TBIs can happen to anyone and sometimes it’s difficult to know if someone has actually been hurt, as the symptoms often are not physically apparent on the scanning and diagnostic equipment currently available to medical doctors. Many TBIs are not treated and CDC experts estimate that 1.6 to 3.8 million people sustain TBIs each year in the U.S.
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and data shows that the number of fall-related TBIs among children aged 0-4 years and in older adults aged 75 years or older is increasing. Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related incidents result in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths (31.8%). People aged 65 years old and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalizations and death. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a form of abusive head trauma (AHT) and inflicted traumatic brain injury (ITBI), is a leading cause of child maltreatment deaths in the United States.
There are two types of severe TBIs, closed, which is an injury to the brain caused by movement of the brain within the skull. Closed TBIs are typically caused by falls, car crashes, or being struck by or with an object. Penetrating TBIs are injuries to the brain which are caused by a foreign object entering the skull.
The severity of TBIs are measured using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) which provides a score between 3 and 15. People with a GCS score between 3 and 8 are classified as a severe TBI. Scores between 9 and 12 are considered moderate traumatic brain injuries and 13 to 15 are classified as mild. Other classification systems include the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), the Trauma Score, and the Abbreviated Trauma Score.
The effect on one’s ability to live and enjoy life following even a mild traumatic brain injury can be devastating both economically and socially. It is in the difficult challenge of explaining the anatomic, medical, and psychological aspects of TBI where the experience of Harrell & Harrell’s Jacksonville attorneys have the greatest impact.
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