Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are more common than most people think. Doctors diagnose TBI in more than 2.5 million emergency room visits each year. Almost 50,000 people die in the U.S. each year because of TBI. How do all these brain injuries happen? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), personal injury accounts for 2/3 of all TBI-related injuries and death.
Falls Are The Main Cause of TBI
Within the broad category of personal injury, falls are the number one cause of TBI. The CDC reports that falls cause 47% of all TBI-related hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and deaths in the U.S. For children younger than 15, falls account for 54% of TBI-related incidents. Among adults aged 65 and older, falls account for 79% of these incidents.
Common personal injury scenarios causing fall-induced TBI’s include the following:
- Slipping and falling on a wet surface
- Tripping over an object left in an aisle
- Slipping and tripping on a worn carpet
- Tripping on an uneven surface
- Falling over a rock, sprinkler head, or landscaping object
- Stepping in a hole and falling
- Falling down stairs
- Unknowingly stepping off a curb or other change in surface depth.
The Second Leading Cause Of Personal Injury TBI Is Blunt Force
Blunt force head trauma occurs when a person’s head strikes against or is hit by an object. The following personal injury scenarios involve blunt force head trauma that can cause TBI:
- Hitting one’s head on a light or other fixture hanging too low
- Walking into a glass door or window
- Hitting one’s head on a low ceiling beam
- Walking into a low-hanging sign or tree limb
- Bumping into a wall, door, or object in a dimly lit place.
Hitting one’s head, or having an object hit one’s head causes approximately 15% of TBI-related hospital stays, ER visits, and deaths. For children younger than 15, the percentage is 22%. Sports and recreation-related injuries cause many blunt force TBIs in children.
Car Crashes Are The Third Leading Cause of TBI
Motor vehicle accidents cause 14% of TBI-related hospitalizations, ER visits, and deaths. When looking solely at deaths, car wrecks account for 19% of TBI-related deaths.
Motor vehicle crashes usually involved high force, which propels bodies forward, even when properly restrained. When a seatbelt restrains the trunk of the body, the force of the impact moves the head quickly forward, followed by an abrupt stop. As a result, the brain collides with the skull. This can cause the brain to bruise or bleed, neither of which may be immediately apparent.
Another mechanism for TBI in a car accident is a head hitting the windshield, a window, the dashboard, or the steering wheel. This blunt trauma can cause exterior injuries where the impact occurs, such as a gash on the forehead. At the same time, it can cause the brain to pull away from the skull on the opposite side of the head from the impact or to hit the bone of the skull where the impact occurs.
Other Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Events other than personal injury cause about a third of TBI-related hospital stays, ER visits, and deaths. An examination of TBI deaths revealed that intentional self-harm caused 1/3 of TBI-related deaths in 2013. For children younger than 5, intentional assaults are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths. The Brain Injury Association of America lists the following as other common causes of TBI:
- Electric Shock
- Infectious Disease
- Lightning Strike
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Seizure Disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Toxic Exposure
What Are TBI Signs and Symptoms?
Traumatic brain injuries occur on a spectrum from mild to severe. A mild TBI can cause a brief loss of consciousness or a temporary change in mental status. Many people refer to mild TBI as having a concussion.
A severe TBI can cause a long period of unconsciousness, extended memory loss, difficulty with short- or long-term memory, and a decline of cognitive abilities.
Traumatic brain injuries can negatively affect vision, balance, memory, and the ability to process and manage information. Severe TBI can even affect one’s personality and emotions. Anyone experiencing a head injury that results in even a brief change in mental status, balance, sight, or consciousness should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are likely to improve recovery from a TBI.
If a personal injury causes a TBI, failing to get medical attention could reduce the chances of getting fair compensation for injuries. TBI’s can be a progressive injury, with symptoms worsening over time. Therefore, it is important to get a baseline examination immediately after a head injury. Recording symptoms and staying in touch with a medical provider are crucial to achieving full recovery. These steps also help build a successful case for personal injury compensation. Consult with an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible after a head injury caused by someone else’s negligence. I use my 35 years of experience to connect TBI victims with exceptional care providers. Building a persuasive case for maximum personal injury compensation begins immediately after an injury.
How A Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Your Injuries Are Personal To Me
Traumatic brain injuries are devastating for victims and their loved ones. Immediate diagnosis and treatment increase the likelihood of a full recovery. Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks today at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
As a brain injury lawyer with over 35 years of experience, I have a vast network of expert witnesses that can provide valuable testimony. Because your injuries are personal to me, I handle all aspects of your claim. My goal is maximum compensation, and I continue fighting until we obtain this goal.
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