Traumatic Brain Injury, Part 3: Causes of Brain Injuries
Unfortunately, there are many causes of brain injury. Some of the most common include falls, auto accidents, being struck by an object and assault.
As far as the statistics go, falls count for approximately 28% of all traumatic brain injuries. Motor vehicle accidents, not surprisingly, is one of the leading causes, accounting for approximately 20% of traumatic brain injuries. People who are struck by objects or who strike their heads against objects account for about 19% of traumatic brain injuries. Assaults account for about 11%, and then there are other known causes that are about 13% of brain injuries. There are another 9% of brain injuries that arise from unknown causes.
We are living at a time in this country where the cost of healthcare and the cost of injury is a topic of discussion everywhere. One thing that is important to understand are what are the costs associated with brain injury in the United States?
Each year in the United States there are approximately 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries. Of that 1.4 million people, 1.1 million end up in the emergency room. 235,000 of those are hospitalized, and 80,000 people a year will have permanent long-term disabilities from their brain injuries. Today more than 5.3 million Americans have disabilities related to traumatic brain injury. And, sadly, there are approximately 50,000 deaths caused by traumatic brain injury.
The total annual cost for traumatic brain injuries in the United States is approximately $60 billion dollars. Yet, the Federal Government spends less than $3 per brain injured person per year on traumatic brain injuries research and services. So, obviously, traumatic brain injury is a major condition in the United States. It is a huge cost on the healthcare system. Most importantly though, brain injury sufferers have a huge cost in terms of their personal lives, in terms of their work lives, and in terms of the quality of their lives.
As lawyers, we make it of paramount importance that we understand brain injury, what treatments are available to patients with brain injury, and how to hold those responsible for causing brain injury because of their neglect, or their failure to act reasonably safely. We must hold those people or companies responsible so that those people who suffer with traumatic brain injuries due to the misconduct of others have an opportunity to get the care they need. So that they can try to meet their personal obligations to themselves, their families, and their communities, so that they can live a better quality of life.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this segment on the causes of brain injuries. For any of you who want to learn more about brain injury and what can be done about it, I encourage you to utilize the resources we have made available on our website regarding traumatic brain injury to help you or a loved one get back on track.