Brain Injury Attorneys

Can Brain Injuries Be Temporary?

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s estimated that there were 214,110 traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that led to hospitalizations in 2020, which means there were more than 586 every day.

When you suffer a head injury, whether from a fall or something hitting you, you may think that you can just brush it off and move on with your day. For mild TBIs or concussions, you may not suffer permanent damage or need hospitalization, but if you have a moderate to severe TBI, the outcome can be bleak.

So, are brain injuries permanent, or can brain injuries be temporary?

The quick answer is that it depends on the type of head injury you’ve sustained and the level of severity of your injury.

Keep reading to find out more about which types of brain injuries are more likely to be temporary.

The Type and Severity of Your Brain Injury Matters

As with most injuries, there are different severity levels of brain injuries, and the severity generally dictates whether or not an individual might be able to recover eventually.

  • Mild TBI, also called a concussion
  • Moderate TBI
  • Severe TBI

A mild TBI or concussion can be serious but is usually temporary with minimal ill effects. Your doctor will give you neurophysical or neurocognitive tests to identify how serious your injury is, and usually, a CT scan is not necessary for mild TBIs, except in circumstances where there is concern for bleeding on the brain.

A moderate or severe TBI is always serious and generally leaves the injured person with long-term health issues. They may never recover to the point they were at before. These TBIs not only impact the individual but their families as well, both emotionally and financially. Additional data from the CDC shows that the costs of TBIs that require hospitalization or end up being fatal account for approximately 90% of total TBI medical costs.

Alongside determining the severity level of your injury, it’s important to also look at if your TBI was penetrating or non-penetrating.

Penetrating TBI

Also called an “open TBI,” this occurs when something such as a bullet, bone fragment, or something else pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue. When this happens, it usually damages only a certain part of the brain, and understanding which part and how badly that part is damaged is key to the potential recovery of the injured person.

Non-Penetrating TBI

Referred to as a “closed head injury” or “blunt TBI,” this is caused by an external force that is strong enough to move the brain around inside the skull. The most common causes of non-penetrating TBIs are falls, vehicle collisions, being struck by an object, and sports injuries. Treating this type of TBI may be more difficult as it’s uncertain what parts of the brain received damage without having multiple scans done and often performing surgery.

Every type of head injury may present physical, sensory, and cognitive (behavioral) symptoms that vary depending on each situation and person. No two injuries are the same, and head injuries can develop into a serious problem if left untreated. It’s important that you seek medical attention if you believe you’ve suffered from even a mild concussion.

Recovering After a Traumatic Brain Injury

In most cases, those who have suffered a mild TBI or concussion are able to heal and recover given time and proper care, though they may still suffer the effects of their injury for some time afterward. When a TBI is moderate to severe, it raises the chances that the individual will suffer life-long effects and will likely need ongoing care.

Most of the time, in moderate to severe cases of TBIs, the injury doesn’t go away. Even with the more recent strides made in brain injury rehabilitation, those who suffer more serious TBIs are more likely to have disabilities or impairments that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

So, yes, some brain injuries can be temporary.

As mentioned previously, every injury is different, and if one person suffers a mild injury from a car accident and heals quickly, that doesn’t guarantee that another person in a similar accident will suffer the same injury in the same way and see the same outcome.

The best thing you can do after suffering a head injury of any kind is to seek medical attention and follow the instructions of your healthcare team. Seek out rehabilitation if okayed by your doctor, and ensure that you take it easy and rest as much as you’re able.

It’s important to understand that sometimes, these injuries take time to heal, and you may have ongoing symptoms even after the initial danger has passed. Keep strong communication with your doctor and report any worsening symptoms that may arise.

If you’ve suffered a brain injury from an accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, our legal team at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC is here to help. We have experience handling TBI cases of all types and can help you and your family move forward with the help and healing you need for the best possible outcome. Our initial consultations are always free.


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