Children are taught early in life about falling, and are even warned about hitting their heads. Unfortunately, it's only the monkeys jumping on the bed that gets by with a mere scolding from the doctor. What most kids aren't taught is the potentially devastating effects of a fall, or that traumatic brain injuries change the lives of millions of real children -- not just characters in storybooks.
Falls Pose a Real Danger for Kids and Seniors
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) falls are the greatest cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) for kids under 4 as well as seniors over 75. Falls are also responsible for most of the TBI related trips to the Emergency Department as well as hospitalizations. Older kids have been falling more too, between 2002-2006 the number of kids 14 and under seen in emergency departments for falls went up by 62%.
In most cases, the TBIs that are sustained are concussions or are otherwise considered mild, however it is difficult to tell sometimes the extent of damage caused by a head injury -- especially in children. According to the Brain Injury Association of America previous schools of thought that a child's brain is developing and therefore more "plastic" and able to bounce back from a brain injury have been challenged by recent research. It is more likely for children to have a delayed reaction when it comes to cognitive impairments, and they are more likely to find socially appropriate behavior more challenging as they get older, and they may face other learning challenges as well. Adults who sustain TBIs experience this too, but with less of a lifetime impact.
Reacting to a Fall
With the potential for a TBI to turn a person's world upside down, especially a child, it can seem like an afterthought to talk about the financial impact, but this too is very real. In the year 2000, it was estimated that TBIs cost the United states $60 billion due to medical costs and other costs such as reduced productivity. Prompt and attentive treatment is vital for anyone who experiences a fall, especially when that fall is someone else's fault.
Because the extent of injuries from a fall is not always immediately apparent, especially when the fall involves someone hitting their head, it is important to report these incidents to the management of the business where they occurred or to the home owner if they happened at someone else's home. It's also important to get medically evaluated as soon as possible in order to get a better understanding of any injuries -- whether you feel them or not. A visit to a personal injury attorney can help too.
At R.C.Shea & Associates, we have three New Jersey locations to serve you, including Toms River, Machester, and Brick. If you or your child has suffered a fall resulting in a brain or other injury, contact us for a consultation that will help you learn how to assert your rights and fight for the compensation you need.