Motor vehicle Accidents culprit of half of traumatic brain injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each and every year. Whether it's the result of a sports injury or auto accident, traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are more common than people think. Due to the disabilities that can result from a TBI, understanding what they are and how they affect everyday lives is essential for everyone to know.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

A TBI, as it's referred to, is defined as a bump, blow or jolt to the head that typically disrupts the normal function of the brain.

TBIs can occur from different activities, But, according to MedlinePlus, an online resource for health information, about half of all TBIs occur from motor vehicle accidents.

Depending on the severity of the injury, side effects of TBI include problems with cognitive abilities or motor function, loss of sensation and personality changes.

Mild TBIs

Traumatic brain injuries can be mild or severe. The CDC defines a mild TBI as a "brief change in mental status or consciousness." Many TBIs are classified as concussions-an injury to the head that causes a person's brain to move back and forth inside the skull.

Many concussion victims traditionally do not have any visible bleeding or obvious signs of penetration to their head. However, it's important to note that, even if individuals sustain a minor head injury or mild concussion and seem ok, they could still be experiencing internal bleeding and their injury could be life-threatening.

Severe TBIs

A severe TBI, on the other hand, usually involves a permanent alteration of the brain. In some cases, those who sustain a severe TBI lose consciousness for an extended period of time or have amnesia after their injury.

A severe TBI usually falls under one of two categories: closed and penetrating. A closed TBI happens when the brain is forced to move within the skull. These types occur as a result of a fall or motor vehicle accident. A penetrating TBI happens when a foreign object, like a bullet or sharp object, enters the skull.

Victims of serious TBIs have a tough road ahead. Many often need long term medical assistance. According to the CDC, the economic costs are just as detrimental. The estimated economic cost of TBI in 2010 was estimated to be over $76 billion.

Fortunately, legal recourse is available for those that sustain a TBI as a result of an auto accident caused by an at-fault driver. Consulting with an attorney who can explain the process is advised.