Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 150 Americans die each day from TBI. Those who survive this condition often have to deal with its effects for the rest of their lives. The impact of TBI affects not only the individual who suffers from it, but his/her family and friends as well.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBI is a disruption to the normal function of the brain that typically results from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Not all bumps, blows, and jolts to the head result in TBI, and the condition has varying degrees of severity. In its mildest form (commonly referred to as a concussion), TBI causes a temporary change in mental state or consciousness. In its more severe forms, TBI can have lasting effects, such as:
- Severe headaches;
- Blurred eyesight and other problems with vision;
- Dizziness and loss of balance;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Slurred speech;
- Memory loss;
- Difficulty with focus and concentration;
- Mood swings (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression, etc.);
- Impulsive or risky behavior.
What are the Most Common Causes of TBI?
There are several ways an individual can suffer a traumatic brain injury, here are some of the most common:
Almost half of all cases of TBI are caused by various types of falls. People fall down all the time, and many times, the fall is minor and results in nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises. Some slip and fall accidents are more serious, however, and they can result in severe injuries. Falls that involve hitting your head on hard ground or pavement are especially hazardous and can increase the chances of developing TBI. If this occurs on the property of another party who did not take reasonable steps to make the property safe, the TBI injury victim may be able to file a claim for damages.
Being Struck By/Against Events
The second-leading cause of TBI is being struck by an object or bumping into or against an object. This type of injury is common in many worksites where heavy equipment and machinery is often used. On construction sites, this can happen because of loose or falling debris that strikes someone in the head.
Motor Vehicle/Traffic-Related Incidents
The third-leading cause of TBI is a motor vehicle crash or another type of traffic-related incident. In these types of cases, vehicle drivers and passengers are often jolted suddenly because of the impact of the crash, causing head trauma. Traumatic brain injuries are not always readily apparent after a motor vehicle crash, and it could take some time for the symptoms to fully manifest themselves. For this reason, it is important to seek medical attention right away if you are involved in an auto accident.
The fourth-leading cause of TBI in the U.S. is assault, self-harm, or similar forms of violence. Domestic assault is one of the leading causes of death in children ages 0 to 4, and many teens are also hospitalized for TBI injuries related to assault.
There are several other causes of TBI that can be put into the miscellaneous category. These may include gunshots, explosions, and various types of sports-related injuries, such as helmet-to-helmet football collisions and blows to the head while boxing.
Children and the Elderly are at the Greatest Risk for TBI
It should come as little surprise that the most vulnerable among us are the most susceptible to developing traumatic brain injury from falls and other hazards. The rates of TBI-related deaths are highest among individuals age 75 and older. Among non-fatal TBI injuries, hospitalizations are also highest among the 75 and above age group. Assaults are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths among children ages 0 to 4, and this age group also has the second highest number of TBI-related hospitalizations.
Speak with a Seasoned South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone close to you has suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting from the negligence or reckless actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Severe TBI is a life-changing condition, and you deserve to be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other types of damages.
At Peake & Fowler, we have successfully represented injury victims in South Carolina since 2000. We can thoroughly assess your case and inform you of your rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on which legal avenue you want to pursue. Call our office today at 803-998-2412 to schedule your free consultation, or you may send us a secure and confidential message using our online contact form.