Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries a person can sustain. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most common. Everyone, from babies up to seniors, is at risk of sustaining a brain injury, although the most common reasons for such injuries can vary widely by age group.
Traumatic brain injury is often a life-altering diagnosis. You should be aware of how traumatic brain injuries can be and who’s most at risk. Being informed about the causes, costs, and options surrounding traumatic brain injuries can help guide you to identify when someone has suffered a brain injury and know where to go for help.
What is a TBI?
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, refers to any injury to the head that affects the brain. TBIs are categorized in a few different ways. They’re most commonly split into the categories of mild, moderate, and severe. A mild brain injury is more commonly known as a concussion. Both moderate and severe brain injuries can range significantly in their impact.
A mild TBI involves no loss of consciousness or loss of consciousness for up to 30 minutes. A moderate TBI is diagnosed when consciousness is lost for anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours.
Loss of consciousness lasting longer than 24 hours is considered to be a severe TBI. An individual who has suffered a severe TBI might regain consciousness after a day or might remain in a coma for the remainder of their life.
The extent to which an individual suffers post-traumatic amnesia and the results of brain imaging scans are also taken into account when diagnosing the severity of a TBI.
A Look at TBI Statistics in the U.S.
The CDC reports that TBI is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. The most recent available data shows that in 2021, close to 70,000 people died due to traumatic brain injuries and subsequent complications. The CDC estimates that, on average, there are 190 TBI-related deaths each day in the U.S. and close to 600 hospitalizations each day.
Taking a look at statistics on TBI in the U.S. sheds light on who is most at risk of experiencing a TBI or dying from one:
- Men are twice as likely to be hospitalized for a TBI as women
- Men are three times more likely to die from TBI than women
- Individuals over the age of 75 are at highest risk of TBI injury and death
- The over-75 age group makes up nearly a third of TBI hospitalizations
- The over-75 age group makes up over a quarter of TBI deaths
- Older people most often suffer TBI due to slips, trips, and falls
Provisional data collected by the CDC for the years 2022 and 2023 indicates that the rate of fatal TBI may be on an upswing. Initial results indicate a higher month-by-month rate of fatal TBI than was seen in the preceding years.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Deaths in the US, By Month & Year
Long-Term Impact of a TBI
Severe TBI often leaves an individual unable to care for themselves. Even a moderate TBI can result in lasting cognitive issues that can make returning to work or operating a vehicle impossible. TBI frequently has a profound, lasting impact on the injured person’s personality and mental state. It’s also correlated with high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality.
When a child suffers a TBI, the injury can have a life-long impact. The CDC cautions that children are affected by TBIs differently than adults. Some of the many possible effects include issues with academics, the inability to participate in sports and extracurriculars, and issues with health, thinking, social functioning, and self-perception.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury involves injury to the head. As a result, it’s possible to sustain a TBI in a nearly countless number of ways. However, the injury reporting data collected by the CDC indicates that certain activities and situations lead to the highest number of TBIs.
Based on statistical analysis by the CDC, the most common causes of traumatic brain injury include:
The CDC reports that falls account for nearly half of all TBIs. This comes as no surprise, as falls may be the type of injury that applies equally to all age categories. Older people and children, in particular, are more prone to suffering serious falls. At the same time, falls are one of the leading types of workplace accidents, particularly in high-risk fields such as the construction industry.
Getting Help After a TBI
Traumatic brain injury isn’t just one of the most devastating forms of injury — it’s also one of the most expensive. The cost of caring for a person with a severe TBI can surpass seven figures over the course of a lifetime. Some of the many costs commonly associated with a TBI include:
- Medical bills
- Medical device costs
- Therapist and specialist costs
- Attendant care costs
- Lost wages and benefits
A serious traumatic brain injury can have a profound impact on all areas of life. In the most severe cases, it leaves a loved one in a coma for years while mourning family members struggle to pay for the costs of attendant care. Even when a TBI is not this extreme, it can do significant damage to a person’s quality of life in nearly every way.
Moving forward after a TBI can be a challenge, but help is available. If you ever suspect you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, you should seek emergency medical attention and consult a traumatic brain injury lawyer about your options for recovering TBI compensation.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines