As we’ve said in previous columns, traumatic brain injury is in fact way too common. Each year in the U.S, over 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries occur…over 52,000 of these injuries end up being fatal.
As a personal injury law firm representing those who’ve sustained a TBI at the hands of someone else, we spend a lot of time thinking about these devastating injuries and who they affect. According to our own statistics and those published by health agencies like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, men are at much greater risk of sustaining a TBI than women.
In fact, for every woman who sustains a TBI, two or three men will sustain the same injury.
This fact alone begs the question – why are men at much greater risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury?
Continue reading for a few of the factors that put men at a higher risk of a TBI.
1. Brain injuries and driving
Anywhere from 50 to 70-percent of TBIs occur as a result of accidents involving cars, bicycles and motorcycles. It’s commonly known that young men are more likely than young women to engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel. Auto insurance companies know this, which is why insurance premiums are typically higher for young male drivers than they are for young female drivers.
2. Drinking, fighting and criminal behavior
The risk of a TBI is highest for men between the ages of 15 and 24, which coincides with the age that many young men discover alcohol and begin partying. Also, men in this age group are more likely to get into fights, which sometimes involve firearms and other weapons. According to the CDC, firearm use causes approximately 10% of all TBIs and is the leading cause of death related to a brain injury. Also, drug and alcohol intoxication, especially when combined with driving, is another significant reason for the increased risk of traumatic brain injury.
In war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, men are going to be placed in more dangerous combat situations. Traumatic brain injuries are typically caused by blasts, bullets and other projectiles and account for nearly 25% of wounds sustained in a war zone.
4. High Risk/Contact Sports
Another source of traumatic brain injury is high risk or contact sports. Men are generally more likely to play sports like karate, football, boxing or activities like skateboarding, track and motor racing. It’s estimated by the CDC that around 300,000 mild to moderately severe traumatic brain injuries each year are caused by sports-related activities.
The last risk group is employment…men are more likely to be employed in industrial occupations that carry a higher risk of traumatic brain injury. These occupations often involve heavy machinery or manual labor. The chance of an accident like this occurring increases when proper safety precautions are not followed, or when the worker loses concentration due to illness, fatigue or intoxication.
Of course, proper safety precaution is the best thing men and women can do to prevent traumatic brain injury.
Sometime though, these injuries are caused by someone else’s actions and negligence. If you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury this way, it’s important you determine whether any legal remedies are available to help you recover…you shouldn’t bear the expense of someone else’s negligence.
If you fall into this category, you should discuss your case with an attorney specializing in traumatic brain injury to determine what, if any compensation is available to you.