Kentucky Traumatic Brain Injuries and Motor Vehicle Accident LawyerMotor vehicle accidents are one of the more common causes of TBI
Any kind of injury can be frightening, but a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could not only limit you physically but also limit your ability to think and reason as well as change your personality. A TBI caused by a motor vehicle accident could cause a lifetime of severe disability, resulting in millions of dollars of financial costs and losses and ending one’s ability to work and support a family. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI in an accident in the Lexington area, we can help.
TBI is caused by a blow, jolt or violent shaking of the head or a penetrating head injury that harms and disrupts the normal function of the brain; either type could occur during a motor vehicle accident.
TBI severity can range from “mild” (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (extended unconsciousness or memory loss) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Though the brain is surrounded by tissue and fluid to cushion a blow, if a force is strong enough the brain can strike the inside of the skull and be injured. This is considered a “closed” head injury because the skull remains intact. An “open” head injury occurs when an object hits with enough force to crack the skull open, physically intruding into the skull and brain.
There are several ways a TBI can occur in a vehicle accident:
- When the head violently shakes back and forth due to the force of one vehicle striking another
- When a solid object — such as the pillars that attach the roof to the body of a car, or the other vehicle — intrudes into the passenger compartment in a side impact, or T-bone, accident
- A motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian strikes the vehicle and then is thrown by the force of the vehicle onto the pavement.
TBIs are a major cause of death and disability in the country, leading to 30% of all injury deaths. The CDC estimates that every day in the U.S. 138 people die due to injuries that include TBI. Those who survive accidents with a TBI can suffer from minor effects that last anywhere from a few days up to serious, lifelong disabilities. A TBI can result in many types of impairment:
- Thinking or memory
- Physical movement
- Sensation (such as touch, vision or hearing)
- Emotional functioning (including personality changes and depression).
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the more common causes of TBI. The CDC reports that from 2006 to 2010 motor vehicle accidents were the third leading cause of TBIs (14%) and the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths (26%). Falls are listed as the most common cause, followed by unintentional blunt trauma (being struck with an object).
A recent article published in the ClinicoEconomics and Outcome Research journal reports these findings from a study of nearly 3000 serious head trauma cases:
- 52% of survivors were moderately to severely disabled one year after their injuries.
- Many of them never recovered social independence, even though their injuries often didn’t affect their physical function and they had a normal life expectancy.
- Four years after the injury, most lived with their families and didn’t work or attend school, imposing a significant burden on family members.
In addition to the physical and mental costs of TBI, the survivors and their families face a severe financial burden due to lost income and the costs of care and rehabilitation. According to CORE Health Care:
- The lifetime cost for a person suffering from a severe TBI can be as high as $4 million.
- Renovating a home to make it accessible and comfortable for a person with TBI plus the costs of vocational rehabilitation to allow an injured person to work can cost more than $150,000.
- Acute rehabilitation care for a person with severe TBI is about $1,000 per day, and the average stay is 55 days.
TBIs can be caused by negligent drivers who strike another vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or pedestrian. In those circumstances, legal action may result in compensation for those injuries, including the cost of medical care and rehabilitation, lost income, pain and suffering.
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident of any type which is not your fault and you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, you need to know your rights and seek legal protection. We can help. Call Julie Butcher, the Kentucky Vehicle Accident Lawyer at 859-233-3641 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation today.