Traumatic Brain Injury Accidents–Critical Statistics
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, cost the economy over $60 billion each year in lost productivity, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. But the human costs are far greater. Every 15 seconds, a man, woman or child suffers a brain injury. Over 80,000 of these victims wind up disabled for an extensive period of time, often for the rest of their lives.
Traumatic brain injury is described as the alternation in a person’s brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, due to an external force.
These types of brain injuries are pervasive. In fact, TBIs constitute the major cause of death and disability for people under 45; they’re more common that the combined occurrence of AIDS, breast cancer, spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, according to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
It’s easy to shrug off a seemingly minor bump on the head, but it could be a severe personal injury. It’s hard to dismiss statistics like these. Here’s a more detailed look at traumatic brain injuries by the numbers.
Approximately 31% of TBI-related deaths and over 50% of all injuries stem from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents, reports The Center for Head Injury Services. Falls — especially common among seniors — account for 21% of all TBIs. Violence and criminal assaults causes cause 12% of these injuries.
Why else do TBIs happen? Sports and recreation related activities cause 10% of the cases. Nearly three out of every four bicycle accident deaths involves TBIs. Experts calculate that 85% of all bike-related head injuries could be prevented if all cyclists always wore helmets.
In over half of all TBIs, the person affected was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
About 1 in 500 children of school age get an injury to the head that requires hospitalization. That’s over 165,000 hurt kids each year. TBI is one of the biggest causes of death for children from infancy through 14 years of age and for teens 14-19.
Seniors over 75 have the highest risk for TBI-related hospitalization and death.
Men, meanwhile, suffer brain injuries at nearly twice the rate that women do. Among all men who suffer TBIs, those in the 14 to 24 age bracket have the highest injury rate.
What to Do If You Suspect a Brain Injury
If you suspect that someone you know experienced a brain injury, get medical help as soon as possible. Avoid dismissing a potential problem as minor, even if you cannot identify an obvious physical injury. The effects of head trauma may not appear for days or even weeks.
The sooner a doctor diagnoses the problem, the better. Physicians can often take critical steps (using medications and surgeries) to reduce the long-term impact of TBIs, provided that they can treat victims within hours of the trauma.
Here are signs that indicate a person might have a brain injury:
- Loss of consciousness
- No memory of an obvious injury
- Behavior abnormality, especially among children under the age of 2
Document all aspects of the personal injury and your treatment. If you’re too sick or unstable to collect this potential evidence, deputize someone to take care of this process for you.
Whether your child suffered a serious concussion after falling off a play structure at school, or someone you love endured a terrible motorcycle or truck accident on an icy Colorado freeway, our personal injury attorneys are here to help. Call us today for a free, compassionate and strategic consultation.