Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when there is a jolt or blow to the brain, disrupting its normal function. In the case of a concussion, the injury might be minor, but it can also be severe and permanent.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that roughly 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occur each year in the U.S., and over 800,000 of these involve children. These can be serious conditions that require medical care and ongoing treatment.
Here are the five most common causes of brain injuries according to the CDC’s statistics and their common symptoms:
Falls are the most common cause of brain injuries in the U.S., accounting for about 35% of these cases. The rates are higher (50%) among children ages 0-14 and 62% among seniors over the age of 65.
A slip and fall on another person’s property can lead to a TBI, even if your head doesn’t hit the ground. The simple act of the body being violently jolted is enough to cause a brain injury.
2. Motor Vehicle Accidents
The second-leading cause of brain injuries is traffic accidents, which accounts for 17% of TBIs. However, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death related to brain injuries.
Whiplash from a car, truck, or motorcycle accident can lead to TBI. Even when whiplash doesn’t exist, a collision that causes the head to strike an object can have severe consequences.
3. Struck by Object
The next leading cause (16.5%) comes from a person being struck by an object. However, this is the second leading cause of TBIs (25%) among children ages 0-14.
An example of this type of injury is materials that fall off of a store shelf onto a customer’s head. Another is falling materials on a construction site that hit a passing worker.
A person being the victim of physical violence related to assault or a being shot is the cause of roughly 10% of all TBIs. Some examples of TBIs related to violence are stabbing and gunshot wounds to the head as well as the head striking the ground during an assault. Shaken baby syndrome can lead to a TBI in infants.
There are other causes of brain injury that don’t fall into one of the above categories. This group accounts for 21% of all TBIs.
A common cause that ends up in this catch-all category is sports, and these aren’t always the “extreme” sports that most people imagine. While boxing, hockey, and football are dangerous, so are sports like soccer, baseball, and cycling. In short, it’s always a good idea to have proper training and wear a helmet.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Brain injuries can have a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. Some of these might appear immediately, while others won’t show up until days or even weeks after an accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common symptoms to watch for include:
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Being confused, dazed, or disoriented
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Issues with speech
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
- Mood changes
- Feeling anxious or depressed
- Concentration or memory problems
Moderate to Severe Brain Injury Symptoms
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Loss of consciousness longer than several minutes
- Persistent headache that gets worse
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Numbness or weakness in toes and fingers
- Loss of coordination
- Extreme confusion
- Slurred speech
- Unusual behavior, agitation
If you suspect a brain injury or TBI, seek immediate medical attention. If left untreated, this is a condition that can worsen and even lead to death.
Brain Injuries Resulting from Negligence
If you or someone you care about has suffered a TBI due to the carelessness or negligence of another party, you may be able to claim compensation through a personal injury case. These injuries can be quite severe, and damages can include medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, your personal injury attorney can help determine who should be held responsible for your harm. At Alsobrook Law Group, our goal is to provide personalized representation to accident victims and their loved ones to help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
To schedule your free consultation, contact our Opelika office today at 334-345-2765.