By John Cooper, Virginia Beach Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
About 1.4 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury every year in the United States, making this one of the most prevalent serious injuries we deal with as experienced Virginia Beach, VA brain injury accident attorneys.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are normally caused by a sudden trauma such as a blow to the head. Their effects can be devastating and can include impaired physical, emotional, cognitive or behavioral functioning.
See this video about traumatic brain injury in troops.
A brain injury may be caused with or without a skull fracture. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50,000 people will die annually as a result of TBI in the United States. Brain injuries leave about 80,000 people a year with disabilities.
Car accidents and falls are a major cause of brain injuries. Motorcyclists are particularly susceptible. In recent years there has been an upsurge in awareness about brain injuries in sport. Falls resulting in a brain injury are most common in young children and the elderly. Brain injuries have become common among U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to the extent that TBI has been dubbed the “signature wound” of these conflicts.
As experienced Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys we are aware that brain injuries are often difficult to diagnose because they are seldom visible and their effects can vary widely. It’s important to hire an expert brain injury attorney because of the complexity of these cases. Awards are often high in brain injury cases because the effects of a TBI can be permanent, leaving the victim with lifelong care needs. A brain injury can place a severe financial burden on the family of the victim.
THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF BRAIN INJURIES
Brain injuries cover a wide spectrum from mild to severe. A mild brain injury can last just a short time. A serious brain injury can impact you for the rest of your life.
Long-term effects may include Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy or seizures, dementia blurred vision, emotional problems, aggression, post-traumatic dementia, Parkinson’s disease and issues with motor skills. A TBI may require the assistance of a medical professional round the clock. A mild brain injury is less severe but could lead to reduced memory loss and impairment of other motor functions.
TYPES OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Closed injuries – These occur when the skull violently and suddenly hits an object but the object does not break through the skull.
Penetrating injuries – When an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. A depressed skull fracture is cased when pieces fragments of the broken skull press into the tissue of the brain. These kinds of injuries are common from bullets.
Anoxia – this kind of injury is caused when there is an absence of oxygen to the brain’s tissues, even if there is adequate blood flow to the tissue.
Hypoxia – a reduction in oxygen supply rather than a complete absence of oxygen. This causes the brain to swell. Brain cells can die in a matter of minutes. This type of injury is often seen in heart attack patients of near-drowning victims.
BRAIN INJURIES IN AUTO ACCIDENTS
Motor vehicle accidents account for about 28 percent of traumatic brain injuries. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable. Helmets reduce the chance of suffering a head injury and cut the chances of a rider being killed by about 37 percent cent, our Virginia Beach motorcycle injury lawyers recently reported.
A recent study found up to 85 percent of bicycle-related head injuries could be prevented if bike riders wore protective helmets.
BRAIN INJURIES IN SPORTS
Brain injuries in sports account for about 20 percent of all brain injuries. An American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) study estimated 446,788 sports-related head injuries were treated at U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009.
Cerebral concussions are the most common types of injuries affecting athletes. A concussion results from shaking the brain within the skull and, if severe, can cause shearing injuries to nerve fibers and neurons. Greater awareness about the dangers of concussions in recent years has led sporting bodies, schools and state legislatures to tighten up the rules.
New rules recently brought in in Virginia say athletes, their parents and coaches must take concussion training course.
Repeated blows to the head are also linked to a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. The brain of Dave Duerson, the former Chicago bears football player who killed himself in 2011, showed some signs of this condition.
BRAIN INJURIES IN THE MILITARY
In 2009 the Pentagon estimated as many as 360,000 veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan may have suffered from a brain injury. “Among them are 45,000 to 90,000 veterans whose symptoms persist and warrant specialized care,” USA Today reported.
While fewer American troops died in combat in these conflicts than in previous wars such as Vietnam, the prevalence of blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) mean 10 to 20 percent of troops are returning home having suffered at least a concussion.
If you or a family member, have suffered from a TBI you should contact an experienced Virginia head and brain injury lawyer.
The Norfolk and Virginia Beach based personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles car, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as brain injury, wrongful death, railroad workers’ injuries (FELA) mesothelioma and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have over 40 years of combined experience in handling auto injury accident claims. Attorney John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010 and has been a member since 2011 of the Multimillion dollar Advocates Roundtable. He has a license to practice law in North Carolina. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA, and north eastern North Carolina. We always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us (757) 455 -0077. For a free consultation with a specialized Hampton Roads, Virginia and North Carolina (NC) personal injury lawyer contact us through this website.
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