Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can result in serious long-term health problems. Traumatic head injuries are surprisingly common in the United States and can cause both long-term disabilities and even death. Suffering from a TBI can also increase the likelihood that a victim develops other serious illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease.

In 2010 alone, there were 2.5 million cases of TBI, which are commonly the result of sports injuries, slip and falls, or car crashes. TBI hospitalization rates have increased by 70 percent since 2001.

If you or a loved one has suffered from TBI, you may have legal options. A personal injury attorney in Sharon can help you determine your rights after an accident.

Reducing the Likelihood of Traumatic Head Injuries in the Car

Because TBI commonly follows a car accident, taking precautions to ensure that you are driving safely and that children are safely buckled in the car can significantly decrease your chances of suffering from a traumatic head injury.

Make sure that children are in a car seat or booster seat that fits them. You should also make it a point to ensure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled. Never drive while impaired, whether it is from drugs or alcohol or even while you are drowsy.

TBI and Sporting Events

Children should also wear helmets when engaging in sporting activities. The leading cause of death in sports is due to traumatic head injuries. Sporting events account for roughly 21 percent of all TBI occurrences for both children and adolescents. Children should be wearing helmets when:

  • Playing contact sports (football, hockey, boxing)
  • Riding bikes, motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, or snowmobiles
  • Batting or running bases in softball or baseball
  • Riding on skateboards, ice skates, roller blades, or regular in-line skates
  • Skiing or snowboarding
  • Riding a horse

Adults should often wear a helmet when engaging in these activities as well.

Preventing Traumatic Head Injuries in Older Adults

Because older adults are more prone to falls, they are particularly susceptible to TBI. In fact, 81 percent of traumatic head injuries in adults over 65 are due to falls.

Taking precautions to prevent falls can also reduce the likelihood of TBI as well. Use the following tips as a starting point.

  • Remove tripping hazards including objects, spills, or loose rugs
  • Use nonslip mats in the bathroom
  • Install grab bars near stairs and in the bathroom
  • Ensure that all stairs have sturdy handrails on both sides
  • Increase or add lighting in the home to avoid poor vision falls
  • Wear shoes that have good grip or traction whenever possible

Older adults can also help prevent TBI by making sure that they are getting enough regular exercise to improve or maintain lower body strength. Balance exercises can also be helpful as well.

Falls are the leading cause of TBI, regardless of what age you are, but they do affect younger and older Americans disproportionately.

Some causes of TBI can result in legal repercussions, particularly if you fell on someone else’s property or were involved in a car accident. A personal injury attorney in Sharon can walk you through your legal options after a traumatic head injury.