For people in Newton and their loved ones who suffer a head injury, one of the biggest concerns they will have is whether the injury caused brain damage. A brain injury can have numerous symptoms both innocuous and worrisome. In addition, the treatment for a brain injury can lead to massive medical costs and long-term problems that can be difficult, if not impossible to overcome. Understanding the statistics of these injuries – how they happen, why they happen, who’s affected, how much they cost – is important when the injury occurs.
Every year, there are an estimated two million brain injuries. That equates to one happening every 15 seconds. Half-a-million of these injuries require the victim to be admitted to the hospital. Furthermore, a fatality because of a head injury happens every five minutes. In the United States, there are between 75,000 and 100,000 fatal head injuries every year. When there is a fatality, it happens within two hours of the person being hospitalized in half the cases. Half of the brain injuries happen when a person is intoxicated. The cost of these injuries is more than $48 billion in the U.S. alone.
There are many causes of brain injuries. About 51 percent result from motor vehicle crashes and 21 percent are from the victim falling. Twelve percent of brain injuries are from violent incidents and assaults, and 10 percent happen during the course of participating in a sport. A person who survives a brain injury that is considered severe will generally face between 5 and 10 years of medical care and rehabilitation. The medical expenses and other costs can go beyond $4 million.
It is not necessary that a person lose consciousness when a brain injury happens. In fact, the symptoms can vary from something that is not considered to be anything out of the ordinary to something making it obvious that there’s a problem. When a person suffers a brain injury, they are three times more likely to have another one. A second brain injury victim is eight times more likely to have a third brain injury.
For those who have been hurt and believe a brain injury is a potential problem, it’s important to have a full investigation of the circumstances and consider legal options to be compensated.
Source: headinjuryctr-stl.org, “Brain Injury Statistics,” accessed on April 6, 2015