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How Common Is Traumatic Brain Injury?

As San Diego injury lawyers, we want to help spread awareness that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. From motor vehicle crashes to work injuries to medical errors, brain injuries are more common than many think.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 2.4 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. In addition, an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI.

TBIs are a type of head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain, including thinking, reasoning, and memory. They can take several different forms, depending on how the accident occurs. Closed head injuries involve a jarring of the brain against the skull, while penetrating or open head injuries involve a fracturing of the skull.

Although the causes of traumatic brain injury are diverse, some of the most common include the following:

  • Slip and falls
  • Car, bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Firearm injuries
  • Workplace accidents
  • Defective products
  • Shaken baby syndrome and delivery complications

Overall, falls are the leading cause of TBIs in the United States. However, motor vehicle accidents contribute to more than one-third of all TBI-related deaths.

In many cases, the process of diagnosing and treating a serious brain injury can be challenging. Patients often require expensive hospital treatment and rehabilitation. Even with proper medical care, TBIs can be life altering. The CDC reports that almost half (43 percent) of patients hospitalized for a TBI have a related disability one year after the injury.