(Long Island, NY) Automobile accidents, no matter their severity, can be a terrible and disruptive event for anyone to have to endure. However, the potential for permanent physical harm is always a terrible factor to consider, and one of the worst injuries one can sustain from an auto accident is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – also known as intracranial injury – a main cause of death in approximately 30 percent of all roadway fatalities. But even if one is fortunate enough to survive a motor vehicle collision, a TBI can nonetheless be a debilitating condition resulting in a lifetime of medical, lifestyle, and financial issues.
On average, Traumatic Brain Injuries claim the lives of 150 people a day in the United States. Photo Credit: Ken Treloar via Unsplash.
TBIs occur when an external force – such as the kind experienced in an automobile accident – causes injury to the brain, and can be classified in a number of different ways by medical professionals depending on severity, location, and if the external force involved has resulted in merely an impact injury or if the force involved has actually penetrated the skull itself. Depending on these factors, TBIs can result in physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, and the eventual outcome of such an injury can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death.
On average, TBIs claim the lives of 150 people a day in the United States, and the majority of the injuries that lead to those deaths can be attributed to negligence and/or out-and-out carelessness on the part of others, especially when to comes to motor vehicles accidents. The pain, discomfort, and damage – to lives, jobs, and more – can be severe, and anyone that has suffered a TBI at the hands of another party certainly possesses the right to be monetarily compensated, as does the victim’s family if said injury has resulted in the death of a loved one. After all, aside from the physical maladies that a TBI can cause, there are financial repercussions as well, including lost wages and crushing medical bills, in addition to harm that no dollar amount can atone for- namely, emotional distress that can last for a lifetime.
TBIs are among the more widespread injuries in the United States; with all causes – vehicle accidents and more – taken into account, 52,000 people die annually as a result of TBIs, along with 275,000 hospitalizations; this results in yearly combined medical fees totaling at over $60 billion. The financial costs to the average person with insurance can still be extreme, but to those without such a safety net, the cost can be crippling, and in more ways than one.
Causes of TBIs can range from falls to automobile collisions or a violent attack; any of these factors can result in brain trauma due to sudden acceleration or deceleration within the cranium or by a complex combination of both movement and sudden impact. To add to the complexity of such an injury, events that occur in the days directly after the accident can contribute to the issues suffered, as alterations of cerebral blood flow and pressure within the skull can result in secondary brain injuries. If death is not an outcome, the road to recovery can often be fraught with challenges, including numerous types of physical and mental rehabilitations and therapies when can end up being very expensive…especially if the treatment is long-term.
Specific examples of events that can cause TBIs include direct blows to the head – such as those experienced in car accidents, gunshot wounds, or an assault with a blunt object or other weapon – as well as proximity explosions or even violent shaking events where the force exerted can cause the brain to actually impact against the interior of the skull.
Preventative measures that one can take to protect themselves against TBIs including always making sure to utilize any and all protective measures in your motor vehicle, from always making sure to wear your seatbelt in a car to always wearing a helmet whenever operating a motorcycle. Also, adherence to all traffic safety laws and devices when on a public or private roadway at all times is a must, and taking vehicle safety courses offered by any local Department of Motor Vehicles or similar organization can be very helpful as well.
Symptoms can vary depending on the degree of the TBI and the region of the brain that has been injured. Initial, reoccurring bouts of unconsciousness can eventually give way to a wide array of symptoms including headaches, vomiting, nausea, balancing or motor coordination issues, dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue, and changes in sleep patterns. Long-term symptoms can manifest as well, including personality changes, changes to cognitive functions resulting in altered/reduced processing speed, and emotional issues. These problems are not exclusive to sufferers of major head injuries; even victims of mild-to-moderate TBIs report experiencing many of these issues.
Treatment for TBIs can vary widely depending on the type, severity, and location of the injury, and can often be quite expensive, lasing for months, if not years, before the afflicted can return to some semblance of their normal functioning. Extensive testing to determine the exact nature of the injury can include MRIs, CT Scans, and other types of imaging technology that can be used to determine the extent and type of TBI and, from there, a medical professional can make a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan, which can range from various types of medications and physical therapies to surgery. However, no matter what treatment options are presented to you in the event of a TBI, it is always vital to keep your attorney informed at every step.
If you or a loved one have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of an automobile accident due to the negligence of another, you need to speak to an experienced attorney right away to assess your legal options and ensure that you or your loved ones are adequately compensated for the pain, suffering, and financial distress that a TBI can cause. Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe and ask to speak to head injury attorney Richard Jaffe to discuss your options and learn more about your rights. From our convenient office in New Hyde Park, we help injured New Yorkers throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County and the surrounding Long Island areas. Reach us 24/7 on our emergency line at (866) 580-1960 for your free consultation.