According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from brain injuries. The CDC also reports that of the one million people who are treated in and released from hospital emergency rooms each year 230,000 will be hospitalized and survive, 80,000 will experience an onset of disabilities resulting from their brain injuries, and 50,000 will die.

Traumatic brain injury has been defined as a physiological disruption of brain function resulting from trauma both external (an object striking the head or the head striking an object) and/or internal (the rapid acceleration/deceleration of the brain within the skullcap). The causes of brain injury in teenagers differ from both pediatric and adult brain injury. The teenage years bring the special problems of peer pressure, underage drinking, abuse of alcohol and drugs and inexperienced and impaired driving. Because of this, teenagers are very vulnerable to brain injuries and other serious injuries. Combining teenagers inexperienced driving with potential substance abuse often results in motor vehicle accidents which are a leading cause in traumatic brain injuries.

Once a teenager has experienced a brain injury, there are exposed to a number of issues, including substance abuse. According to a recent study, teenagers who have had a traumatic brain injury were much more likely to smoke cigarettes and use illegal drugs like meth, cocaine and LSD than those who hadn’t had a head injury. They were also more likely to use alcohol, sedatives and ADHD medications that had not been prescribed for them.

Given these severe risks, it is crucial that if a teenager has a suspected traumatic brain injury that they receive immediate medical attention. The effects of a traumatic brain injury can linger for several months and may not be initially evident. If a teenager’s traumatic brain injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident, they can be compensated for their injuries. If you suspect you suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact a Cleveland auto accident attorney at NRS Injury Law to discuss your case by filling out our contact form, or call toll free 855-GOT-HURT.