Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions are common diagnoses in personal injury cases like slips and falls, car accidents, and workplace incidents. While these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they can represent different conditions with varying degrees of severity and implications for sufferers. Put simply, while all concussions are TBIs, not all TBIs are concussions.

Getting the proper diagnosis after your accident and understanding the long-term outcome of your injury can ensure you receive appropriate compensation. Read on to explore the difference between these head injuries and how a Louisiana personal injury lawyer from Dudley DeBosier can protect your interests.

Concussion vs. TBI

A concussion and TBI are both brain injuries, but they differ in severity and how they affect you. Here’s a look at how each type of head injury compares:


A concussion is a type of mild TBI. It’s usually temporary and often results from a jolt or bump to the head. While concussions can be serious, they are generally less severe than other types of TBI. They are categorized into the following grades:

  • Grade I Concussion: This is the least severe category, characterized by no loss of consciousness and brief memory loss, lasting less than 30 minutes. Typical symptoms may include a headache or a mild sense of confusion.
  • Grade II Concussion: This more severe type can include a brief loss of consciousness, lasting less than 5 minutes. Memory problems may persist for up to a full day. Individuals with this grade concussion frequently encounter symptoms such as dizziness and vision difficulties.
  • Grade III Concussion: A Grade III concussion is when a person loses consciousness for more than 5 minutes or experiences memory problems that last longer than a day. This level of severity indicates a more serious brain injury and requires immediate medical attention.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A TBI is a broader term that includes a range of mild to severe brain injuries. It’s caused by an external force, like a blow to the head during a fall or car crash, which can lead to more extensive brain damage. TBIs encompass concussions as well as:

  • Contusion: This refers to bruising in the brain, typically resulting from a direct blow to the head, which causes bleeding and swelling in the brain tissue.
  • Penetrating Injury: This occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain, leading to damage in specific brain regions.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury: Typically a result of shaking or intense rotational forces, this injury involves the tearing of brain tissue and can lead to functional impairments.
  • Anoxic Brain Injury: This injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, often resulting in widespread cell death and serious neurological complications.
  • Hypoxic Brain Injury: Similar to anoxic injuries, this occurs when the brain receives some, but not enough, oxygen, which can lead to various levels of brain damage.

How to Diagnose and Treat a Concussion or Other TBI

Diagnosing TBIs and concussions typically requires a combination of medical evaluation, neurological assessments, and imaging studies. Healthcare professionals typically follow these steps:

  • Clinical Assessment: A thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and circumstances leading to the injury. Neurological examinations assess cognitive function, balance, coordination, and reflexes.
  • Imaging Studies: CT scans and MRIs might be prescribed to reveal structural brain damage, like bleeding, swelling, or lesions.
  • Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS): Used to assess the level of consciousness and severity of brain injury. GCS scores range from 3 to 15, with lower scores indicating more severe injuries.

Treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of the TBI. Mild TBIs, like concussions, typically require rest, symptom management, and close monitoring. More severe TBIs may involve surgery to relieve intracranial pressure, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care.

Concussions and TBIs in Personal Injury Cases

If you suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence, you need qualified legal representation to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help you explore your legal options and secure a settlement that addresses your future needs. In pursuing compensation, we can consider the following:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs associated with diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to missed work because of injury-related disabilities or medical appointments.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical and emotional distress caused by the TBI or concussion.
  • Future Medical Needs: Provisions for ongoing medical care and therapy, especially in severe TBIs.
  • Disability and Impairment: Compensation for any long-term disabilities or impairments resulting from the injury.

Contact Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Today

If you or someone close to you has experienced a traumatic brain injury due to an accident, it’s natural to have questions about the difference between a TBI and a concussion and what it means for what comes next.

Suffering from a TBI or concussion can result in an inability to work, potentially causing financial strain for you and your family. Regardless of whether it’s a concussion or another form of traumatic brain injury, you may have the option to seek compensation for your losses, either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit, when your injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence or while at work.

Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help with your personal injury case. We can determine the cause of your injury, talk to your medical team, and pursue financial recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can put our experience to work for you. 

Disclaimer: This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.

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