March is Brain Injury Awareness Month – Here’s Why it Matters

by Terry Bryant

March has been designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month, and for a very good reason. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, an advocacy group seeking to destigmatize brain injury and help injured victims, every 9 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. This adds up to over 3.5 million people who suffer brain injuries every year. Tens of thousands of people a year die from their injuries. Hundreds of thousands more may require long-term hospitalization or other medical care. Understanding how brain injuries occur, the impacts they have on sufferers and their families, and the resources available to those impacted are important.

Brain Injury Causes

Brain injuries are caused by a variety of things. Sometimes trauma to the brain is the cause, which occurs from something external impacting the head and brain, such as may happen in a fall or when struck by an object. These brain injuries are known as traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs. At least 5.3 million Americans live with TBI-related brain injuries.

In other cases, infectious disease, near-drowning, and other non-traumatic conditions or incidents may injure the brain.

Here are some other typical causes of brain injury:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Electric shock
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Toxic exposure
  • Assaults
  • Substance abuse
  • Strokes
  • Seizures

Brain Injury Impacts

The human brain is extremely complex and is responsible for who we are as people. It regulates our breathing, heart rate, and blood circulation and controls our ability to walk, talk, think, and remember. When a person’s brain is injured, it is often a life-altering event physically, cognitively, emotionally, and financially. And the impact is not only to those injured, but also to their families.

People with brain injuries may no longer be able to work—either in the short-term or for the rest of their lives, meaning current and future income is lost. Depending on an injury’s severity, expensive medical treatment and possibly around-the-clock nursing care may be required. If a person loses their ability to function independently, they may become dependent upon their family members for all aspects of their day-to-day lives, adding emotional and financial pressures and stress to their loved ones’ lives.

Where to Turn

Having someone to turn to for assistance when facing brain injury can help alleviate stress. The Brain Injury Association of America website offers information on how to find support and rehabilitation resources throughout the country. It also discusses ways to manage financially following a brain injury, gives information about possible government benefits for brain-injured people and their families, and discusses wills, advanced directives, and other legal planning.

An experienced attorney can also be an important resource to turn to when facing a brain injury. An attorney can help guide sufferers and their families through the insurance and disability claims process, ensure that legal rights are being upheld and, depending upon the circumstances of the injury, potentially file a claim against the person or entity who is responsible for causing the injury. In any case, it is important to know that you are not alone.

If you or someone you love is the victim of a brain injury, the experienced attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help. Call us at 1 (800) 444-5000 or contact us through our site.