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What are the leading causes of traumatic brain injury?

Brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), brain injuries result in more than 50,000 deaths annually. Brain injuries are a contributing factor in about one-third of all deaths from injury in the U.S. Many Montana families can verify the terrible effects a brain injury has had on a loved one.

The outcome of a brain injury can range from a few days of pain and disorientation to permanent disability and round-the-clock medical care. Severe traumatic brain injuries can result in cognitive and emotional damage that renders a victim unable to carry out many of the tasks of everyday life.

While car accidents may seem like an obvious culprit, according to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes account for 14.3 percent of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. Falls are the most common cause, accounting for 40.5 percent. Children and the elderly are at greater risk of brain injury from falls; more than 50 percent of TBIs to children and more than 80 percent to adults over 65 were the result of falls.

Unintentional blunt trauma, in which the head strikes or is struck by an object, was the cause of 15.5 percent of TBIs. For children under 15, blunt trauma was the cause of 24 percent of TBIs. Intentional assaults account for 10.7 percent of TBIs. 19 percent fall into the category of "other" or unknown causes.

When a brain injury is caused by the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another person, the victim may have the right to recover compensation through a civil lawsuit. This can be essential to offsetting medical expenses and the costs of rehabilitation and long-term care. An experienced personal injury law firm with experience in brain injury cases may be able to help victims and families get the compensation they need.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, "TBI: Get the Facts," accessed May 22, 2016

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