If you ask a medical professional how much of an impact a traumatic brain injury can have on someone's life, they'll quickly point out that it can be one of the most disruptive and problematic injuries a person can suffer. The symptoms may last for the rest of their life.
The ramifications are even greater, some argue, than a spinal injury or a burn injury -- two other catastrophic events. With a brain injury, it feels like who you actually are is fundamentally altered, perhaps forever.
With the stakes as high as that, you would think that we would be well aware of the dangers of brain injuries and the impact they have on populations and culture. However, the reality is that professionals have called the TBI epidemic "a quiet crisis." It is something that tends to fly under the radar, despite the impact.
Breaking down the numbers
To get a better understanding of exactly how widespread this issue has become, let's take a look at some of the key statistics:
- Every year, around 2.8 million people in the United States suffer from a traumatic brain injury. They happen in car accidents, sporting accidents, workplace accidents and much more. The level of severity is different for everyone and every case.
- That said, 56,000 people pass away from these traumatic brain injuries year in and year out. They're sometimes instant killers, while other times they take days, weeks, months or even years. Still, we lose an average of more than 1,000 people per state, all across the country, every year.
- Those who survive the initial event may have injuries and disabilities that last for life. Statistics indicate that around 5.3 million people have permanent disabilities that they live with every single day. These people see their careers end, their relationships change and their quality of life deteriorate.
- In many cases, people find out about the true changes over time. For example, while 282,000 people spend time in the hospital annually with a TBI, experts note that many people go home thinking that they're on the path to healing only to discover that they have disrupted sleeping habits, lost senses, personality changes and many related issues. It often takes time for the full scope of the problem to become clear.
These numbers help paint a clear picture. While your average person may not consider the ramifications of a TBI on a daily basis, odds are that they know someone who lives with one every day.
Your rights to compensation
A TBI can change your life. Those changes may not ever heal. You must know if you have a right to financial compensation for things like lost wages and high medical bills.