Is a concussion a brain injury?

Matt Whitehead | Attorney, The Carolina Law Group
Matt Whitehead | Attorney, The Carolina Law Group

Concussions are common, numbering in the millions every year in the US. But what exactly is a concussion? Is it the same thing as a brain injury? Read on to learn more about concussions, as well as your legal options if you’ve sustained a concussion in an accident that wasn’t your fault.  

What is a concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain. It occurs when the brain absorbs the impact of a violent blow to the head. A concussion leads to temporary loss of function, usually for a short amount of time.

Is a concussion the same thing as blacking out, or losing consciousness? No. The majority of people who sustain a concussion do not lose consciousness, though some do.

Symptoms of a concussion

A concussion can lead to a large number of potential symptoms that may appear immediately after the injury or may take several days to emerge. Similarly, while symptoms are generally gone within two weeks, they can remain for months.  

Common symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Low concentration
  • Low attention
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of memory
  • Changes to senses of taste or smell
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Change in personality


If someone has sustained a blow to the head and experiences any one of these symptoms, they should be evaluated for concussion by a medical professional.

Is a concussion a brain injury?

Yes, a concussion is a brain injury. It’s classified as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and it’s the most common type of brain injury.

Within this broad category, an individual’s concussion can be graded by medical professionals as being grade 1 (mild), grade 2 (moderate), or grade 3 (severe), depending on factors such as symptoms and whether there was loss of consciousness.

Common causes of a concussion?

Any incident that causes the brain to shake violently inside the skull can lead to a concussion. The most common causes of concussion and other TBIs are:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Contact sports
  • Physical assault
  • Being struck by or against something


The first two – falls and motor vehicle accidents – are the top two causes of TBI-related hospitalizations, according to the CDC.

What to do if you’ve suffered a concussion from an accident that was not your fault?

Fortunately, most concussions resolve on their own in a short amount of time, leaving no lasting symptoms or issues. However, some people do experience long-lasting symptoms that affect their ability to function and/or their quality of life, and some research shows that just a single concussion can cause permanent changes to the brain’s structure.

People whose lives have been negatively affected by a concussion that resulted from an accident that wasn’t their fault may be able to sue. A personal injury lawsuit brought against the party at fault could lead to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your concussion

If you’re wondering “is a concussion a brain injury?” the answer is yes, and it can be serious. If you or a loved one has sustained a concussion in an incident that wasn’t your fault, such as a slip and fall accident or motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at The Carolina Law Group today. We have experience fighting for the rights of our clients who have suffered brain injuries and we’re prepared to face the unique challenges that come along with pursuing a successful concussion or brain injury case. Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at one of the numbers below.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience including: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorney’s. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.

Greenville Office
icon-phone 864.312.4444
910 E Washington St
Greenville, SC 29601
Greer Office
icon-phone 864.757.5555
210 W. Poinsett St.
Greer, SC 29650
Spartanburg Office
icon-phone 864.312.4444
1190 Asheville Hwy
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Columbia Office
icon-phone 803.881.1110
824 Meeting St
West Columbia, SC 29619


Matt is a graduate of the South Carolina’s Honors College and the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Matt later obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law where was a member of the South Carolina Law Review and the legal fraternity Phi Alpha Delta. Matt’s education and experience provides valuable insight into how insurance companies approach the litigation process. This allows Matt to closely work with his clients in protecting their legal rights from the initial claim stage through trial.

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