Spread awareness of brain injuries in Missouri in March

Across the country, March has been designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month. Organizations, such as the Brain Injury Association, are encouraging people to spread awareness about the dangers and consequences of traumatic brain injuries by addressing the issue on social media and with news networks.

In Missouri specifically, organizers have named March 27 as Brain Injury Awareness Day. The Brain Injury Association of Missouri has organized an event in which people will meet with legislators to provide information about brain injuries. Participants are being asked to discuss:

  • The recovery process
  • The life-changing consequences of a TBI
  • The effects on family and friends
  • The services TBI victims need that currently are not available

In addition, the organizers have suggested that participants discuss steps that can be taken to prevent traumatic brain injuries from occurring in the future.

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by motor vehicle accidents

According to the Brain Injury Association, approximately 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually in the United States. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the primary causes of TBIs in the U.S. - accounting for 17 percent of such injuries.

Brain injuries can range in severity, from mild concussions to severe TBIs. Consequently, the symptoms also vary and can include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Mood changes
  • Problems with coordination
  • Seizures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 30 percent of all deaths caused by injury involve a traumatic brain injury in the U.S. The Brain Injury Association estimates that 52,000 people die every year as a result of a brain injury. In addition, another 275,000 people require in-patient hospital care due to brain injuries annually.

TBIs can lead to lifelong consequences and expenses

Unfortunately, individuals who sustain traumatic brain injuries often require long-term medical care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, annual costs associated with traumatic brain injuries in the United States equal approximately $76.5 billion, including both medical expenses and expenses associated with lost wages.

The Brain Injury Association estimates that the average hospital stay for individuals who require acute rehabilitation comes to approximately $8,000 every day. Those who do not require such extensive care may face medical bills between $850 and $2,500 every day.

Unfortunately, many attorneys are not familiar with symptoms and treatment of TBIs (or closed head injuries) and only approach cases based on orthopedic and soft tissue injuries. Even when a patient's neurology report and MRI scan is "within normal limits," there may be a significant brain injury. Often, only a neuropsychologist can diagnose a TBI.

Sometimes a patient can have a very significant and permanent traumatic brain injury without sustaining any broken bones. If you or someone you know has suffered a serious accident of any kind, you should look for help from an attorney with knowledge and experience with head injuries. Sometimes a relatively "small" case can turn out to be a huge case if it involves a TBI.