Imagine learning about something that results in more than 150 deaths a day. You may wonder why people aren’t doing more to prevent it from happening. According to statistics, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) claim approximately 166 lives every single day in the United States.
Victims of TBI Vary Widely
Every age group can suffer from brain injuries. The facts may surprise you when you learn about some of the groups that face a high risk of suffering long-term problems due to TBI. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following groups face the highest risk:
- Minorities - both racial and ethnic minorities face a higher risk of traumatic brain injury.
- Armed Services - veterans and active service members are also prone to TBIs.
- Homeless populations - as if people suffering from homelessness don’t have enough to deal with, they also have a higher incidence of TBIs than other populations.
- Detainees - those who are incarcerated in detention or correctional facilities also face higher risks of TBI.
- Domestic violence victims - some studies indicate victims of partner violence face a higher risk of TBI.
- Rural area dwellers - published in the Hawaii Medical Journal (HMJ) shows a potential correlation between rural area life and TBIs.
While these may seem unusual, it is always important to understand the potential victims of TBI, since this type of injury can have such a devastating impact on a victim’s life following the injury.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
While most of us understand some of the difficulties associated with living with a TBI, many also believe that only professional athletes (think football players) face a real risk of sustaining a TBI, or individuals who have suffered multiple head traumas in the past.
Sadly, anyone can sustain a serious TBI that changes their lives forever. In fact, the leading causes of TBIs include:
- Falls - falls account for more than 40 percent of all TBIs. The most likely victims of TBI in these categories include children and seniors.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents - auto accident victims account for slightly more than 14 percent of all TBI diagnoses.
- Striking Injuries - injuries that involve being struck in the head account for slightly more than 15 percent of all TBI injuries.
- Assaults - nearly 11 percent of all TBIs result from an assault.
- Unknown - unfortunately, we do not always know the cause of a TBI. 19 percent of all these injuries stem from an unknown origin.
The facts remain if you face a high risk of falling, sustaining a blow to the head, or becoming a victim of a car accident, you face a risk of sustaining a TBI. With more than 100,000 victims of auto accidents annually, some Virginia residents will have to live with the life-long repercussions of a TBI.
Living With TBI Following an Accident
Whether you suffered a TBI in a fall, after a car accident, or as the result of an assault, someone else may bear liability for the accident (and your resulting injuries). Unfortunately, you and your family will have to live with the physical and emotional toll these injuries can cause. However, you should never have to live with the financial costs associated with the care and treatment of your TBI. Whenever you or a family member has suffered TBI due to someone’s negligence, you should consult a Virginia brain injury lawyer to determine whether you qualify to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Little information exists regarding the actual costs of treatment for TBIs. However, a recent report showed that in-hospital treatment for serious TBIs can approach nearly $500,000. While medical insurance may cover some of these costs, a victim’s family will likely have to bear some of the costs, which can prove a serious financial burden.
Economic losses due to TBI can reach hundreds and thousands of dollars. Victims of serious TBIs may struggle to return to their prior employment, and in fact, some may never be able to work outside of the home again. For some victims, round-the-clock nursing care may become a necessity versus an option. When a victim suffers a TBI that could have been prevented had someone acted more reasonably, that party (or parties) should face accountability for their actions. Victims should hold the at-fault party financially liable for their losses.
From Diagnosis to Legal Action
Unfortunately, it could take weeks or months before someone understands the extent of the damage a TBI has caused. Victims face a long road to recovery, with little understanding at the beginning of how they will respond to care and treatment. Generally, victims reach maximum recovery six months after suffering a TBI. Two years later, TBI victims may continue to struggle with their injuries.
In serious cases:
- Nearly one-half of victims can never drive again.
- Only 30 percent of victims have returned to work.
- Nearly 30 percent of victims require ongoing assistance.
- Nearly 25 percent of victims live with depression.
- Only about one-half of victims who lived alone before the injury continue living alone.
Families can and should consider legal action against the parties responsible for a traumatic brain injury. Victims’ lives and the lives of their families will likely prove dramatically different once an accident like this takes place.
Money cannot make up for the loss you and your family have suffered, but it can help you remain financially stable and ensure that TBI victims have the care and services they need to maintain whatever semblance of normal they can following their injury.
Negligent behavior that alters someone’s life permanently warrants action, and often, the only option is to hold the at-fault party legally accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Working with an attorney who has experience with these types of complicated cases can help ensure that you pursue maximum compensation given your specific circumstances.
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, slip and fall accident on someone’s property, or a physical assault, contact a Virginia TBI lawyer for a free case evaluation today to find out your legal options to pursue compensation.