All brain injuries have the potential to completely change a person’s life, regardless of type. Whether they result in paralysis, chronic headaches or serious psychological harm, the effects of such injuries are wide-ranging and they can be devastating to the victims on the short and long-term. To understand the difference between a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a non-traumatic brain injury, it may help you to first understand what the medical world means when they refer to each.

When we think of the word “trauma,” we often think of disturbing or otherwise intense experiences. But when it comes to injuries, trauma takes on a different connotation. Trauma, in this case, is a physical injury or damage caused by an external force.

The primary difference, then, between a traumatic brain injury and a non-traumatic brain injury is that a TBI occurs when something outside the brain damages the brain. But a nontraumatic brain injury occurs when internal factors damage the brain.

Common causes of traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries

Often, traumatic brain injuries are caused by serious events such as:

  • Car or truck accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Violence
  • Combat injuries
  • Explosions

Common causes for non-traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Brain affecting infectious diseases
  • Strokes
  • Aneurysms
  • Tumors
  • Oxygen deprivation

If you or a loved one have experienced a brain injury, you likely have also experienced heavy losses. Extensive treatments and therapy can mean lost wages and stacked medical bills, even with the help of insurance. How you respond to your injury could drastically influence the course of your future.