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Brain injury has lasting impact

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in this country. TBI was attributed to approximately 30 percent of all injury deaths according to the CDC. Daily, 138 persons die in this country from TBI-related injuries.

Causes of TBI include a bump, blow or jolt to the head. TBI also includes a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brain’s normal function. TBI severity ranges from mild, which may cause a brief change in mental state or consciousness, to a severe TBI, which leads to an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss. Most TBIs are mild or are referred to as concussions.

Falls, car accidents, sports activities and work-related accidents are the most common causes of brain injuries. TBI was a contributing factor to 50,000 deaths in the United States in 2010. TBI, alone or with other injuries, was diagnosed in over 280,000 hospitalizations and 2.2 million emergency department visits that year. Falls were the leading cause of emergency department visits for every age group.

For victims 65 years old and older, falls were the leading cause of TBI-related deaths. Car accidents were the leading cause for TBI fatalities of children and young adults that are 5 to 24 years. Assault was the leading cause of TBI-related death for children 4 years old and younger.

In addition to causing death, a TBI can lead to numerous injuries. A TBI can lead to impaired thinking or memory, movement, and vision or hearing. It can also lead to personality changes and depression. TBI effects can last from several days through a lifetime. As a result, a TBI can lead to medical, psychological and rehabilitation expenses impacting victims and their families. It can also impede a victim’s ability to make a living.

TBI victims and their families may be entitled to compensation where negligence or recklessness led to injuries and death. Prompt advice can help assure that evidence is obtained and rights are protected.