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Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

The New York Department of Health defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as an injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.

The majority of TBIs are concussions or other forms of mild TBI. Serious traumatic brain injuries require emergency treatment. A severe TBI can be a permanently debilitating injury.

TBI is a contributing factor in about a third (30.5 percent) of all injury-related deaths in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

The facts and statistics below come from the CDC, New York Department of Health (NYDH), Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) and the Center for Head Injury Services (CHIS).

How Widespread is TBI?

  • Every year, at least 1.7 million TBIs occur either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries. (CDC)
  • Emergency rooms in the United States treat about 1.5 million head injuries every year. (BTF)
  • About 75 percent of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI. (CDC)
  • Approximately 52,000 deaths occur from TBI every year, contributing to the fact that brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44. (BTF)
  • Adults who are 75 years old and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalization and death. (CDC)
  • Each day in New York State, about 400 incidents result in emergency treatment or inpatient hospitalization for traumatic brain injury. (NYDH)
  • Each year, TBIs among New York State residents cause more than 2,000 deaths, 19,000 hospitalizations and more than 112,000 emergency room visits. (NYDH)
  • At least 5.3 million Americans, 2 percent of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI. (BTF)

How Does TBI Happen?

The leading causes of TBI are:

  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Sports
  • Firearm injuries
  • Blast (explosion) injuries
  • Abusive head trauma
  • Being hit in the head by an object. (CDC)
  • Falls cause half of the TBIs among children up to age 14, and 61 percent of all TBIs among adults 65 years old and older. (CDC)
  • Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related incidents cause the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths. (CDC)
  • Each year, U.S. emergency rooms treat about 173,285 sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents up to 19 years old. The activities associated with the greatest number of TBI-related ER visits include bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball and soccer. (CDC)
  • Assaults cause 10 percent of TBIs in the general population, but only 2.9 percent in children up to age 14 and 1 percent in adults 65 years old and older. (CDC)
  • Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of TBI among active-duty military personnel in conflict zones. (BTF)
  • Struck by/against accidents, which include colliding with a moving or stationary object, were the second-leading cause of TBI among children. (CDC)
  • Shaken-baby syndrome (SBS), a form of abusive head trauma and inflicted traumatic brain injury, is a leading cause of child abuse deaths in the United States. Nearly all victims of SBS, usually newborns to 4-month-olds, suffer serious health consequences, and at least 1-in-4 babies who are violently shaken dies. (CDC)

What are the Costs of TBI?

  • Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity caused by TBI total an estimated $76.5 billion a year. (CDC)
  • Hospital-based rehabilitation for a TBI victim averages about $8,000 per day. (BIAA)
  • Residential care for a TBI patient after release from a hospital can range from $850 to $2,500 a day. Outpatient rehabilitation programs can cost $600 to $1,000 per four-hour session. (BIAA)
  • A person living with severe TBI can expect to undergo 5 to 10 years of intensive rehabilitation therapy, including vocational and occupational therapy. (CHIS)
  • The cost of a severe TBI patient’s care often exceeds $4 million. (CHIS)

A severe traumatic brain injury is a life-changing and expensive injury for the victim and their family. When an accident that results in a TBI was someone else’s fault, the victim may be eligible for compensation to assist with the costs of recovery and/or living with a disability.

The accident attorneys of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., assist TBI victims in the New York City area. If a TBI has changed your life, contact us today for a discussion of the legal options available to you. Call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free review of your case.

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