An overwhelming number of deaths in the United States each year are caused by traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Thousands of others receive long-lasting and sometimes permanent injuries, hindering their enjoyment of life and the ability to earn a living.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in 2014, nearly 57,000 people were killed as a result of TBI, while hundreds of thousands were hospitalized and 2.8 million needed treatment at an emergency room.
What is TBI?
A traumatic brain injury typically results from a blow, jolt or bump to the head, which interferes with the brain’s normal functions. The severity of TBI ranges from severe to mild, with mild injuries commonly called concussions.
The vast majority of TBI cases result from falls – particularly among older people and younger children, and motor vehicle crashes – collisions involving cars, semi trucks, pedestrians, motorcycle riders and bicyclists.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms aren’t always obvious for moderate to severe TBIs, and some show up in the first few minutes, while others can be delayed for several days after the incident. These include:
- Losing consciousness for a few minutes to hours
- A persistent headache that gets worse over time
- Repeated nausea and vomiting
- Seizures and convulsions
- Dilated pupil or pupils
- Fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Numbness or weakness in toes and fingers
- Significant confusion
- Unusual behavior, including agitation and combativeness
- Slurred speech
TBI often results from negligence by others
Nearly three out of every four TBI cases are the result of someone falling or being in a car wreck, and many people are injured due to the actions of others. The first step if you are injured is to seek immediate medical treatment, even if the symptoms don’t appear to be significant at first.
Delaying appropriate medical care not only jeopardizes your health but can hurt your ability to hold the negligent party accountable. After consulting a doctor, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who will take immediate steps to protect your interests and work for an equitable outcome.