Due to the extreme forces involved in motor vehicle accidents, drivers and passengers often suffer many types of severe injuries. Some of the most common – and most dangerous – are traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries frequently have permanent, wide-ranging consequences, and as a result victims of TBI in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are often able to recover significant financial compensation.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries fall into two primary categories: (i) closed head injuries, and (ii) open head injuries.

Closed Head Injuries

With a closed head injury, the brain suffers trauma as a result of a sudden, violent movement or a blow to the head. In either case, the brain hits the skull, causing damage that can lead to a variety of types of injuries (see below for a discussion of common accident-related brain injuries). A closed head injury can either be “diffuse,” meaning that it affects the entire brain, or “focal,” causing damage to one specific area. Closed head injuries often result from impacts with objects such as windshields, side windows, steering wheels, and dashboards, and may also result from being ejected from the vehicle.

Open Head Injuries

With an open head injury, an object fractures the skull and impacts or penetrates the brain. For this reason, open head injuries are also commonly referred to as “penetrating head injuries.” Open head injuries are usually focal, and they often cause very serious damage. Open head injuries in auto accidents may result from flying debris, foreign objects entering the vehicle, or broken pieces of the vehicle impaling the skull.

Traumatic brain injuries can range from “mild” (resulting in a temporary impairment or loss of consciousness) to “severe” (leading to extended, and in some cases life-long, consequences such as amnesia, memory loss, and mental disability). Many people also suffer fatal traumatic brain injuries in vehicle accidents every year.

Types of Accident-Related Brain Injuries that May Entitle You to Compensation

The following are the most common types of brain injuries in motor vehicle accidents:


A concussion is a type of closed head injury that occurs when the brain is shaken or makes contact with the skull. Concussions can range in severity, and are extremely common in vehicle collisions. The signs that you may have a concussion include: loss of consciousness for any amount of time, severe headache, blurred vision, confusion, and short-term memory loss. Concussion victims may also experience nausea and vomiting, and may suffer from abnormal fatigue.


A brain contusion (or brain bruise) results from bleeding in the brain caused by a traumatic event. Auto accident victims may suffer contusions at the point of impact, or they may experience what are known as “coup-contrecoup” injuries, where the brain bounces back and causes a second injury opposite the first. Contusions will often heal over time, but in some cases may need to be surgically removed.

Diffuse Anoxal Injury

Diffuse anoxal injuries are some of the most common, and also most devastating, types of TBI in vehicle collisions. Similar to whiplash where the head moves faster than the neck (causing the head to snap back in a whip-like motion), with a diffuse anoxal injury, the brain moves slower than the head, causing tears in the nerve structure throughout the brain. Diffuse anoxal injuries often result in widespread brain damage, comas, and death.

Intracranial Hematoma

An intracranial hematoma involves the rupturing of blood vessels either between the skull and the brain or in the brain itself. There are three primary types of intracranial hematomas – subdural, epidural, and intraparenchymal – all of which can have serious, life-threatening complications.  

Parietal Lobe Injury

The parietal lobe is one of the four lobes in the cerebellum, which is the control center of the brain. It processes sensory inputs, and is located at the back of the head directly under the skull. Because of its location, the parietal lobe is particularly susceptible to damage in traumatic events. Parietal lobe injuries can result in comprehension problems, lack of spatial awareness, and other serious cognitive impairments.

Temporal Lobe Injury

The temporal lobes are located at the bottom sides of the brain, and assist the parietal lobe with organizing sensory information. Auto accident victims who experience damage to the temporal lobes may suffer from disturbances in perception, inability to focus, language comprehension issues, memory loss, and changes in temperament.

More Information about Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Along with brain injuries, motor vehicle accident victims often suffer from a variety of other types of injuries as well. Click the links below to learn more about other common injuries that may entitle you to financial compensation.

Contact The Bottaro Law Firm for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in a vehicle collision, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Representing accident victims throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the attorneys at Bottaro Law have helped their clients recover millions of dollars in financial compensation. To find out if you have a case, call (401) 777-7777 or contact us online today.