States evolve laws to address issue of traumatic brain injuries
When a person receives a traumatic brain injury due to a bump or blow to the head, he or she experiences a sudden disruption in the normal functioning of the brain. In a matter of seconds, one could be seriously injured and the result could be life changing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 1.7 million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year. Furthermore, 52,000 of these injuries end up being fatal. Falls, car accidents, pedestrian strikes or assaults cause most traumatic brain injuries.
In the more fortunate cases, injuries are mild, and there is just a short-term consequence from the incident, such as a concussion. On the other hand, there are more severe repercussions, such as amnesia or unconsciousness. Severe accidents are the ones that often lead to death or a disability.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), traumatic brain injuries cost the United States approximately $60 billion. However, this number does not consider the amount of people that have to experience the emotional turmoil associated with such an event. It is difficult for friends and family to deal the trauma of an injured loved one who needs special care and may never be the same.
Fortunately, federal and state governments fund various programs and services for those who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury. The NCSL reports that at least 22 states and the District of Columbia currently operate such programs. Also, some states aim to prevent and diagnose cases of traumatic injuries, providing information on how to respond to an incident and rehabilitate patients.
The NCSL notes that between 2009 and 2012, at least 41 states passed laws to address concerns associated with brain injuries. The movement is in response to the recent reports of sports-related brain injuries that have been experienced by youths.
California legislation has made efforts to address the issue of traumatic brain injuries. For example, one law requires school districts that offer athletic programs to remove an athlete from an activity who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury. The law also prevents the student from returning to a school-sponsored sports program until he or she has been evaluated and receives clearance to play from a health care provider.
Hopefully, states will continue to develop laws that relate to the topic. If you or a loved one has suffered from a severe head injury, you should contact an experienced personal injury law attorney. A lawyer can help you assess the situation.