TBI Facts: The Most Frequent Causes Of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, can cause a lot of problems in a lot of different ways. After all, your brain controls virtually every function in the rest of your body, and it also regulates your emotions, stores your memories, and maintains your consciousness. Any or all of these functions can suffer damage from a TBI, and thanks to how complicated the brain is your symptoms might not show up until hours or days after the injury occurs.
TBI can have some very long-term effects, too. A brain injury can last years, and in many cases the victims of TBI never fully recover. Also, a recent study has established a solid link between TBI and dementia, a link most neural physicians already suspected existed.
Brain injuries caused by internal problems like tumors and strokes are called acquired brain injuries, while TBI happens because of external sources. These are the top five causes of TBI:
1. Auto Accidents
Well over two million Americans suffer injuries from motor vehicle accidents every year, and around 35,000 people die from fatal crashes. Between 2,400 to 3,200 people die in Florida alone, and its numbers are consistently higher than the national average. So with numbers like that and the fact that most Americans find themselves on the roads in one capacity or another, it’s no wonder that auto accidents are the single leading cause of TBI in the United States.
It might surprise you, but the second leading cause of brain injuries is simply slipping and falling. Our bodies instinctually protect our heads from impacts by throwing out our hands raising our heads so they don’t hit the ground hard, but sometimes we fail or we fall from too high up to protect our heads. Getting a brain injury from falling is more common among the elderly and workers with dangerous jobs.
3. Violence And Firearms
When people fight, the head makes an obvious target. And while the skull protects the brain from a lot of damage, it can only take hits so hard before it breaks. Violence is the leading cause of “open” TBI, which refers to injuries that break or pass through the skull. Open TBI is much more likely to be fatal and to have effects localized to the part of the brain that got hit, as opposed to the more general symptoms you see in closed TBI.
4. Warfare And Blasts
For obvious reasons, you’re most likely to see this kind of TBI in soldiers and veterans, and blast-based TBI is considered a characteristic injury sustained in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Blast injuries can be particularly tricky since a single blast can cause several kinds of brain injuries: the initial pressure wave can cause a concussion, flying debris can penetrate the skull, and the landing after getting thrown by an explosion can cause a blunt-force injury.
5. Sport Injuries
Surprisingly, sports aren’t very likely to cause TBI, at least compared to other common causes, but then not many sports regularly put the head at risk and not everyone plays the sports that do. Still, the athletes at risk of TBI like football players and boxers face some very significant risks.
Traumatic brain injuries can be hard to diagnose, and since they often don’t show themselves until days later it can complicate the insurance claim process. TBI can also be very expensive to treat, and between that and the delay insurance companies are frequently more reluctant than they should be when it comes to paying TBI claims. So if you’re suffering a TBI from an auto accident or a dangerous workplace, it’s a wise move to hire a personal injury lawyer with TBI experience to smooth the process.