Despite the attention, sports are not the leading cause of brain injuries

January 2, 2015 by Barry Personal Injury 

Despite the attention, sports are not the leading cause of brain injuries

Slip and Fall AccidentsBrain injuries cause about 30 percent of the injury deaths in the U.S. each year, and many survivors in Illinois suffer permanent disabilities and must rely on state services to meet basic needs. Any blow or jolt to the head that interrupts brain function is diagnosed as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A force penetrating or fracturing the skull may also cause a TBI.

Much of the media attention about brain trauma has focused on sports injuries. However, blunt force trauma, which encompasses sports injuries to the head as well as many other sources, comprises only 15 percent of TBIs. Data supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that falls and car accidents account for more than 50 percent of the overall number.

Evidence of brain trauma may be delayed

Slip-and-fall accidents result in over 8 million injuries every year. Broken bones, sprains and back and head injuries are common consequences. Falls frequently occur because of a slick or uneven surface. Many people also suffer from brain trauma as a result of an Illinois car accident. Direct contact with an object such as a window or steering wheel is not necessary to obtain a head injury. The force created by the collision often makes the brain bump against the inside of the skull, leading to bruising, bleeding or tearing of delicate brain tissue.

The damage a person experiences because of a TBI is often not immediately obvious. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a person with a concussion often does not lose consciousness or display any outward symptoms of a serious injury. A concussion is the mildest level of TBI, but doctors and brain experts warn that there is no such thing as a minor concussion. Concussions and other mild head injuries frequently do not show up on a CT scan or other neurological tests, and confusion may be the only initial symptom.

Treatments are not always successful

Surgery may reduce or repair some of the damage resulting from a brain injury. However, every head trauma is different, and treatments are not consistently successful even when symptoms are the same. Effects of brain trauma such as decreased physical or mental capacity may be treated with physical or occupational therapy. Headaches and interrupted sleep patterns are often treated with medication, and counseling may be prescribed to help a victim learn to cope with emotional disturbance and personality changes.

Even if a head injury does not initially seem serious, victims should seek medical attention right away. An individual who experiences a concussion or other head trauma is at greater risk for stroke and other serious health problems in the years following the accident. Illinois has a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after an injury, and an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can provide advice on the best way to proceed when liability must be established for compensation.


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