporary loss of normal brain function. It may be caused by a blow to the head or any injury resulting in the brain shaking violently.


A contusion is an injury to tissue caused by blunt-force trauma. This type of injury can cause bleeding or swelling in the brain and around the skull. Contusions can be deadly if they damage the brain stem or other areas that control breathing and heart rate.

Subdural Hematoma

This occurs when blood collects between two layers of tissue covering your brain (the dura mater and arachnoid mater). The blood can build up between these two layers because you have a tear or rupture in one or both layers.

Second-impact Syndrome (SIS)

SIS occurs when someone suffers a second concussion before fully recovering from the first one. If a person receives another blow to their head before they have fully healed from their first concussion, this second blow may cause permanent neurologic damage resulting in death or permanent disability.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

This condition occurs when the brain moves rapidly inside the skull. It can disrupt the normal way neurons transmit information in the brain. This type of injury is often seen in people who have been involved in car accidents or falls that cause acceleration/deceleration forces to the head and neck.

3. Coup-contrecoup Head Injuries

This type of injury is caused by a blow to the head, which causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull.

It can be caused by an impact that may or may not be forceful. This type of injury occurs when there is damage to both sides of the brain and any bleeding in between them.

It can cause:

  • Cerebral contusion (bruising)
  • Brain hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Brain hematoma

How a Specialist Brain Injury Attorney Can Help Brain Injury Survivors Recover Compensation

Brain injury is one of the most challenging injuries to recover from. It can have a lasting impact on the life of the brain injury victim, and it’s not uncommon for survivors to feel like they’re struggling alone.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side, you have the best chance of recovering compensation in a traumatic brain injury claim.

A good personal injury law firm will experience handling traumatic brain injury cases should listen to your case and charter a way forward in terms of helping you with this kind of claim.

Good brain injury attorneys will also work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t charge any fees unless they win your case. If you lose your claim, the traumatic brain injury attorney won’t get paid for their work. But if they win, then you should expect to pay a percentage of whatever amount is awarded by the court as compensation for your injuries and loss.

Finally, choose traumatic brain injury lawyers who will fight for you. You need someone who understands how important it is to recover damages from the other party responsible for your accident—and how difficult it can be when dealing with insurance companies who deny responsibility or try to minimize their payout as much as possible when settling out-of-court.

traumatic brain injury lawsuit

In Conclusion

Brain injury is one of the most common serious injuries people may suffer in accidents, and it often has a long-term impact on the victim’s life.

In some cases, brain injuries can be overcome with time and therapy. However, in other instances, brain injuries are severe enough that they lead to impaired speech and thinking abilities for the rest of your life.

The most important thing to remember about head injuries is that it’s vital for anyone who has suffered a severe brain injury to seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your chances are of recovering from the injury and getting back on track with your life.

When choosing a lawyer to help you get compensation for your injuries, look for someone with experience in this area and who can explain how they will approach the case so that you feel confident in their abilities.

If you suffer from a brain injury due to a car accident, contact Michael J. Brennan at 708-694-9728

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