West Virginia residents should know that traumatic brain injuries are not just common among professional players of contact sports. During the summer and autumn, when both children and adults become more active, one may suffer a TBI while boating, while playing softball or even while playing football in a more casual setting. Then there are the times when people hurt their head in a fall or car crash.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons states that about 1.7 million people in the U.S. suffer a TBI every year. There are three degrees of TBIs: mild, moderate and severe. Those with mild TBIs may experience headaches, blurred vision and confusion. In cases of moderate and severe TBI, patients may have trouble thinking straight and develop weakness in the arms and legs.
If the TBI involved the patient’s head being bumped or jolted, then that patient has suffered a concussion. This can lead to chemical changes in the brain. In the long run, TBI victims may even develop Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and epilepsy.
The CDC provides several common-sense methods for reducing TBI risk. One is the use of seat belts among vehicle occupants and helmets among cyclists and scooter riders. At home, one should remove trip hazards like torn carpeting. Outdoor playgrounds should have soft or sandy bottoms.
Those who believe that their head injury was caused by the negligence of another party may want to seek legal counsel. TBIs are often behind premises liability and auto accident claims. These claims, when successful, can end in major settlements covering past and future medical costs, lost wages, the diminished capacity to earn a living and other damages. With a lawyer, victims may be able to present a strong case and achieve maximum compensation.