Traumatic brain injury & southeast Missouri auto accidents: Facts for injury victims
As Cape Girardeau personal injury lawyers, we know that car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The Brain Injury Association identifies two main types of TBIs: penetrating injuries, where a foreign object penetrates the brain and damages specific tissues; and closed head injuries, where a blow to the head causes the brain to knock against the inside of the skull. Closed head injuries can result in primary brain damage, or damage that is complete at the time of the injury (i.e. bruises, contusions, skull fractures, etc.), but they can also cause secondary brain damages, or damage that manifests itself over time. In the case of secondary brain damage, symptoms may not present themselves immediately following an injury. That's why it's so important to seek medical attention following a head injury, even if you think you're not badly hurt.
Here are a few common symptoms of TBIs:
• Severe, persistent headache
• Drowsiness, dizziness or loss of vision
• Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
• Abnormal behavior
• Nausea and vomiting
• Stiffness in the neck or shoulders
• Slurred speech
• Confusion or loss of consciousness
Facts about Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and Missouri car accidents:
• About two million Americans suffer various forms of head injuries each year, and about 5.3 million live with a long term disability caused by a TBI.
• TBIs cause about 34% of all injury deaths, and auto accidents cause about 28% of all TBIs and about 31.8% of all TBI fatalities.
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBIs can result in numerous short or long term health consequences, depending on the nature and severity of the injury. Individuals suffering from TBIs may experience changes to their thinking (memory and reasoning); sensations (touch, taste and smell); language (speech, communication and understanding); and emotion (personality, mood and behavioral changes).
• A TBI victim is more likely to develop epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders.
• Treatment for a TBI may involve immediate emergency care, medications (like diuretics and anti-seizure drugs), surgical procedures (to repair skull fractures, remove blood clots or relieve pressure on the brain), and rehabilitation. These forms of treatment can result in numerous medical expenses, both in the present and throughout the victim's life.
• Annually, direct and indirect costs associated with TBIs amount to an estimated $43.8 billion. For a single person who survives a severe TBI, lifetime costs can reach $4 million.