Brain injuries are typically sorted into specific categories, and one of the broadest categories is that of the “acquired brain injury.” What does this mean and how does it define the injury?

Essentially, this category is just used to differentiate between brain issues that people have had all their lives and those that they acquire after they are born. For example, hereditary issues or trauma during birth are not considered acquired injuries by the Brain Injury Association of America. Most others types of brain injuries, however, do fall into this category.

This does include traumatic brain injuries. These could be suffered through an act of violence, while playing a sport or in a car accident. Acquired injuries are often connected to violent events, whether they are accidental or carried out on purpose.

However, those who work in the field are quick to point out that these events are not the only way for injuries to be acquired. They can also come about when someone has a stroke or nearly drowns, for example, two events that can impact the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. A brain tumor could develop and cause an injury, neurotoxins could negatively impact the organ or someone could be hurt though a lightning strike or some other major electric shock.

In many ways, acquired injuries are far more jarring, both for the person and for his or her family. Adjustments need to be made, medical care is required and the damage can be permanent. If the injury has been caused by some sort of accident—such as a hunting or firearm accident—the family may be entitled to compensation to help with these changes.