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Traumatic Brain Injury Causes and Effects

Author Susan Harr

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. TBI is the leading cause of death for individuals over the age of 45, and BrainInjury.com estimates that a TBI occurs every 15 seconds.

“A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.”

Statistics

  • An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually, leading to 52,000 deaths, 275,000 hospitalizations, and 1.365 million emergency room visits.
  • TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States.
  • About 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury.
  • Men are at twice the risk for TBI as women (CDC).
  • TBIs cost $60 billion in the United States in 2000.

Causes of TBIs

There are several factors that can cause a TBI. Information below provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Falls- Falls are the leading cause of TBI- rates are highest for children aged 0 to 4 years and for adults aged 75 years and older.
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries- Auto accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related death. Rates are highest for adults aged 20 to 24 years.
  • Assault- Violence accounts for a number of TBIs every year, mainly from blunt-force trauma to the head.
  • Struck by/Against- A TBI can occur when a person is hit by a falling object or strikes their head against an object. This can happen in a variety of situations, including work-related accidents.
  • Cerebral Hypoxia/Anoxia- Lack of oxygen to the brain can cause a TBI. This can happen when a person chokes or is strangled, or can be the result of a medical mistake.

The Aftermath of TBI

A TBI can lead to a variety of health issues ranging from memory loss and trouble sleeping to seizures, coma, and death. Studies have indicated that it can take up to 10 years to fully recover from a TBI. The cost can be a tremendous burden on the individuals and their families, but that is only the beginning. Survivors can suffer cognitive, sensory, motor, and emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.

“For the estimated 5.3 million Americans who live with a TBI-related disability, the financial cost is only part of the burden- the long term impairments and disabilities associated with TBI are grave and the full human cost is incalculable,” CDC.

Legal Options

If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI, you may choose to hire an attorney to help you recover damages. An attorney can help relieve the burdens faced by TBI survivors and their families by working to get compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Current and future medical and treatment expenses
Examples of Cases
  • 2009- Failure to monitor and give supplemental feedings caused the permanent brain damage of a newborn and led to a medical malpractice claim against the hospital. The family was awarded $9.6 million for past and future medical costs, future lost earnings, general damages for infant, and non-economic damages for mother.
  • 2009- A pedestrian who was struck by a bus and suffered permanent brain damage received a $5.5 million verdict. The award covered past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical costs, and lost-of consortium for the victim’s wife.
  • 2001- A construction worker suffered permanent brain damage when the metal scaffolding he and another employee were attempting to steady on a forklift came in contact with a 69,000 volt overhead power line. They sued the power company claiming negligence in eliminating, guarding against or warning about the hazard. They received a $4.4 million settlement.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, trucking accidents, maritime accidents, and other catastrophic accidents.

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