Traumatic Brain Injury Primer

What do you think the leading cause of death and disability is in people under the age of 45?  Cancer? Spinal Cord Injury?  Wrong.  It’s Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI for short.

Although seldom talked about, every 15 seconds, one person in the US suffers a TBI, and close to 5.5 million Americans are living with a disability resulting from a TBI.  The price for treating, rehabilitating and caring for people with TBI costs the U.S. an astounding $30 billion each year, approximately.

Surprisingly though, only 1-3 Americans are actually familiar with the term “Brain Injury,” deeming it the “silent” epidemic.

Some TBI Statistics

Traumatic brain injury affects all ages, but they're a certain age ranges that are more affected than others. Common Ages for TBI:

  • 4 years old and under – Due to a high risk of falling
  • Between the ages of 14 and 19 – Due to risky behavior
  • 75+ – Due to a high risk of falling
  • Males are More Likely to Sustain TBI Than Females:
  • Males are more likely to be involved in risky behavior than females, resulting in a greater chance for this type of injury.  Males also have more successful suicide attempts than women – many of them caused by gunshot wounds to the brain.

Cars, Motorcycles, and Alcohol:

A majority of TBIs occur from car and motor motorcycle accidents, and it is estimated that about 50 percent of all traumatic brain injury involves the consumption of alcohol. I frequently prosecute drunk drivers in wrongful death suites due to a Traumatic brain injury killing the victim.

TBI Symptoms

Traumatic brain injury symptoms are wide-ranging and can be cognitive as well as physical.  TBI suffers may have one or more of these symptoms, but may include others, as well:

  • loss of memory
  • difficulty with normal bodily movement
  • speech difficulty
  • seizures
  • mood swings
  • change in overall personality
  • impairment of attention, problem-solving, and planning
  • loss of sense of taste and smell

Closed Head Injuries VS Penetrating Head Injuries

closed head injury – Brain damage at the site of impact, and damage on the other side of the brain due to the momentum that the brain gains from the impact.  This often occurs when someone’s head hits a steering wheel or dashboard.

penetrating head injury – When the outer layer of the meninges (a system of membranes that protects the brain) is passed through or opened (often by gunshots, and other projectile objects).

Rating The Severity of TBI

The Glasgow Coma Scale is the common scale used in assessing the severity of traumatic brain injury.  Scores range from 3-15, with 15 being the mildest traumatic brain injury, and 3 being the most critical.  People with scores of 3-8 are commonly in a coma.

TBI Recovery

Recovery from TBI varies widely depending on the severity of the injury the individual has suffered.  It’s often difficult to predict the exact degree of TBI recovery, but if it’s possible, recovery can takes months or even years.

Prognosis Factors (According to

  • Post-traumatic amnesia – shorter the amnesia = better prognosis
  • Amount of time in the coma – shorter the coma = better the prognosis.
  • The patient’s age –  Individuals younger than 2 and older than 60, have those worst chance for recovery.

In Closing

Traumatic Brain Injury is a very serious, and unfortunately, a common injury we deal with every day. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI injury due to the negligence of another (car accident, boating accident, etc) we are ready to take your case and fight for your rights. The Law Offices of Bruce Hagen will not rest until you get the justice you are legally entitled to.