Traumatic brain injuries, also called TBIs, are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the brain’s normal functions. While most TBIs that occur each year are mild, they are still a major cause of disability and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer from a TBI each year.
If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI in West Virginia recently, or are suffering from long-term complications from your injury, an attorney can help you seek financial compensation so you can begin healing. Get in touch with an attorney at Prim Law today by calling our Hurricane, West Virginia office at 304-201-2425. You can also schedule your free initial consultation on our website.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Falls are one of the most common causes of TBIs. CDC data from 2014 showed that:
- Falls were the leading cause of death among TBI-related deaths for persons 65 years old and up.
- Falls were also the leading cause of emergency department visits among children ages 0 to 4 years old, and adults 65 years old and up.
- Falls were the leading cause of hospitalizations among children ages 0 to 17 years old, as well as adults 55 years old and up.
Falls are especially dangerous in older adults. In fact, more than one out of four elders falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor about their fall. Around 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
Even though falls can happen often to older adults, they can occur anywhere and to anyone of any age. Falls that are caused by another person’s negligence—for example, slipping and falling on a wet floor or tripping and falling over uneven, dangerous sidewalks—are preventable. If your fall was caused by the actions of someone else, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek monetary compensation.
Motor vehicle crashes
Motor vehicle crashes are another common cause of TBIs. In 2014, CDC data reported:
- Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24, 25 to 34, and adults 75 years and up.
- Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and adults ages 15 to 44 years old.
Car accidents can occur for any number of reasons. The most common causes of car accidents in West Virginia include speeding, driving distracted, and driving while under the influence.
In a motor vehicle crash, someone can sustain a TBI from striking their head against the interior of the car or being struck by another object. Being struck by or against an object is another common cause of TBI-related emergency department visits, particularly among children younger than 17 years old.
Around 30 million kids and teens participate in organized sports in the United States. Each year, more than 3.5 million injuries occur. Common sports-related injuries include strains and sprains, but TBIs are a risk, too.
Youths are more at-risk for concussions, which are mild TBIs. Even though concussions are categorized as “mild,” and while they are not life-threatening, the effects can be serious. Concussions can create chemical changes in the brain, stretch or damage brain cells, or affect the development of a person’s brain.
Signs, Symptoms, and Long-Term Complications from TBIs
Most TBIs are mild, meaning there is a brief change in mental status or consciousness. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Loses consciousness, even briefly
- Inability to recall what happened before or after a fall, hit, or the event that caused the concussion
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Moves clumsily and answers questions slowly
- Feels confused, sluggish, or groggy
- Experiences nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, or balance problems
Recovery from a mild TBI can take a few weeks and up to a month depending on a person’s health or history of previous brain injuries. Post-concussive syndrome can occur, where concussion symptoms remain for months or longer. A person with post-concussive syndrome may experience trouble sleeping, headaches, mood swings, and fatigue, as well as cognitive issues like poor concentration or memory problems.
While post-concussive syndrome can be difficult to deal with, the symptoms are temporary and a common part of recovering from a mild TBI. However, more severe TBIs can cause long-term complications in physical and behavioral health. These complications vary by individual, but a person who has sustained a severe TBI may need physical therapy, medication, or psychotherapy to recover.
File an Injury Lawsuit With A West Virginia Attorney
If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI due to someone’s harmful or negligent actions, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a lawsuit. A premises liability lawsuit is filed if you’ve suffered from a slip and fall accident, while a personal injury lawsuit is filed if your injury was sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
A traumatic brain injury can be a serious and life-altering event. When you file and win a lawsuit, your compensation can cover current and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. Not having to worry about finances may help you recover physically, mentally, and emotionally.
At Prim Law, our experienced team of personal injury attorneys and premises liability attorneys will fight for your rights. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers, call our Hurricane, West Virginia, office at 304-201-2425, or fill out a contact form on our website. You can also like and follow the Prim Law Facebook page for news and legal resources.