4 Common Sources of Brain Injuries Caused by Negligence
In 2010 alone, traumatic brain injury was the reason for over 2.5 million emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Of these cases, over 50,000 were fatal while 85,000 suffered long-term disability according to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Around 30% of fatalities caused by personal injury can be linked to a TBI.
The CDC defines the cause of TBI as “…a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” Most TBIs are relatively minor. Known as a concussion, effects from these injuries may only last a few days, although there is evidence that repeated concussions may cause severe long term consequences.
The reasons for a TBI vary far and wide - to document all potential causes would be daunting. Many causes of traumatic brain injury are just accidents, plain and simple. Contact sports like football and boxing are notorious for TBI. And while falls account for over 40% of TBIs, many of these cases are simple accidents, especially for children. In fact, over half of TBIs among children (0-14 years of age) are caused by falls.
Many traumatic brain injuries though are the result of either personal or medical negligence…
Accidents occur in a flash but can affect a victim for the rest of his life. If the accident or mistake came as a result of another party’s negligence, recklessness or intentional act, the injured person(s) can and should pursue a claim for compensation. While financial compensation cannot rewind time to before the accident, it is crucial to helping an injured victim and his family deal with the impacts of the injury.
There are many causes for brain injuries. Some of the more common sources of traumatic brain injury caused by negligence include:
- Car accidents – By far the most common, injuries from a car, truck, motorcycle or pedestrian accident are often caused by a driver’s inattention. Whiplash from a rear-end collision can lead to a concussion for example. Or, a sudden, violent impact to the front of the head on a car’s steering wheel dashboard can damage the frontal lobe, leading to personality changes in the long-term. In some cases, a severe car crash can even cause a penetrating wound to the head.
- Slip and Fall – Although many slip and falls are just accidents around the home, many occur due to a property owner’s negligence. If a floor in a mall is slippery for example and management doesn’t take steps to address it or warn patrons, the property owner could be held liable. Falls are also common reasons for on-the-job TBI injuries. In this case, the injured worker usually needs to file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Medical negligence - Brain injuries also occur as a result of negligence on the part of a doctor or nurse. Injuries of this nature may occur during the birthing process. For example, if the doctor failed to anticipate any complications or if forceps or vacuum extraction was used improperly, the child could suffer a brain injury. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for brain/neurological injuries that occur during the birthing process.
- Defective Products – Brain injuries can also be linked to defective products. For example, if a car accident occurs but the airbag doesn’t deploy fast enough, both the airbag and auto manufacturer could be held liable for the traumatic brain injury. In addition, if a malfunction or defect in a toy, tool or some other product winds up hitting someone in the head and causing a TBI, the victim and/or their family may have a product liability claim.
One important thing to note – symptoms from a traumatic brain injury are not immediately apparent in many cases. Since there are no cuts or bruises, it can often be weeks or even months before symptoms begin showing up.
If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by another party’s negligence, it’s important you speak with an attorney about your case as soon as possible. We invite you to search our nationwide directory for an experienced brain injury attorney , and check back with us soon to learn more about the long-term impacts of a TBI.