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Differences Between Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injuries

A close connection exists between traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and acquired brain injuries (ABIs). Both are brain injuries that victims sustain after birth. Certain conditions that an infant possesses at birth or progressive illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease do not fall under the category of TBIs or ABIs.

Although TBIs and ABIs are similar, these two types of brain injuries have distinct differences. A TBI occurs due to some type of contact with an external force. An ABI falls under a more general category of brain injury. ABIs may be caused by a stroke, another illness affecting the brain, or in some cases an external force. Traumatic brain injuries actually fall under a subcategory of acquired brain injuries.

Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries

The Brain Injury Network (BIN) has extensively looked into and produced information about the challenges many brain injury organizations have faced determining and defining the differences between TBI and ABI. The BIN, in an attempt to define traumatic brain injury, points to a memo published by the Department of Defense (DOD) entitled, Traumatic Brain Injury: Definition and Reporting.

The DOD definition describes TBI as a structural injury and/or physiological disruption of the function of the brain that is traumatically induced and results from an outside force that manifests with at least one new or worsening clinical symptom or occurrence after the event. These symptoms or occurrences may include:

  • Loss of memory of events immediately preceding or after the injury
  • Loss of or reduced level of consciousness for any period of time
  • Neurological deficiencies (i.e. vision changes, balance problems, weakness, sensory loss, paresis/plegia, praxis, and aphasia) that may last for a brief or prolonged period of time
  • Changes in mental state subsequent to the injury (i.e. slower thought process, disorientation, confusion)
  • Lesion on the intracranial area

Some examples of the external forces that cause TBIs include the deceleration/acceleration movement of the brain in a car crash, slip and fall, head slamming against an object, head struck by an object, explosion blast, and foreign object penetration into the brain.

Acquired brain injuries

According to the BIN, an acquired brain injury is one in which the injury happens after birth, but is not associated with a degenerative or congenital disease or defect. Some causes of ABIs include: stroke, infection or illness, external forces, tumor, results of substance abuse, hypoxia, and exposure to toxic substances or chemicals.

Legal help for a TBI claim

Both TBIs and ABIs can cause partial, permanent total, or temporary disability. A brain injury can affect not only the physical health of an individual but also his or her emotional and cognitive health. It can affect many aspects of a person’s life, including relationships, the ability to work, finances, and overall happiness.

When someone sustains a TBI or ABI caused by another party, the victim has a legal right to pursue compensation for damages. It is important to consult an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney to file an effective TBI claim.

The experienced and compassionate Nashville traumatic brain injury attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm understand the devastation caused by TBI. Our team fights to recover compensation on your behalf for brain injuries you have sustained because of someone else’s negligence. To set up a free consultation at one of our offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Knoxville to discuss your case, call us today at 615.425.2500 or fill out our contact form.

Text Us615-425-2500