Traumatic Brain Injury – An Overview
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately 2.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries in the United States every year. The injury causes 2.2 million emergency room visits, 280,000 extended hospital stays and 50,000 fatalities. In Massachusetts between 2008 and 2010, 59,326 people sustained a traumatic brain injury. Of those, 7,721 required extensive hospital stays.
Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
• Accidental falls-40.5 percent
• Hard blow-15.5 percent
• Motorvehicle collisions-14.3 percent
• Violent assault-10.7 percent
• Unknown factor-19 percent
Men are 1.5 more likely to suffer TBI compared to women. Children aged 0 to 4 years, teens 15 to 19 years and older adults over the age of 65 have the highest risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury.
The immediate and ongoing symptoms of traumatic brain injury vary with the location and severity of the injury. Some of the common problems include:
Injuries to the motor area of the cerebrum may cause tremors or spastic movements, loss of coordination or total paralysis.
Traumatic injury to the frontal lobe may cause attention deficits, loss of problem-solving skills, poor decision making, loss of impulse control, memory loss, language and speech difficulties, loss of depth and spatial perception. Patients may also experience a number of emotional, psychological and social related symptoms, which include depression, social withdrawal, personality changes, aggression and uncontrolled emotions.
Injuries in the parietal lobe are associated with a loss of hearing, smell, taste and touch along with blindness or other types of visual impairment.
Patients may also suffer from chronic headaches, sleep disturbances and seizures. The psychological problems and chronic pain that TBI patients suffer are two of the reasons why individuals often develop substance abuse problems.
Initial and Long-Term TBI Expenses
Along with the expenses involved in treatment needed immediately after the traumatic situation, patients commonly endure ongoing costs. Depending the degree of injury and subsequent disability, traumatic brain injury patients may need ongoing medications, follow-up appointments with health care providers and physical therapy. Some may require extensive in-home assistance or the care provided by long-term care facilities. These expenses do not include occupational training or lost wages.
Seek Legal Help
If one of your loved ones suffered a traumatic brain injury or TBI, you need to acquire information concerning your legal rights under the laws established in the state of Massachusetts. Attorney David Dwork offers more than 30 years of experience with TBI cases and assists survivors and their families in getting the compensation they need and deserve. Learn about your options. Contact David at 617-973-5024 for a personal evaluation of your case.