Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) happen when a blow or jolt to the head disrupts normal brain functioning. In a single year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs were diagnosed in nearly 2.9 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. And how are most brain injuries sustained? After accidental falls, the second leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations is motor vehicle crashes. In children and adolescents under the age of 18, in Massachusetts and around the country, car accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related death.
Severity of Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to fatal trauma. A driver may hit his head on the steering wheel, an unrestrained passenger may go through the windshield, or a bicyclist traveling on the streets of Boston may strike her head on the pavement after colliding with a car. A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) classification system categorizes TBIs as mild, moderate, or severe based on the following criteria:
- Loss of consciousness (LOC) — Any period of unconsciousness, from blacking out for a few moments to being in a coma for a few weeks
- Alteration of consciousness (AOC) — An altered mental state due to brain injury, including confusion, trouble thinking clearly, and difficulty answering mental status questions
- Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) — Loss of memory for events immediately before or after the injury
- Structural imaging — Brain damage as seen on imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs
According to the CDC, TBIs were identified in 25% of all injury-related deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2017. But even for survivors, moderate or severe head injuries can lead to long-term health problems that can require ongoing care and disrupt quality of life.
Costs Associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries
Not only can TBIs have severe health consequences, but they can also have serious financial consequences. Car crash victims in Massachusetts who suffer brain injuries may face some or all of the following expenses:
- Emergency medical services — A car accident can necessitate ambulance transportation, an ER visit, and other acute care.
- Surgeries — You may need immediate surgery and/or later operations for your injuries.
- Hospitalization — If you suffer a more serious TBI, you may require short- or long-term hospitalization.
- Rehabilitation — Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need inpatient rehab, outpatient therapy, or other ongoing medical treatment.
- Lost Wages & Disability — A brain injury of any type can cause you to miss days, weeks, or months of work. In severe cases, you may suffer permanent disability and may be unable to work at all.
Massachusetts Brain Injury Lawyers
The professional brain injury lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP know that TBIs can affect every area of your life: your physical and mental abilities, your personality and emotions, your work and family, and your ability to communicate with others. With over 50 years of experience, our Massachusetts law firm has the skills to navigate complicated TBI cases and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. So if you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in a Massachusetts car accident, call us at 800.481.6199 or contact us online for a free consultation.