The human skull plays a vital role in the human body. It houses critical organs such as your eyes, ears, and brain, but the human skull and the organs it houses are fragile and susceptible to injury. According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly 153 people die per day from injuries that include traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A TBI is often referred to as a concussion or head injury, and these injuries are caused by a sudden blow, jolt, or bump to the skull. The impact of this trauma can disrupt normal brain functions, and the symptoms of a TBI can manifest themselves in a number of unique ways that are treated differently than most physical injuries.
Due to this fact, you should always be aware of the common symptoms associated with head trauma, because TBIs are a common type of injury that you could sustain after being involved in an accident. For example, according to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries contribute to about 30% of all fatalities in the United States, and in 2013, the CDC estimates that there were 2.8 million TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide. Moreover, TBI-related emergency room visits increased 47% from 2007 to 2013. A TBI causes a disruption to the functioning of the brain that can manifest itself in different ways depending on the severity of the injury. Severe traumatic brain injuries can affect essential elements of daily living such as your memory, ability to communicate, or feel sensations such as heat or touch on various parts of your body. As such, you should always get evaluated by a doctor if you have been involved in an accident that typically causes people to sustain a traumatic brain injury.
Three Common Ways Head Injuries
Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the CDC, one out of every five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. In fact, there are an estimated 300,000 patients hospitalized per year due to a fall injury, and the most common types of injuries sustained in these falls are head injuries and hip fractures. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States, and unfortunately, falls tend to disproportionately occur among Americans ages 65 or older. According to the CDC, more than one in every four people age 65 or older experience a fall each year, and the cost of medical care associated with fall-related injuries in 2015 was over 50 billion dollars in the U.S.
Even more shocking, less than half of the older Americans who fall each year tell their doctors. So, given these statistics, if you or a loved one such as a father, mother, or grandparent experience a fall, you should get evaluated by a doctor regardless of where or how it happened. This fact becomes even more apparent when you consider the fact that the CDC has found that fall-related deaths among older adults in the U.S. have increased by 30% from 2007 to 2016.
Being Struck by or Against an Object
Remember, traumatic brain injuries are caused by a blow, jolt, or bump to the skull, and this could occur in many different ways and places. One common place where a blow to the head could take place is at work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries occur at a rate of about 3 non-fatal injury or illness cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers among private industry workers in the state of Georgia, and over half, 44,500, of the estimated 82,300 non-fatal workplace injury and illness cases reported among private industries were serious in nature and required the employee to take time off work, transfer jobs, or to work with physical restrictions.
As such, you should always exercise caution if you sustain a blow to the head while you are on the job by getting evaluated by a doctor. The symptoms of a TBI could be severe such as losing consciousness, feeling nauseated or dizzy, or becoming sensitive to noise or light, but often, symptoms of TBI can be mild such as problems focusing, becoming highly irritable, or experiencing problems sleeping. These symptoms vary from person to person, which is why the best thing you can do after a head injury is speak with a physician.
According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over six million police-reported car accidents that occurred across the country in 2015. In Georgia during the same time period, the Governor’s Office of Highway safety estimates 385,221 accidents occured, and 19,405 of these accidents resulted in serious injuries. So, in light of these estimates, it might come as no surprise that car accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. In fact, car accidents accounted for 14% of all TBI-related hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and deaths across the country.
As such, you should always consult a doctor anytime you have sustained a blow to the head, especially if you lost consciousness, in a car accident. Although getting evaluated by a physician is recommended for a host of reasons after being involved in an auto accident, it is particularly important if you have sustained head trauma, because it allows you address any symptoms you have early in the process as opposed to later when the symptoms have become unmanageable.
Common Symptoms of a Head Injury
According to the CDC, some of the most common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are:
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Feeling slowed down
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Fuzzy or blurry vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Balance problems
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feelings of irritability, sadness, anxiety, nervousness, or just being more emotional overall
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Trouble falling asleep
You may have noticed that some of these symptoms are physical while others are psychological. This point sheds light on why seeking medical attention is so important. Traumatic brain injuries are usually treated by more than one doctor. As such, medical bills, the costs of medication, and lost time from work are just a few of the problems that can be caused by sustaining a TBI in an accident, which is why you should always contact a personal injury attorney if you have been involved in an accident that resulted in you sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
Sustaining a head injury can change your life forever, but you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. At Cambre and Associates, our team of personal injury attorneys have years of experience in helping accident victims who have sustained a head injury, and we stand ready to help you. So call our office today for a free consultation to find out how a personal injury attorney can help you with your claim.