The 6 Most Common Brain Injuries Caused by Accidents

Brain injuries vary widely, from mild to traumatic, and as such, they can present an array of symptoms. After you’ve been involved in an accident that leads to head trauma, such as a car crash or slip and fall, it’s important to know what you or your loved one may be up against, how to recognize the signs of common brain injuries, and what to do should you suspect something is wrong.

Here are the top six most common brain injuries that people suffer as the result of being involved in some kind of accident.


Among the most common of brain injuries to experience, concussions are brain trauma that occur in reaction to an impact or sudden change in momentum or movement. Such activity can cause the brain to move around dangerously or even hit the inside of the skull. They can cause a variety of symptoms, including loss of consciousness, dizziness, and confusion. Symptoms can be more varied than these, however, as concussions range from mild to severe in their measurements. And even mild concussions can lead to permanent damage if not treated properly.


Also known as bruises, contusions can be severe when they occur specifically somewhere on or in the brain. A contusion can also occur when the head is impacted or moved around with enough force to cause it to impact the skull. Only in this situation, it causes dangerous bruising that sometimes requires surgery to fix. Along with this bruising can also come swelling of the brain, which may result in dangerous blood clots or more recognizable symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty speaking, or other changes in cognitive or sensory behavior, such as a change in eyesight.

Diffuse Axonal

This is the scientific medical term for when the brain experiences enough sudden trauma that the tissues and structure of the brain tear apart in some way. It is considered an extremely severe form of concussion that often results in some immediate and alarming side effects, such as seizures, headaches and migraines, memory loss, or loss of consciousness.  In the most severe cases, diffuse axonal can result in coma or death. These injuries often need treatment through some form of surgery and rehabilitation.


This is an injury that occurs specifically when an object pierces the head with enough force to also impact the brain. Though often one of the more severe brain injuries to see, it is also one of the easiest types to identify. A penetration injury will often leave behind some kind of visible wound or blood to the exterior of the head, and though it may not be evident whether or not the object has pierced the brain, such trauma should always be examined further by medical professionals. This is especially true if the person is also experiencing difficulty breathing, heavy blood loss, extreme lethargy, or cognitive malfunction.


Similar to contusions, a coup-contrecoup is bruising that occurs on both sides of the brain: both on the side where the impact happened, as well as on the opposite side where the brain moved enough to hit the interior wall of the skull. Severe car accidents in which the car is jolted from side to side or rolls over often lead to these types of double injuries and can result in many of the same symptoms as contusions do. Only they may be even more extensive, because more of the brain area is affected.

Acquired Brain Injuries

These types of injuries refer specifically to brain injuries that aren’t a direct result of the trauma of the accident.  They happen when a different part of the body is injured and causes latent injury or conditions to the brain as a result. Some examples of such conditions that may affect the brain are blood loss, damage to the chest or lungs, and throat, neck, or back injuries that impact the brain in some way. Severe blood loss or clotting is one of the biggest culprits here, so if you experience either, you may want to have a doctor also examine your brain.

What to Do if You Suspect Any Type of Brain Injury

Most brain injuries unfortunately take time to notice unless they’re extremely severe. That’s why if you’ve been involved in any type of accident in which your head suffered any type of trauma, it’s best to play it safe and have your head and brain checked out by a doctor.

And if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms after an accident, they warrant an immediate trip to the hospital to see what might be going on:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Dizziness or equilibrium challenges
  • Mood swings
  • Slurred or otherwise altered speech
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Motor dysfunction
  • Cognitive and/or sensory changes

If your accident and subsequent brain injury was caused by the negligence of someone else, like a reckless driver on the road, then you may be able to sue them for damages. That could result in receiving compensation to help you and your loved ones address your brain injury and help you to recover from it in all the ways it has affected you and your life. And the right car accident lawyer or traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you build your case and get you the full value you deserve.