Legal Help for Victims of Child Head Injuries
No matter what age you are‚ a head injury can pose significant risks. But these risks are magnified for children‚ for whom a traumatic brain injury (known as a TBI) can be severely debilitating and lead to lifelong problems. Parents and pediatricians are learning to treat even minor head injuries as matters of great concern and working to provide better prevention and care for children who might be at risk.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A TBI occurs when a person takes a bump‚ blow‚ jolt‚ or some other impact to the head that causes damage to the brain. Complicating a diagnosis‚ symptoms of a TBI may not appear right away‚ sometimes taking weeks to become evident after an injury. A concussion‚ which most of us are familiar with‚ is considered the mildest form of TBI. Symptoms can include head or neck pain‚ nausea‚ tinnitus (ringing of the ears)‚ dizziness‚ and fatigue. For more serious forms of TBI‚ additional signs might be:
- A worsening or lingering headache
- Slurred speech
- Numbness in the extremities
- Memory problems or gaps
- Dilated pupils
- Erratic behavior or mood swings
According to the National Library of Medicine‚ millions of Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. In the worst cases‚ the injuries will cause permanent brain damage or even death. For children 14 and under‚ TBIs are the listed cause of nearly 3‚000 deaths annually‚ with 37‚000 hospital stays and 435‚000 emergency department visits.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The most common cause of traumatic brain injuries to children is a motor vehicle accident. Younger children are especially vulnerable to head trauma during a collision‚ even with proper restraints and safety seats. Airbags can also be a culprit. It’s very important for parents to do their research before purchasing a car seat‚ as not all devices on the market provide equal protection.
Of course‚ no amount of caution can fully protect against car accidents. Negligence on the part of the other driver is often at fault. Examples of such negligence include driving while intoxicated‚ fatigue‚ distracted driving‚ and excessive speed or reckless driving.
Sports and Recreation
After motor vehicle collisions‚ the second leading cause of TBIs among young people is sports and recreational activities. In San Diego‚ the number of head injuries among youth has been steadily increasing. The growth of youth leagues has been one factor. This includes contact sports‚ such as soccer‚ football‚ and martial arts; but in ball sports such as basketball‚ baseball‚ and softball‚ children are still at risk of impacts to the head. Even sports you might not think about‚ such as swimming‚ can put children in danger.
Non-organized activities‚ such as skating‚ skateboarding‚ and cycling‚ are also responsible for many injuries. Parents should be proactive about teaching their children the importance of wearing a helmet in sports with potential for collision‚ including skiing‚ rollerblading‚ and rock climbing.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Research has shown that multiple head injuries can lead to the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)‚ which was discovered in the brains of former NFL players and professional wrestlers. Scientists are learning more and more about the dangers of repetitive blows to the head. In the San Diego area‚ many people know how CTE is thought to have been at least partially to blame for Junior Seau’s death.
What Can Be Done to Protect Children?
New programs are being developed to educate families and youth sports organizers about the need for helmets and the dangers posed by repeated blows to the head. Unfortunately‚ helmets alone are not enough to protect a child from a concussion. Parents need to be aware of how to avoid injuries altogether‚ what the symptoms are if an injury does occur‚ and how long they should wait before allowing their child to resume play after an injury.
Child Head Injury Attorneys
Unfortunately‚ many head injuries are due to someone else’s negligence. If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury‚ you may be entitled to full compensation for his or her medical expenses‚ rehabilitation‚ pain and suffering‚ and more. The San Diego child injury attorneys at the Jurewitz Personal Injury Law Group have the experience and resources to help ensure that the party responsible for your child’s injury is held accountable. To schedule a free consultation‚ contact us today at (888) 233-5020.