Wednesday, March 22, 2017 is Brain Injury Awareness Day. It sounds odd to have a day devoted to TBIs or traumatic brain injuries, but the statistics are staggering:
- 2.5 million ER visits
- 282,000 hospitalizations
- 56,000 deaths
These are 2013 numbers of incidents related to traumatic brain injury (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
How do people get traumatic brain injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries are disruptions of normal brain functioning that are caused by a bump, blow, jolt or penetration to the head (CDC definition). Not all head injuries result in traumatic brain injuries.
Personal injuries of all kinds can lead to TBIs. For example, slipping and falling on a wet surface or a worn carpet, tripping over an object left in an aisle, hitting your head on a low beam or being in an auto accident can all result in a traumatic brain injury.
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBIs. From 2006-2010, car crashes were the cause of 26% of TBI-related deaths. Other main causes, well known to personal injury lawyers, are falls (the leading cause of TBIs) and being struck by or against an object (the second most common cause of TBIs). Many TBIs are unintended or accidental injuries, but intentional actions also account for a portion of brain injuries.
What happens after a traumatic brain injury?
When a person receives a blow to the head or suffers some other trauma to the skull, the brain may stop functioning normally. Traumatic brain injuries range from mild (often called concussions) to severe. A mild TBI may result in brief loss of consciousness or a temporary change in mental status. A severe TBI can result in a long period of unconsciousness, extended memory loss, and difficulty with short- or long-term memory and a decline of cognitive abilities.
Traumatic brain injuries can affect vision, balance, memory, and the ability to process and manage information. 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 is likely to improve recovery from a TBI.
What specialists treat traumatic brain injuries?
Since the brain controls so many functions within the body, diagnosing and treating a traumatic brain injury often involves many specialists. Diagnostic and treatment experts may include a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or neurosurgeon. Others who might be involved are rehabilitation specialists like physical therapists and speech pathologists. Some patients being treated for TBI may find relief in therapies such as massage and acupuncture. If the cause of the TBI is a vehicle crash, fall in a public place, motorcycle accident, bicycle wreck, or other personal injury, lawyers may be on the list of experts consulted. A personal injury attorney can help a victim of a TBI obtain compensation for the injury and any expenses related to the injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligent actions, call the personal injury lawyers at Cerritos Legal today at 562-865-9356 for your free consultation.