March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), 1.7 million people sustain some form of brain injury each year in the United States. This statistic can be misleading, because a significant percentage of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are minor, which is also referred to as a concussion. But for those who experience a severe TBI, the road to recovery can be a difficult one.
Brain Injury Severity and Treatment
Most experts contend that brain injuries are under-reported, though that trend is likely changing as a result of increased awareness and more brain injury research has been conducted.
Of the 1.7 million people believed to experience a brain injury each year in the U.S., only a small percentage is severe. In fact, CareGiver.org says that approximately 300,000 brain injury victims are injured to the extent that warrants medical attention. Of those, approximately 99,000 are believed to experience some form of long-term care.
Though it is just a fraction of the total number of people who suffer brain injuries each year, approximately 56,000 people die each year as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
Who is Affected by TBIs?
Males suffer some form of a TBI at twice the rate of females. Males are also at a higher risk of death and long-term complications from TBIs, according to data from the BIAA.
An interesting aspect of brain injury research has shown that people between the ages of 15-24 have the highest risk of suffering a TBI out of all age groups. And while that risk decreases as people get older, once they reach older age – approximately age 60 – the risk of suffering a TBI increases significantly.
Sports and physical activity-related incidents account for approximately 20 percent of all traumatic brain injuries. And while that is a significant percentage, car accidents actually are responsible for an even larger percentage of victims who suffer a brain injury every year – approximately 28 percent.
Perhaps the most disturbing statistic of all is the financial burden that brain injury victims face in the event of a TBI. According to the National Foundation for Brain Research, the direct and indirect costs of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. are estimated to be approximately $48.3 billion annually.
For brain injury victims who experience high costs and a long road to physical recovery, legal action may be the best way to recover the compensation that victims and their families need. Consulting with a qualified brain injury attorney can be the most beneficial option for TBI victims and their families.