According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 144,000 Texans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, or one every four minutes. Currently, more than 381,000 Texans live with a TBI-related disability, and each year, more than 5,700 Texans are permanently disabled by a TBI. Nationally, an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Traumatic brain injuries can affect patients long after they have been released from the hospital. In fact, ASHA reports that approximately one-third of adult patients hospitalized for a TBI will need help with daily activities one year after their discharge. Living with a TBI-related disability affects victims and their families emotionally and financially, and an experienced Lufkin injury attorney can advise a Texas TBI victim of his or her legal rights and pursue legal action against the party responsible for the injury.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury occurs when brain tissue is damaged by an external force and can be either a penetrating or closed injury. With a penetrating injury, a foreign object, like a bullet, enters the brain and damages a certain area. With a closed injury, one sustains a blow to the head during a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, bike accident, slip and fall, sports accident, act of violence, or other incident. Both penetrating and closed TBIs can cause primary damage, including skull fractures, bruised brain tissue, bleeding inside the brain, blood clots, tears and nerve damage, as well as secondary damage, such as swelling, fever, seizures, chemical imbalances, and cardiac, lung, or nutritional changes.
According to ASHA, half of all TBIs nationwide happen in transportation accidents, though for people age 75 or older, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury. When someone else’s negligence has left you suffering from a traumatic brain injury, a compassionate Lufkin injury attorney can help you seek the justice and compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
Treatment of a TBI
Several factors determine a TBI patient’s prognosis, including the severity and type of injury and the affected parts of the brain. For mild injuries, resting both the body and the brain may be the primary treatment. If the injury is moderate to severe, treatment may involve working with neurologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, rehabilitation therapists, case managers and social workers, and recovery may take months to years, in some instances including long-term care or supervised living. The cost of caring for a single TBI victim is estimated to run between $600,000 and $1.875 million during his or her lifetime, and the CDC estimates that acute and rehabilitative care for TBI victims costs the United States approximately $9 billion to $10 billion each year. Victims of traumatic brain injury may feel quickly overwhelmed by the mounting costs of their treatment, making it important for Texas TBI victims to consult a knowledgeable Lufkin injury lawyer about their legal rights.
You can reduce your risk of experiencing a traumatic brain injury by exercising caution in various aspects of your life:
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle.
- Wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a vehicle.
- Avoid falls by using a step stool to reach high objects, installing handrails on stairways, using safety gates around stairs if there are small children in the home, using non-slip mats in the tub or shower, removing tripping hazards, and installing window guards.
- Store firearms unloaded in a locked cabinet, and secure bullets in a separate location.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact a Houston injury lawyer to discuss your situation with a legal professional who will give your case the personal attention it deserves.