March is one of the most important months for millions of Americans: Brain Injury Awareness Month. During this time, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) works with several private and public entities to shed light on the struggles that millions of Americans face daily.
History of Brain Injury Awareness Month
March was established as Brain Injury Awareness Month in 1980 by the BIAA (then known as the National Head Injury Foundation). This BIAA is the oldest advocacy group for people suffering from brain injuries, and this designation was made to spread awareness of an ailment that many Americans were unfamiliar with.
During March, BIAA works with schools, doctors, and hospitals to educate people on brain injury awareness and prevention. It has even partnered with the Department of Education to spread the message to as many people as possible.
The BIAA also advocates for laws to help those suffering brain injuries. Appropriately, it makes its biggest push for new state and federal laws during March.
Why Brain Injury Awareness Matters
Millions of people in the US suffer from brain injuries, including a significant number of children. Despite this ailment affecting more than 1 in 100 Americans, many are only barely aware of the condition and its potential effects.
This is particularly unfortunate because roughly 10,000 children per year in the US suffer a brain injury during birth. Millions more are likely to sustain brain injuries before their 18th birthday.
Unfortunately, these are injuries that often permanently disable the victims. And sadly, many types of brain injury can’t be meaningfully treated by medical science. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the risk of potential brain injury and the impacts these injuries carry.
Dealing with a Birth Brain Injury
When a child suffers a brain injury during birth, they usually suffer lifelong impairment. Even worse, many brain injuries are the result of medical mistakes during pregnancy or the birthing process. That means these injuries are entirely preventable.
If your child suffered a birth brain injury, it’s understandable that you are afraid, knowing that they face a lifetime of expensive medical procedures. This is a reasonable fear and one you shouldn’t have to face alone.
You should contact an experienced brain injury attorney to learn about your options as soon as possible. They can direct you to resources like those found at the BIAA and let you know whether you are eligible to file a brain injury lawsuit.
However, you can’t afford to wait. Many states limit how long you have to take legal action against doctors or hospitals that harmed your children. A skilled brain injury lawyer knows those time limits and will ensure that you act before you can no longer legally do so.
Additionally, the earlier you take action for compensation, the easier it will be to secure your child’s future. After all, it may take millions of dollars to pay for your child’s medical procedures, assistance services, and disability support.
Dealing with a Brain Injury Later in Life
If you or a loved one suffers a brain injury later in life, it will usually be due to an external force, resulting in what’s known as a traumatic brain injury.
It’s unfortunately all too common to suffer a head injury in your youth since children tend to be very physically active. The risk only compounds for those that play sports. If your child participates in sports like soccer, baseball, or especially football, they are at risk of suffering a head injury.
All too often, however, parents take many of these injuries for granted, knowing that children heal quickly. But head injuries are a type of injury you can never afford to take for granted. If your child suffers any head injury, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Hopefully, it isn’t serious. But if it is a serious injury, the earlier that treatment starts, the more likely they are to fully recover.
For adults, it’s less likely that they’ll suffer an injury while playing sports. Rather, adults are much more likely to suffer head injuries in car accidents or workplace injuries.
Regardless of how you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, contacting a brain injury lawyer is important. There’s a good chance that some insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for the injury.
However, you’ll likely get significantly less money than you deserve without good legal representation. An experienced brain injury attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies and can accurately determine the value of your case. They can also file a brain injury lawsuit on your behalf and (if needed) go to trial to get the money you deserve.
Preventing Brain Injuries
One of the main reasons that the BIAA designated March as Brain Injury Awareness Month was to try to decrease the number of brain injuries that happen each year by teaching people how to avoid them.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent an infant’s brain injury during childbirth. Unless you are medically trained, you aren’t likely to recognize the signs of medical mistakes until you are already facing the consequences. However, if you suspect any malpractice, consult with another doctor immediately. It could save your child from a lifetime of pain.
Preventing traumatic brain injuries as a child or adult is a lot easier. Some simple preventive measures you can take to protect yourself or your child are:
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike or playing a contact sport
- Wear seatbelts whenever driving or riding in a car
- Make sure children sit in car seats
- Put safety gates near stairs while children are young
- Avoid running near stairs or on unstable ground
An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure when it comes to brain injuries. By educating yourself on prevention techniques, you may avoid a life-altering injury. Get more information by visiting the BIAA website.