According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than 1.7 million traumatic brain injury cases each year in the US. 30% of injury-related deaths involve a traumatic brain injury, and about 50,000 people die every year in the US from brain injuries.
In Arizona, traumatic brain injuries were the cause of death for 1,317 state residents in 2011. Males age 85 and older had the highest rate of deaths from traumatic brain injury per capita.
Causes of Brain Injuries
The most common causes of death from traumatic brain injuries in Arizona were:
- Firearms (50%)
- Falls (22%)
- Motor vehicle accidents (13%)
Brain injuries can also result from:
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Work accidents
- Birth trauma
- Recreational and sports accidents (football, boxing, skiing, snowboarding, etc.)
- Criminal assaults
Although the use of helmets can reduce traumatic brain injuries associated with recreational activities such as biking, motorcycling, skiing, and snowboarding, the use of helmets may make people feel “invincible” and thus encourage more dangerous activities.
In 2011, there were 6,690 non-fatal inpatient hospitalizations and 47,395 emergency room visits in Arizona due to traumatic brain injuries. Emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries were most common for children younger than one year old.
Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries include:
- closed head injuries
- nerve damage
- skull fractures
The brain may be injured by:
- a blow to the head
- a jolt of the head and neck (such as in a whiplash-type injury)
- an explosion
- a penetrating head injury (such as from a bullet, shrapnel, glass, a nail gun, or construction materials)
Traumatic brain injuries may lead to temporary problems with brain functions or can cause permanent disabilities and death. Symptoms may appear right away, but sometimes they won’t appear for months or even years after an injury.
Although most people fully recover from mild brain injuries, in 15% of cases, problems last for more than one year.
Symptoms of and Problems Related to Brain Injuries
Symptoms of a mild brain injury include:
- memory problems
Severe brain injuries can cause problems with:
- emotions and emotional control
- the ability to feed or dress oneself
A severe brain injury may also lead to a persistent vegetative state in which a patient cannot communicate and appears unaware of the people around him or her. A person with a severe traumatic brain injury may need care (including feeding and bathing) for the rest of his or her life.
At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including brain injuries. For example, we recovered $310,000 for a client who was a pedestrian in a cross walk when he was hit by a landscaping truck. He suffered a severe head injury that required him to spend more than eight months in physical therapy.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Maricopa, Globe, and Queen Creek.
When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.