Traumatic Brain Injuries A Silent Epidemic

Representing Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Nearby Areas of Florida

Traumatic brain injury has become a signature wound of Iraq War veterans and has garnered more public and medical attention as a result. But TBI from automobile accidents, construction accidents, falls, and other personal injury incidents is called a “silent epidemic” by some experts.
Advances in body armor and emergency medical care on the battlefield have allowed soldiers to survive bomb blasts that would have likely proven fatal in past wartimes. Yet, these brave survivors have been left with devastating brain injuries. The tragic brain injury of ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff brought TBI into American living rooms when his story of his recovery from a TBI caused by a roadside blast while reporting from Iraq was broadcast in agonizing detail.

Most cases of TBI occur far away from any war zones on American highways and streets, construction sites, and other areas where mishaps occur too often. More than 40% of traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of automobile accidents. Advances in car safety, like seatbelts, airbags, and motorcycle helmets, allow more motorists to survive traffic accidents, but they often live the rest of their lives with badly wounded brains, much like their heroic counterparts on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.

TBI can do significant damage without visible signs of trauma. In fact, experts say that significant brain damage can occur even when there is no visible sign of head injury and even when a brain scan comes back as normal. Consequently, injuries are often dismissed early in treatment as mere bumps on the head or resolved concussions. Countless victims of TBI look fine on the outside, but they will never be the same on the inside, suffering from disparate symptoms like short term and long term memory loss, impaired judgment, attention deficit, speech problems, and behavioral and personality changes. Experts believe that much of the damage in cases of TBI occur when the brain’s soft and delicate tissue collides with the hard interior walls of the skull, sometimes stretching and ripping nerve fibers during the sudden accelerations or decelerations that occur in seemingly routine traffic accidents or falls. These tiny tears can lead to cell death days after the original injury, and those cells that don’t die may never function properly again.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 5.3 million people in the U.S. are living with disabilities due to TBI. Each year, about 1.4 million suffer a traumatic brain injury. That’s more Americans than suffer from heart attacks annually. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in an accident that have left symptoms of TBI, it is important that you consult with physicians well-versed in recognizing and treating closed head or traumatic brain injury patients. Likewise, if someone was responsible for the injury, it is important to choose a law firm experienced in handling cases involving TBI or closed head injuries.