The Chicago brain injury attorneys of Passen & Powell have long known that traumatic brain injury is one of the single most serious, debilitating injuries an individual can sustain. Now, a wave of national media attention and policy changes from the Pentagon are focusing the nation’s attention on the importance of prevention and immediate response to TBI.
The U.S. military recently put in place a new policy designed to decrease the risk that soldiers will suffer repetitive brain injuries. This new policy is based upon the simple fact that after an individual sustains a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, he is more likely to sustain future brain injuries. And if those subsequent injuries occur before recovery from the original injury is complete, the risk of severe damage or death increases dramatically.
The new military policy targets brain injuries sustained from IED blasts, which frequently cause concussions and more severe TBI. Under the new rule, any soldier who is within 165 feet of an IED blast is to be immediately removed from the battlefield for a minimum of 24 hours. During that 24-hour period, these soldiers must be examined for TBI, and cleared to return to fighting and other duties.
The policy change has the heartfelt support of no less than the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who have expressed their gratitude that traumatic brain injury is at last being taken seriously, and receiving the attention it deserves.
Nor is the U.S. military the only catalyst for this important issue. Over the holidays, Sports Illustrated printed a cover story on the dangers of TBI, particularly in football. Our brain injury attorneys have often written about the dangers of brain injury in sports, and football in particular – especially for the youngest participants. Sports Illustrated helped to focus attention on the issue, telling the stories of former athletes who continue to suffer, years and decades later, from the concussions and other traumatic brain injuries they suffered while playing – effects ranging from vision problems to headaches to memory loss to even more serious, debilitating effects.
The attorneys of Passen & Powell are relieved to see that traumatic brain injury is receiving national attention. We devoutly hope that this attention will not be limited to soldiers and athletes, but will provoke a wider discussion of brain injury in America.
In fact, each year in our country approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury, with over 50,000 of these individuals losing their lives. TBI can end lives, but can also destroy them, eliminating the quality of life for victims, their families, and their friends. And the majority of these injuries are not to athletes or soldiers, but to ordinary Americans involved in ordinary situations – car accidents, falls, and unexpected violence.
The current media attention to traumatic brain injury can only serve to benefit these ordinary Americans. As the general public comes to understand the seriousness of TBI, we will be able to come together more effectively as a community to support these victims. And as the public comes to understand the real-world consequences of TBI, it will be easier for victims to recover the full amount of their damages from those who have harmed them.
If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to violence or negligence, we encourage you to contact an experienced brain injury attorney to discuss your unique situation. You may have a legal claim against those who harmed you, and as the nation focuses its attention on TBI, so, too, will the courts.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago brain injury lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.