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The Frightening Silent Epidemic of Traumatic Brain Injuries


Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most common (and concerning) injuries in America today. Each year, more than 1.7 million people will suffer a traumatic brain injury. Roughly one-third of these are the results of falls and the remainder result from car accidents, accidents on the job and sports injuries. 75% of these injuries are minor TBIs and most will recover just fine. But for those that go undiagnosed or that don’t receive proper treatment, the outcomes can be devastating. 50,000 people that suffer TBIs will die and another 235,000 must be hospitalized.

TBI in Athletes and Soldiers

Over the past few years, there have been increasing headlines about athletes and soldiers who have TBIs that go undiagnosed, untreated and that can cause serious cognitive impairments, depression, anxiety and other emotional challenges. What’s worse is that employers often deny culpability for these injuries. In the case of athletes, the NFL and other sports organizations have long denied that their competitive industry exposes participants to TBIs that lead to long term issues and has contributed to premature deaths and suicides in players.

Beyond the amateur and pro football and soccer leagues, a swath of soldiers have been victimized by TBI which is now known as the signature injury of the war in Afghanistan. Soldiers who have seen multiple deployments to the region are 300% more likely to experience severe mental health problems and repercussions from traumatic brain injuries. With the military, part of the problem is the government not providing accurate numbers and the other failure is that more than half of soldiers with TBI avoid treatment because they worry about repercussions to their career.

Denial of Responsibility by Corporations and Insurance Companies Ruin Lives

This issue and the attempt to avoid liability calls to mind the decades of denial by tobacco companies. Despite reams of evidence that their product caused lung cancer in legions of victims, they denied culpability. Similarly, asbestos companies perpetuated use of a product they knew caused fatal illnesses because it was better for their bottom line.

These failures to accept responsibility cost lives and livelihoods. This is also the case with insurance companies that fight to avoid doing right by victims of traumatic brain injuries from car accidents. When corporations choose profits before people, lives are irrevocably damaged – over and above the initial damage from the auto accident.

Main Cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Many of the TBIs that occur in the US (outside of the military, the NFL and other sports) are due to auto accidents. It’s important to know that there is no “cure” for a brain injury. Recovery is only possible if other areas of the brain can take on the functions of the damaged parts of the brain. Accurate diagnosis and prompt and proper treatment are required for proper recovery. And even with the best medical treatment possible, prognosis after a brain injury is still uncertain.

Worrisome Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • TBI is the #1 cause of death and disability in young adults
  • More than 50,000 people die each year as a result of a traumatic brain injury
  • More than 125,000 people are permanently disabled each year due to TBI
  • Experts predict these numbers are 5-10 times lower than they should be because of the prevalence of those who don’t know to seek treatment or whose TBI goes undiagnosed
  • Common outcomes include cognition problems, behavior problems and/or mental health issues including depression, anxiety, aggression or social inappropriateness, severe neurologic disorders and seizures
  • Other long term negative outcomes can include neurodegenerative disorders such as “dementia of the Alzheimer’s type” (DAT) and Parkinsonism – these mimic their namesake neurological disorders but are caused by TBI

Call Rob Kornfeld about Your Brain Injury Claim