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The truth about traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of disability and death for people in West Virginia and across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 138 Americans die from a brain injury every day. Meanwhile, many of those who survive their brain injury are left with some sort of disability.

The CDC reports that approximately 30 percent of all injury-related deaths are linked to brain trauma. The primary causes of brain trauma are falls, being struck by an object, car accidents and assault. In 2013, there were 2.5 million emergency department visits, 282,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths attributed to TBIs.

According to the National Institutes of Health, TBIs are difficult to recover from. Even concussions can lead to long-term cognitive problems. Common health issues associated with brain injuries include memory problems, vision and hearing difficulties, mobility problems, depression and personality changes. In addition, TBIs are known to increase the risk of brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in some patients.

Many brain injury patients are injured through the negligent actions of another party. For example, 14 percent of all TBIs are caused by car accidents, while another 10 percent are caused by an assault. When someone causes another person harm, the injured victim has the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. If the suit is successful, a court may order the at-fault party to pay the victim's medical expenses, lost wages and other related damages. Brain injury victims could learn more about their legal rights by discussing their situation with a lawyer.

Source: FOX San Antonio, "Traumatic brain injuries: The long-lasting impact of impact", Jan. 23, 2018

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