How Common Are TBIs?
Navigating the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be incredibly challenging physically and emotionally. Patients may be left unable to work, in need of expensive long-term care, and struggling with newfound limitations on their enjoyment of life. And that’s to say nothing of the legal complexities they may face as they seek justice and accountability from the party responsible for their injury.
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI that someone else caused, these are challenges you do not have to face alone. David Resnick & Associates, PC could help you pursue compensation for what you’ve suffered, just as we’ve done for many New Yorkers over the last 25 years. Contact us today for your free consultation and learn how a traumatic brain injury attorney in New York can help.
Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The New York Department of Health defines TBI as an injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brain’s normal function. TBIs are a significant public health issue affecting millions of Americans.
While anything that causes a sudden blow to the head could cause a TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falling objects
- Assaults and gun violence
- Sports-related incidents
- Workplace accidents
Are Falls the Leading Cause of TBIs?
Falls are the leading cause of TBIs. They account for almost half of all TBI-related emergency department visits, according to the CDC. For adults over 65, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. Head injuries from falls must be treated promptly to have a chance at avoiding the severe long-term effects of TBI.
Severe Long-Term Effects of TBI
The long-term consequences of TBIs can be far-reaching and affect a person’s ability to work, engage in social activities, and perform daily tasks. Many complications may occur, including:
- Difficulties with memory and concentration
- Loss of self-control
- Depression, anxiety, and mood swings
- Increased risk of degenerative brain diseases
- Coma, vegetative state, or brain death
- TBI Statistics and Traumatic Brain Injury Prevalence
There is a growing awareness of TBIs, partly due to high-profile cases involving athletes in contact sports like football, boxing, and martial arts. However, brain injury statistics show that hundreds of thousands of people suffer from TBIs. Consider the following startling traumatic brain injury statistics from some of the most reputable sources in the country:
Who Is Most at Risk for TBI?
Brain injury facts and statistics show that while anyone is at risk, some demographics are more vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries. Men are more likely candidates for hospitalization than women. Anyone who works in construction, manufacturing, and agriculture is also at heightened risk. And TBIs are the leading cause of death and disability in children, according to research published in the National Library of Medicine.
According to the CDC, the following groups are at higher risk for brain injuries and complications:
- Older adults (75 and older) have the highest TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths.
- Patients from many minority backgrounds are less likely to receive follow-up care and rehabilitation and have worse outcomes as a result.
- Veterans with a TBI may have co-occurring health conditions like PTSD and depression, difficulty accessing healthcare, and suicidal thoughts.
- Survivors of intimate partner violence are likelier to have insomnia, depression, and worse overall health.
- Low-income and uninsured individuals are less likely to receive inpatient services and more likely to die in the hospital.
- Individuals living in rural areas are more likely to die from a TBI and may experience delays or have difficulty accessing specialized care.
Trends in TBI Research
A recent American Academy of Neurology study suggests that TBIs are not a one-time event but a chronic illness with ongoing changes in function and thinking skills. Researchers monitored participants for several years and conducted annual tests and interviews to assess their thinking, memory, mental health, daily functioning, and symptoms. The findings showed that people with TBI can experience improvements and declines in various areas years after the injury.
Legal and Litigation Aspects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A TBI patient might have several options for pursuing compensation, depending on how they suffered the injury.
If another party’s negligent or wrongful actions are to blame, the victim can pursue compensation from that party by filing a personal injury lawsuit. A successful suit could compensate them for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and more. Slips and falls come under the category of personal injury law. Before taking your case to trial, an experienced slip and fall lawyer can try to negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement.
Conversely, people who get injured at work are likely covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. While workers’ comp benefits are more limited in scope than the compensation recoverable through a personal injury suit, the injured worker does not have to prove that their employer or another party was negligent. As long as the accident happened at their place of employment within the scope of their employment, they should be covered under workers’ compensation.
Relevant Laws, Regulations, and Precedents in New York State
Several New York State laws may apply to a traumatic brain injury lawsuit. An experienced brain injury attorney understands the relevant laws, regulations, and precedents. Depending on your situation, these may include the following:
- Section 5102(d) of the New York State Insurance Law: Defines a “serious injury” for those injured in car accidents and seeking compensation beyond that provided by their no-fault insurance policy.
- Workers’ Compensation Law: Requires employers to cover injured employees’ medical care and a portion of lost wages for injuries suffered on the job. New York also has several labor laws (Labor Law 200, 240, 241) that allow injured workers to sue their employers in certain situations, which workers’ comp laws otherwise prevent them from doing.
Challenges of Proving TBI-Related Claims
TBI-related legal claims involve complex issues related to establishing negligence, causation, and losses. Knowledge of the relevant laws, regulations, and precedents is essential for navigating the legal landscape surrounding TBIs in New York State. Additionally, gathering objective medical evidence is crucial for successfully proving TBI-related claims. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help with these complex aspects of your claim.
TBI Awareness and Prevention Efforts
Organizations such as the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and the CDC work tirelessly to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of TBIs and provide resources for prevention. Programs such as “Heads Up” encourage people to use helmets for cycling or skiing and promote seat belt use in vehicles.
Call a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today
If someone else caused you or a loved one to suffer a TBI, an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney with David Resnick & Associates, PC can help. We are familiar with facts about traumatic brain injuries and work regularly with brain injury victims and their families. Our personal injury lawyers have recovered over $150 million for our New York clients, including several $1 million+ awards in slip and fall cases. We understand these cases’ complex medical and legal issues and are prepared to do all we can to maximize your potential compensation. Call today for your free consultation.