This week, our Chicago brain injury lawyers continue our discussion of traumatic brain injury (TBI), in honor of this month’s celebration of national Brain Injury Awareness month, with a discussion of TBI statistics.
The statistics of TBI are sobering. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1.4 million people, or 1 in every 300, sustain a TBI each year in the United States. Of these, 50,000 die from their injuries, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 1.1 million are treated and released by an emergency department.
The leading causes of TBI are falls (28%); motor-vehicle accidents (20%); struck by/against events (19%); and assaults (11%). See chart above. Many of these causes often stem from the negligence or reckless conduct of another individual or business — in which case, it is important to speak with a top Chicago brain injury lawyer to conduct a legal and factual investigation, and to preserve your rights.
The two age groups most at risk of sustaining TBI are children ages 0-4 year old and 15-19 year old. Indeed, TBI is the leading cause of long-term disability among children and young adults. Further breaking down the statistics, males are 1.5 times more likely as likely as females to sustain a TBI, and African-Americans have the highest death rate from TBI. Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $60 billion dollars in the United States in 2000.
In cases where TBI is wrongfully caused, our Chicago TBI attorneys consult with top investigators, medical professionals and life-care planners to consider the impact of the TBI on our children clients throughout the remainder of their long lives. The compensation received by TBI victims and their families must compensate them for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
As alarming as these statistics are, the reality is that the incidence of traumatic brain injury is likely greatly under-reported. First, the CDC numbers only include injuries reported by emergency rooms and health care professionals, and do not take into account people who are not seen in an emergency department, or who receive no care. Second, it is almost certain that emergency rooms routinely fail to diagnose a significant percentage of TBIs, with some studies estimating that up to 85% of TBIs are missed.
Even when a TBI is diagnosed, where the injury is considered “mild”, i.e. where there is little or no loss of consciousness, problems often go unrecognized. Individuals who suffer mild TBI are often sent home with assurances that they are fine. However, research indicates that in approximately 15% of such cases, victims can continue to suffer severely debilitating symptoms, and remain unaware of the basis for their altered ability to function.
Altogether, approximately 5.3 million Americans, or about 2% of the population, currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help with everyday activities due to a TBI. It has been estimated that as many as 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI have at least one unmet need for services one year after injury, ranging from issues with memory and problem solving to emotional distress and upset.
Each Chicago brain injury lawyer at Passen & Powell understands the responsibility we owe to our clients to fully investigate their case and to ensure they receive full compensation available under the law. If you have any questions, or would like to speak with one of our TBI attorneys, call us at (312) 527-4500 for a Free Consultation.