According to a report from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention, more than 1,000 New York residents are hospitalized after traffic accidents each month.
Most of these injury victims are drivers of or passengers in vehicles such as cars, vans, and light trucks. However, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are more likely to sustain serious injuries. Among crash victims who were hospitalized, bicyclists were most likely to have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
More than 1/3 of pedestrians and nearly 1/3 of vehicle occupants hospitalized after a New York traffic accident also suffered TBIs. Somewhat surprisingly, only about ¼ of motorcyclists hospitalized presented with TBIs. This may be explained by the fact that serious head injuries suffered by motorcyclists are more likely to be fatal.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain that occurs as a result of a bang, jolt, or blow to the head. The seriousness of a traumatic brain injury may vary. TBIs are classified as mild, moderate, or severe. However, there is significant variance in symptoms, even within a designated level.
One key reason for the variation is that different areas of the brain control different functions, such as speech, cognitive function, memory, and motor skills. The type of symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury depends in part on which part or parts of the brain have been damaged. As such, symptoms may be physical, cognitive, emotional, or a combination.
Common Physical Symptoms of TBI
- Chronic headaches
- Impairment of motor skills
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Slurred speech
Common Cognitive Symptoms of TBI
- Memory problems
- Language difficulties
- Trouble concentrating
Common Emotional / Mood-Related Symptoms of TBI
This is not a complete list of TBI symptoms. Some symptoms are less common, and may not immediately be recognized as symptoms of a brain injury. Therefore, if you have suffered a head injury or are caring for someone who has suffered a head injury, it is important to report any unexplained symptoms to a medical professional promptly. Some TBI symptoms bear no obvious connection to the head injury, such as muscle stiffness or a powerful sense of loneliness.
Traumatic Brain Injuries in Motor Vehicle Crashes
Traumatic brain injuries occur in many ways, including slip and fall accidents, being struck by a falling object, and intentional violence. However, the most common cause of TBI hospitalizations among adolescents and people aged 15-44 is motor vehicle accidents. This includes car and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrians and bicyclists struck by motor vehicles. Motor vehicle accidents are also the most common cause of TBI-related death among children aged five and up and young adults.
A New York Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury in a New York motor vehicle crash, or are caring for a spouse or child who has suffered a serious head injury through someone else’s negligence, help is available. Fair compensation can help a person who has been seriously injured recover and rebuild, by providing access to comprehensive medical care and taking stress off of the family during a difficult time.