A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be any injury where a sudden trauma causes brain damage. TBI is one of two kinds of acquired brain injury, with the other type manifesting itself in acquired brain injuries, such as brain damage caused by a stroke, meningitis or any form of anoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain). Traumatic brain injuries affect a wide variety of Americans every year, causing a multitude of symptoms that can vary from mild to extreme. An important part of understanding TBI is to understand its causes and how it can affect those most at risk.
There are varying statistics between some research studies, but there is a generally accepted view that at least 1.4 million American sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Among these, roughly fifty percent of all TBIs are caused by accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In effect, half of those with a TBI incurred it as a result of a transportation accident. An additional twenty percent of TBIs are a result of some type of violence, including gun violence and child abuse. More striking is the statistic from this same study that more than half of all TBIs occur with alcohol consumption playing a significant role. Additional causes of TBI can include sports injuries, boating and swimming accidents, and occupational injuries.
While investigating the causes of TBI can provide interesting and helpful information, it can be perhaps even more valuable to analyze the demographics of TBI victims, in order to better understand who might be most at risk. TBI victims can be divided along several age, as well as along gender lines. According the Centers for Disease Control, men are about twice as likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury than are women. However, men are also more likely to have success in TBI treatment. The cause for more sever brain injury outcome in women has not been specifically determined, but it may have something to do with differences in brain structure or hormones in the endocrine system.
In addition to differing incidences along gender lines among TBI patients, there exists a significant skew toward younger people. Children aged zero to four, and those individuals aged fifteen to nineteen are the most likely to suffer a serious traumatic brain injury, according to the CDC. This occurs because of the high frequency of accidents among young children, and the high incidence of car accidents among teenagers. Finally, elderly Americans over the age of seventy-five are the most likely to suffer TBI as a result of slips and falls, mostly due to the effects of the aging process and medications.
Given these causes and associated populations at risk, it becomes clear that a traumatic brain injury may most likely occur while doing the most universal human task: transporting one’s self from point A to point B. It is also apparent that those segments of the population least able to deal with the significant impact of a TBI may be those most likely to incur one: the elderly, teenagers and the very young. A traumatic brain injury can be an incredibly costly injury, both physically and in terms of quality of life. Of the 1.4 million Americans that suffer a TBI annually, nearly 50,000 of these will die as a result of their injuries. A further 80,000 will be disabled for life and unable to work or regain their former lifestyle.
For individuals that have been severely affected by a brain injury, there are numerous resources that can provide compensation and ease the suffering cause by the TBI. If the traumatic brain injury suffered is the result of an incident in which someone else was at fault, the best course of action could be to consult with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney, at an experienced brain injury law firm. An expert traumatic brain injury lawyer can evaluate each TBI victim’s specific case and determine whether a traumatic brain injury lawsuit is in order.