Deaths tied to traumatic brain injuries have risen amid higher rates of suicides and accidental falls in the United States. According to a report released by U.S. News, every year, millions of people are hospitalized or go to the emergency room for traumatic brain injuries, which are usually caused by violent blows to the head and can lead to death or disabilities. In 2017 alone, there were 61,131 TBI-related fatalities. Nearly half of these deaths were by suicide or homicide from 2015-2017, the study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated.
TBI-Related Suicides and Risk Factors
The report goes into detail about an alarming increase in TBI-related suicides, a vast majority of which was by firearms. During the period between 2009-2011, suicides and accidental falls surpassed car accidents as the leading causes of TBI-linked death in the United States, with these rates rising through the end of the study period in 2017. The shift was driven in part by a 32% increase in suicides among Caucasians with researchers also noting a falling number of car crash deaths in recent years.
Researchers said that reducing access to firearms for people at risk for suicide is an important approach to creating a safe environment. Across all years and causes, accidental traumatic injuries contributed to more deaths than suicides and homicides together, the study showed. In general, brain injury mortality rates were much higher among men and American Indians or Alaska Natives.
These populations are disproportionately affected by TBI-related homicides and accidental falls were the top cause of TBI-linked deaths among Hispanics in recent years. The study calls for prevention efforts to prevent brain injuries in these groups that are more vulnerable. Examples of steps that could be taken can include enacting motorcycle helmet laws and enforcing seatbelt and child car seat laws that could help reduce deaths from car accidents.
Rights of Brain Injury Victims
If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of a car accident, slip-and-fall accident or any other form of negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties seeking compensation. You may be able to claim compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, lost future income, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California brain injury lawyer will be able to help victims and their families evaluate their legal rights and options.