Baltimore auto accident attorneys

What is the Difference Between a Concussion and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

There are so many ways you can hurt your head. Whether you bump into a hard object or take a blow to the head, head injuries are painful and can take a long time to recover.

Concussions are somewhat common and easily treatable. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are far more complex and severe. The most common causes of concussions and traumatic brain injuries in the United States are car and bicycle accidents, sports injuries, violence, and falling. Traumatic brain injuries typically lead to one losing consciousness due to a blow to the head. A concussion, on the other hand, might heal in a few weeks or months. Living with these injuries is difficult at best, life-changing at worst. Concussion victims often recover over time, but the pain and residual effects might last for a while and be very disruptive to the victim’s life. TBIs might leave victims with cognitive disabilities, and they might be unable to work, walk, or even talk in severe cases. You should consult an experienced attorney about how your accident happened, as the person responsible should be brought to justice. You deserve fair compensation for your extensive damages.

You can set up an appointment for a free and confidential case review with our Baltimore brain injury lawyers today by calling the offices of Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

How TBIs and Concussions Occur

One similarity shared between traumatic brain injuries and concussions is how they are caused. While various accidents might lead to brain injuries, certain situations tend to come up in these cases more often.

Car accidents are very common and one of the most frequently cited factors in many brain injury cases. Brain injuries often happen through head trauma. If car accidents are good for one thing, it is head injuries. For example, a driver or passenger might hit their head against the dashboard in an accident. Alternatively, debris from the accident could hit a driver or passenger in the head, causing a TBI or concussion.

Bike crashes are another common cause of brain injuries. Often, severe brain injuries occur when bike riders do not wear helmets or wear helmets that do not meet safety standards. Even so, when a bike rider wears a proper helmet, the collision might be so extreme that they still experience brain injuries. This is common in cases where a bike rider is hit by a moving vehicle.

While sporting events can be fun to watch or participate in, they can also be very dangerous if safety protocols are not followed. For example, a soccer player might be kicked in the head when they accidentally collide with another player. Baseball players might be struck in the head by the ball. Football players are routinely injured as the sport involves a lot of physical contact. If you play sports and experience a brain injury, talk to a lawyer about your rights and legal options.

Falling accidents are another big problem when it comes to concussions and TBIs. Whether you are working on a construction site and fall from a roof or doing some home maintenance and fall from a ladder, you are at risk of hitting your head. You do not need to fall from an incredibly high place to risk serious TBIs or concussions. Injuries tend to be serious when victims fall on hard surfaces like concrete.

How Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Different

While concussions and traumatic brain injuries are caused by similar accidents and injuries, they have very different effects on victims. While concussions can be serious, they are often treatable. With proper medical care, concussion patients tend to recover fully. Traumatic brain injuries, as the name implies, are more severe. Patients might never fully recover, and cognitive functioning might be impaired.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Also known as TBIs, traumatic brain injuries occur due to physical trauma to the head. This type of brain injury is commonly seen after a severe car accident and a hard impact on the head. Those who have suffered a TBI typically lose consciousness for about thirty seconds. There may also be several delayed symptoms that occur hours or days after the trauma. These symptoms may include head pain, seizures, losing consciousness, vomiting, nausea, memory loss, a loss of coordination, dilated pupils, and slurred speech.

Diagnosing a traumatic brain injury can be difficult as each patient may present various and different symptoms than the next patient. If you believe you have suffered a TBI, immediately go to the emergency room. If untreated, a TBI can result in further complications and present a health concern in the future. Your doctor will most likely ask you where and how the injury occurred and then ask that you participate in a physical exam.

You may also be tested for language and memory problems as well. A tool that is used for patients who have suffered severe TBIs is called the Glasgow Coma Scale. This scale can allow the doctor to determine the seriousness and severity of the brain injury. Your doctor will evaluate how you respond to the following: Can you speak normally? Can you obey commands to move? Do you move abnormally? Are you confused or disoriented?

If your doctor suspects that you have a TBI, you will most likely need to undergo further testing using an MRI and CT scan. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers are here you help you sue for compensation if an accident leads to a TBI.


Concussions are not as severe as traumatic brain injuries but still need medical attention and treatment. Sometimes, patients are unaware that they have suffered a concussion. You might bump your head and believe it was no big deal, but you have just injured your brain. If your concussion presents worsening symptoms over time, you may have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.

Concussions are not always easy to diagnose due to their unpredictable symptoms. Some symptoms of a concussion may include headaches, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, an inability to sleep, behavior changes, and seizures.

The only way to treat a concussion is to allow your brain to rest. Continuing physical activities is bad if you have just been diagnosed with a concussion. Some less obvious activities that should not be performed when recovering from a concussion are texting, reading, playing video games, watching tv, and working on a computer. Over 40% of people with a concussion or a traumatic brain injury are sensitive to light. If you continue to use electronics frequently after suffering a concussion or TBI, you are putting yourself at risk for a decreased quality of life. Light sensitivity may take weeks to months to go away. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions to ensure that future complications do not arise.

The most common symptoms of light sensitivity include headaches, eye strain, eye pain, an inability to tolerate bright lights, and visual fatigue. There are a few ways to minimize light sensitivity after a head injury. You can undergo vestibular therapy, gaze stabilization exercises, flavonoids, gentle exercise, and protection of your eyes.

Living with a Concussion or a Traumatic Brain Injury

The effects of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can be permanent or long-lasting. Although recovery and rehabilitation are available to patients who have suffered serious head injuries, people with severe TBIs often face complications for the rest of their lives. Completing tasks previously part of a patient’s daily routine can be exhausting and impossible after suffering a TBI.

Someone who has suffered a severe TBI may also forget who people are and where they are going. A few common disabilities after a severe TBI include vision problems, spasticity, difficulty thinking and remembering, difficulty with social relationships, difficulty carrying or moving objects, and problems walking. Typically, the life expectancy for someone with a severe TBI is about nine years shorter than the average life expectancy of a healthy human being.

If you are emotionally struggling with the life changes that come with having a TBI, resources are available, and it is important to seek help. Anxiety, depression, and drug usage are common among patients who have a hard time coping with their brain injury. Many patients also experience mood swings and long depressive episodes.

Survivors of TBIs typically fall into poor habits and unhealthy routines like sleeping in late, taking naps, and surfing the web for hours. It is important to create a schedule and plan each day to maintain good mental and physical health. Therapy and group therapy sessions are very beneficial and can improve one’s mental state and quality of life. Do not be afraid to reach out to a therapist or group to receive the comfort and care you need.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Concussions and TBIs

As you can no doubt tell, TBIs and concussions are painful injuries that take significant tolls on victims. In many cases, victims live with severe pain, sometimes indefinitely. In other cases, injuries are so severe that victims might be unable to walk, talk, or function the same as before the injury. If you experienced a concussion or TBI, you deserve financial compensation from the person responsible for your injury.

To hold someone liable for your injuries, we must prove that their negligence caused the accident. Negligence involves 4 legal elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Each element must be proven for your case to be successful.

The duty element refers to the legal obligation of care or safety the defendant owes you. For example, in a car accident, all drivers have a duty to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances while also obeying the traffic code. The breach is what the defendant did to violate their duty. Causation is the link between the breach and the accident. In short, the defendant’s breach must be the direct cause of the accident. Finally, we must show that your damages are real. In cases of TBIs and concussions, damages revolve around brain damage and how it affects your life.

Damages Available for Plaintiffs with TBIs or Concussions

In cases of severe injuries like TBIs or concussions, one might assume that proving damages is simple. Brain injuries are widely understood to be severe, and juries do not need much convincing on that fact. However, there might be various damages involved in your case that you are unaware of. Your attorney can help you identify and evaluate all your damages so you get the most compensation possible.

In many cases involving brain injuries, medical bills tend to be high. This is especially so in cases of traumatic brain injuries where extensive and long-term care is required. Not only can you claim the cost of medical bills you have already incurred, but you can claim reasonably anticipated future medical costs you have not yet incurred.

People with brain injuries, traumatic or not, often have a hard time returning to work. Even those with minor concussions take time away from work, especially if their job involves a lot of time in front of a computer screen. As such, many plaintiffs lose income. We can assess how much income you have lost and might continue to lose because of your injuries and factor it into your damages calculations.

Not all damages reflect monetary losses. Your pain and suffering deserve significant compensation, even though these experiences technically do not cost money. The physical pain of a brain injury can be crippling. On top of that, people often have their lives changed forever because of a brain injury, and they must come to terms with a new way of living. Emotional anguish and trauma are common in these cases, and your attorney can help you claim fair damages.

Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one experienced a concussion or a TBI, call our Baltimore personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free review of your claims.