According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 138 people in the United States die every day as the result of a traumatic brain injury. Thousands more sustain injuries ranging from mild to completely disabling. Accidental falls are the leading cause of death, accounting for 40 percent of fatalities in people who have suffered a brain injury. Being struck by a person or object, motor vehicle accidents, and assaults are all common causes as well. Each category accounts for 10 to 15 percent of brain injury deaths. In nearly 20 percent of the cases, the cause is unknown.
The CDC also reports that men are three times as likely to die of complications of a brain injury, that people age 65 and older are most affected by falls, that people ages 5 to 24 represent the largest percentage of car accident victims, and that children from birth to age four experience more direct assaults than any other age group. These are sobering statistics when you consider that traumatic brain injuries are often the result of one person’s negligence toward another or the act of deliberate violence.
Types of Brain Injuries
Not every type of brain injury results in immediate and obvious changes in the person who has suffered it. This is particularly true in case of closed head injuries. Whiplash is a common example of this type of injury. Because there is no external bleeding and the person doesn’t act out of character, doctors may assume that he or she is fine. Unfortunately, significant damage may have already occurred inside of the brain. Doctors may choose not to do a CT scan or MRI when there is no obvious trauma, thereby missing the diagnosis and causing the patient’s condition to worsen.
Concussions are the most common type of head injury that can cause long-term damage to the brain. This happens when someone receives a sudden jolt or blow to the head. These injuries are most common in sports where players make frequent contact with each other. However, a concussion can also be the result of an accident or one person violent shaking or assaulting another. Others may notice a change in behavior or cognitive abilities very soon after the concussion happened.
An acquired brain injury is one that does not result from an external cause. It occurs due to oxygen deprivation in the brain cells. This type of brain injury can happen due to birth trauma, surviving a near drowning, misuse of medications, and numerous other causes.
What to Do if You Suspect a Brain Injury Due to Negligence or Assault
A persistent headache, nausea, vision disturbances, and memory loss are some of the most obvious signs of head trauma. If you experience these issues over several days, see a doctor immediately for an evaluation. When observing someone else, especially a non-verbal child or adult, look for irritability, difficulty with balance, extreme fatigue, and a noticeable change in their daily routine.
After receiving medical treatment, we encourage you to contact us at Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers if you or your family member were assaulted or involved in an accident caused by another person’s negligence. An attorney from our law firm will work with you to gather evidence and then serve a lawsuit on the other party. If successful, you could receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, lost earning potential, funeral expenses for a loved one if applicable, property damage, and punitive damages.
Your brain injury has taken enough from you already. It’s time you received compensation for the reduced quality of life forced on you by the negligent actions of another party.