Every year in the United States, some 2.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI), reports the Brain Injury Association of America. Brain injuries are among the leading causes of disability and death in America, accounting for one-third of all injury-related fatalities in children and adults. TBIs impact neurological processes and functioning and often leave victims with long-lasting or permanent damage that can affect memory, coordination, thinking and reasoning.
March has been designated Brain Injury Awareness Month by the Brain Injury Association of America to help highlight the serious ramifications of traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when a sudden jolt or blow to the head, or a penetrating head injury, disrupts neurological function. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and firearm injuries are the four major causes of TBI. Research suggests that traumatic brain injuries are associated with a higher incidence of both Alzheimer’s and dementia, due to changes in brain chemistry. Anecdotal evidence has also shown that people who suffer repeated concussions (a mild form of TBI) have a greater risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy – a condition that can lead to erratic behavior, personality changes, memory loss and depression.
- Every year, 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injury
- 3 million Americans live with long-term disabilities caused by TBI
- Falls are the leading cause of TBI in the elderly
- Men are more likely to sustain TBI than women
- Car accidents are the leading cause of TBI among young adults
- Children ages 0-4, teens aged 15 to 19 years, and adults over the age of 65 are most likely to sustain a TBI
The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury vary from person to person but are often profound in nature. Depending on the severity of damage to the brain, victims may be left in a minimally conscious or vegetative state. Even with mild to moderate injuries, changes in brain chemistry and function can have a negative impact on every aspect of life – from family and social to workplace interactions.
Brain injury awareness – symptoms to watch for
A concussion is a type of mild TBI associated with physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms that may develop days or weeks after the accident:
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disturbances
- Numbness or tingling
- Problems with concentration and memory
- Slower processing skills
- Executive dysfunction
While there have been significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of mild to severe traumatic brain injury, the fact remains that TBI is frequently a life-altering incident. Relationships with family members and friends will often change, and in more dire cases, the victim may lose independence and be wholly dependent on caregivers.
Due to their high rate of occurrence in the U.S., TBIs are a grave public health problem. For those who suffered TBI due to the negligent actions of another, there are legal resources for obtaining compensation.
If you or someone you love sustained a TBI in a workplace accident, a car crash or fall, you may have a viable personal injury claim for damages. An experienced traumatic brain injury attorney can help victims seek fair compensation while holding the at-fault party liable.
Contact Bart Bernard Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review and find out how a Louisiana brain injury lawyer can secure the compensation you need and deserve.
Additional Resources on Traumatic Brain Injury:
- NCTSN, National Brain Injury Awareness Month http://www.nctsn.org/resources/public-awareness/national-brain-injury-awareness-month%20
- org, Traumatic Brain Injury https://www.alz.org/dementia/traumatic-brain-injury-head-trauma-symptoms.asp