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What are the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries?

There are few things more important to Pennsylvania residents than their personal health. As a result, a tragic incident that threatens one's health can drastically alter the course of a person's life. This is all too common for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

A traumatic brain injury is typically caused by a bump or blow to the head, or some type of penetrating head injury that alters the functioning of the brain. In the United States, traumatic brain injuries contribute to about 30 percent of all injury deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Millions of people experience emergency room visits or hospitalization because of traumatic brain injuries.

However, traumatic brain injuries range in their severity, as individuals can have mild TBIs that briefly change their consciousness, to severe TBIs that result is prolonged periods of unconsciousness or memory loss. Given the differing levels of severity of TBIs, the effects of TBIs can also range drastically. Some impacts may be temporary in nature, while other effects can be permanent and fundamental to a person's basic functioning.

While falls and unintentional blunt trauma are the leading causes of TBI, motor vehicle crashes are the third leading cause. Moreover, motor vehicle crashes rise to the second leading cause for TBI-related deaths, and they are the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and persons aged 15 to 44.

When individuals suffer a traumatic brain injury because of someone else's negligence, they may be able to hold that person accountable through a personal injury action. This can be vital, as the injured person can obtain compensation to cover the costs of any necessary long-term care and medical expenses, as well as the other damages that person has suffered because of the life-changing injury.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "TBI: Get the facts," accessed on July 16, 2016

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