Few things change your life as much as a traumatic brain injury. The potential for life-altering injuries that never heal is incredibly great. The injury itself could take just a split second -- a surgeon makes a mistake while doing surgery, for instance, or another driver runs a red light and T-bones your car -- but you may never fully heal and you may have to deal with that injury forever.
To understand this risk, let's take a look at some of the key statistics from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons:
- 5.3 million: The number of people in the United States who live with a TBI-related disability.
- 1.7 million: The number of new TBI cases that happen every single year in America alone.
- $48-56 billion: The cost of all of the TBIs in the United States every year. This number includes both the direct costs and the indirect costs.
- 78.8%: The percentage of men who suffer traumatic brain injuries, as compared to just 21.2 percent for women.
- 235,000: The approximate number of TBI-related annual hospitalizations. It is important to note that, as devastating as spinal cord injuries can be, there are over 20 times as many hospitalizations for TBIs.
- 435,000: The number of emergency room visits for TBIs that are made for children who are 14 years old and younger.
- 2,685: The number of children from the above group who pass away from their injuries.
- 80,000-90,000: The number of Americans every year who suffer TBIs and see the onset of disabilities that are either life-long or at least long-term.
- 34%: The percentage of traumatic deaths that get attributed to head injuries on a yearly basis.
As you can see, head injuries and TBIs impact an incredible amount of people every year. The costs are staggering.
Will you recover?
The first thing that many people ask after a traumatic brain injury is if they will recover. They may struggle with emotional control, memory issues, motor skills or a host of other issues and disabilities, and they just want to know if things are going to go back to normal.
Unfortunately, as these statistics also illustrate, things do not always return to normal. Some injuries don't heal. Some issues do not end. Even with high-level medical care after the incident, you may find yourself facing an altered future that you cannot change back. This is your new normal.
If this happens to you, it is especially important that you understand your legal options. You may need to seek out compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, future medical costs, life-long assistance and much more. That accident altered the course of your life, and you need to know how to proceed.