Are Concussions and MTBIs Considered Brain Injuries?

Yes. Concussions are the most common form of brain injury, as well as the mildest, which is why they're sometimes called mild traumatic brain injuries, or MTBIs. However, a mild concussion is still capable of causing serious and long-lasting repercussions that can impact someone's ability to think and function.

However, many insurance claims adjusters don't consider concussions or MTBIs true brain injuries, contrary to the available medical literature on the subject. This underscores the need for people with mild forms of brain injury to have their condition carefully documented by a medical specialist, and seek legal counsel from a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer. Read on to learn more about concussions and MTBIs, and what you can do if you sustained these injuries in an accident.

Common Causes of Concussions and MTBIsconcussion

Concussions and MTBIs can be caused by a number of things, including blows to the head, or violent jolts to the head and upper body. These blows or jolts can force the head to whip back and forth, causing the brain to move around inside the skull, which damages cells and even changes the brain's chemistry. Mild brain injuries are particularly common among people who play contact sports, such as football, and those who have been involved in serious car, truck, or motorcycle accidents.

Even the mildest concussion injures the brain to some extent, and this injury must be given time to heal properly. Additionally, a victim must take additional care to avoid future head injuries, as repeated MTBIs can lead to devastating conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer's, and second-impact syndrome, which occurs when a person suffers a second concussion before the symptoms of the first have gone away.

Symptoms Associated With Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

Generally, concussive brain injuries are considered mild if no loss of consciousness occurs, or if the loss of consciousness and subsequent disorientation lasts 30 minutes or less. However, because many brain injury victims don't lose consciousness at all—and symptoms can take hours, days, or even weeks to emerge—some may have concussions and not even realize it. For this reason, it's important for someone who sustains a head injury in an accident to see a doctor as soon as possible, as what may seem like just a minor injury may actually be much more serious than initially thought.

Symptoms of concussions or MTBIs may include:

  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • A feeling or pressure in the head
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed responses
  • Appearing dazed or stunned
  • Visual or sleep disturbances
  • Seizures
  • Changes in mood
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Psychological problems, such as depression

A doctor who has experience with concussions and other brain injuries—such as a neuro-psychologist, neurologist, or even a brain surgeon— will be able to make the appropriate diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment. Most people fully recover from mild brain injuries. However, a full recovery can take time and, meanwhile, someone may have trouble functioning in the workplace, or struggle to maintain professional, familial, and romantic relationships.

Were You Injured in an Accident?

Concussions or MTBIs are only deemed mild because they're non-life-threatening. It doesn't mean that people who sustain these injuries don't struggle with devastating, though usually temporary, symptoms. If you or someone you love sustained a head injury in an accident caused by another person's negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, accident-related property damage, missed work during your recovery period, and even pain and suffering. Sevenish Law can help you fight for the financial award you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary initial consultation to discuss your case.