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What is traumatic brain injury and what is its impact in Montana?


Traumatic brain injuries are more frequently in the news and Montanans may wonder what a traumatic brain injury is. Traumatic brain injuries are traumatic injuries that disrupt the normal function of the brain. Montana has the second highest traumatic brain injury (TBI) death rate in the United States. The death rate attributable to traumatic brain injury in Montana is 66 percent higher than the United States average.

While TBI is a concern nationally, it is of special concern in Montana because of the significant number of deaths attributed to TBI in Montana and because many victims of TBI face TBI-related challenges for the rest of their lives. A 2008 survey revealed that approximately 9,400 households in Montana reported having one or two adults in the household limited by a brain injury. Additionally, approximately 2,400 of those households reported that they needed additional help they were unable to get.

In Montana, 300 victims of traumatic brain injuries die each year on average. One of the most common causes is motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents are the leading unintentional cause of traumatic brain injuries and account for approximately a third of traumatic brain injuries. Drunk driving is one cause that may contribute to an increased risk of traumatic brain injuries.

Victims of traumatic brain injuries may suffer a diminished quality of life and a diminished ability to contribute in their own daily lives. Because of the sometimes lifelong consequences of TBI, and the difficulty and cost associated with treating TBIs, it is important that victims who have wrongfully suffered a TBI are familiar with the options available to help them recover compensation for their damages.

Source: dphhs.mt.gov, "Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Montanans," Accessed Nov. 11, 2015

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