When most of us hear about serious or catastrophic injuries, two things usually come to mind. The first is a spinal injury that results in partial or total paralysis. The second is a head injury that affects brain function. This type of head injury is known as traumatic brain injury or TBI,and is generallydefined as theinterference with normal brain processes caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. The most common type of TBI is a concussion.
If you or a loved one is suffering from the devastating effects of TBI, you are not alone. According to a fact sheet published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 3 million Americans sought treatment at Emergency Rooms, were hospitalized or died as the result of TBI in 2014. Of those, more than 830,000 were children.
Here’s what you should know about this type of injury and legal remedies in the event that it was caused by an accident where someone else was to blame.
Leading causes of TBI
The most recent available statistics indicate that falls and motor vehicle crashes were among the leading causes of TBI and deaths from TBI.
For example, nearly half of the people who ended up in the Emergency Room for treatment of TBI in 2014 were hurt when they fell. Falls were the leading cause of ER visits for treatment of TBI among young children and older adults.
Furthermore, falls and motor vehicle crashes accounted for 72 percent of all TBI-related hospitalizations that year. Falls were the leading cause of hospitalizations for children in the 0 to 17 age group, and adults who were at least 55 and older.Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and adults in the15-44 age group.
Finally, falls were the leading cause of TBI-related death for people age 65 or older.Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for people in the 15-24 age group, the 25-34 age group, and for older adults who were at least 75.
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The physical, emotional and financial toll of TBI
What makes TBI so devastating is that it is not an acute injury. In other words, the symptoms don’t necessarily go away following treatment. Lasting effects can include deficiencies related to thought processes or memory, movement, sensation (such as vision or hearing), emotions and behavior. These issues not only affect people suffering from TBI, but also their families and friends.
In many cases, families are overwhelmed by the tremendous costs of not only immediate but also long term rehabilitation or care for a loved one who has sustained a TBI. These expenses include those for medical care, nursing, and rehabilitation. In cases where the person who suffered the TBI is the primary breadwinner, the financial toll on the family is compounded by his or her inability to work.
If you or a loved one sustained a TBI in a motor vehicle accident, a fall, a work related injury or in any other way that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, you have the right to sue for damages, including pain and suffering, permanent injuries, emotional damages, loss of earnings, past and future medical and rehabilitation costs and any other incidental costs and damages. Contact us to learn how we may be able to help.