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Facts and laws about brain injuries

Some residents in Illinois might benefit from learning more information concerning traumatic brain injuries. The National Conference of State Legislatures defines traumatic brain injury as a jolt, blow, bump or penetrating injury that disrupts a normal functioning of the brain. The Center of Disease and Prevention claims that, on average, more than 50,000 people are killed and 1.7 million are injured from traumatic brain injuries every year. The indirect and direct costs related to these types of injuries is estimated to total approximately $60 billion.

Short disruption in mental functioning is described as mild TBI, and commonly referred to as a concussion. More severe injuries may result in prolonged states of unconsciousness, amnesia, permanent disability or loss of life. The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include assault, being struck against or by an object, motor vehicle collisions and falls. There are currently 22 states that provide additional support for TBI patients through Medicaid waivers.

Laws addressing traumatic brain injuries have passed in 50 states and Washington D.C. since 2009. Illinois passed two laws targeting TBI in 2011. One amended a current law to create a fund for veterans suffering from TBI. The other law requires school boards to educate the appropriate individuals on concussions and to include head injuries and concussions on all participation agreements.

Anyone who suffers a serious brain injury due to someone else's action, inaction or negligence might be entitled to receive restitution for damages. Plaintiffs in these types of cases are typically awarded compensation to help account for medical costs and ongoing expenses related to any permanent disabilities caused by the injury. In order to receive restitution, plaintiffs may need legal counsel to prove that the defendant is culpable or liable for the ensuing damages.

Source: national Conference of States Lagislatures, "TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY LEGISLATION", October 13, 2014

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