What is a brain injury?

As many Missouri residents might already know, traumatic brain injuries have become a public health issue. When people experience a blow to the head capable of disrupting any of the brain’s myriad functions, there is a significant possibility that they suffered a brain injury. While traumatic brain injuries account for approximately 30 percent of all injury-related fatalities in America, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not all brain injuries result in death, especially with modern medicine and evolved medical care.

The CDC classifies concussions as a mild form of traumatic brain injury. However, memory loss or a period of unconsciousness after a head injury could signal a severe problem. According to data compiled by the government, falls are responsible for a large portion of the traumatic brain injury cases in the United States. Between the years 2006 and 2010, for instance, 40 percent of traumatic brain injuries were caused by falls. Blunt trauma, such as being hit by a bat or some other hard object, was the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, and motor vehicle accidents, the third. Yet, it is important to note that the government’s numbers show that auto accidents contributed to the second most deaths related to traumatic brain injuries.

Statistics indicate that men had higher rates of both fatal and non-fatal traumatic brain injuries than women did between the years 2006 and 2010. In fact, based off the data from those years, men are almost three times more likely to die on account of a traumatic brain injury when compared to women.

Brain injuries may leave victims with serious impairments, not just cognitive but physical and emotional too. Victims of traumatic brain injuries may require intensive and long-term medical care. This type of care is often specialized and very costly. Victims may seek to recover the financial losses they have suffered on account of their brain injuries through civil action, especially if their brain injuries derive from an incident that can be attributed to another party’s negligence, such as an auto accident or a fall at the workplace.

Source: CDC, “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet“, October 14, 2014