Common Types and Different Levels of Traumatic Brain Damage

Each type of brain injury is different and all are unique. The situation surrounding the cause of the accident and the force that impacted the head are all factors that can lead to different types of traumatic brain damage or injury.

Brain damage can affect the function of just one part of your brain, specific areas, or the entire brain. These are the different types of brain injuries as well the different levels of damage.


The 2015 movie Concussion starring Will Smith opened many people's eyes as to what a concussion is and just how it can impair your life. While many concussions can be aided by rehabilitation, others cannot.

A concussion can happen when:

- There are direct blows to the head
- Because of a gunshot wound
- Violent shaking of the head
- Or force from a whiplash injury


These happen when there is a direct impact on the head or when an object is directly hit into the head. While a concussion deals more with the cranial nerves inside the brain, a concussion involves bleeding on the brain. If a contusion is large enough, it may need to be surgically removed.

Diffuse Axonal

This is common in babies who have been abused and is often the reasoning behind Shaken Baby Syndrome. It can happen when the head is violently shaken or a strong rotation of the head is present. In a Diffuse Axonal, you will see tearing of nerve tissue which not only disrupts how communication is processed, but can also result in chemicals inside the brain being released, which can cause even more damage.


A penetration injury in the brain is caused by the impact of an object that is being forced through other tissue such as skin, bones or even hair and is injected into the brain. (i.e, through the force of a knife or a bullet.)

Levels Of Brain Injury

Mild Brain Injury

- Mild brain injury happens when there is a loss of consciousness, but very brief - usually just a few seconds.

- When testing is done on a mild brain injury, the tests can appear to be normal

- Often a mild brain injury is diagnosed by talking to the patient; if they seem confused, dizzy or dazed they might have a mild brain injury.

Moderate Brain Injury

- Most brain injuries fall in the category of moderate brain injury. While a lot of people have head injuries and don't have any obvious signs of complications, others aren't so lucky. These moderate damages can result in permanent injuries and result in a life of impairments.

- A moderate brain injury is prevalent if the individual has loss of consciousness from a few minutes to hours.

- Confusion because of a moderate brain injury can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks

- Cognitive and physical impairments can last a lifetime.

Severe Brain Injury

Lastly, we have a severe brain injury. These are the worst outcomes because they rip, tear, cut, or crush the tissue inside the brain. This is by far the most life-threatening level of brain damage.

In some cases, heroic measures will be taken, but unfortunately more often than not a person with a severe brain injury will not be able to live a normal life. They will require lifelong care and treatment, as well as medical care.

If you've been injured in an accident and have an injury similar to one of the injuries above or you would like a free consultation, contact Welmaker at 210.828.6033 or 800.494.1916.