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March is TBI Awareness month

March 11, 2019 by Steven M. Gursten

TBI Awareness month - Change Your Mind

To be honest, I think every month – not just March – should be TBI Awareness month. There is an extraordinary gap still between what most people know about traumatic brain injuries and what they need to know.

In response to our recent Facebook post to bring attention to Brain Injury Awareness Month, we heard from Chris Wilfong Goudreau and Theresa Wilson (who have been living with brain injuries for 15 years and 6 years, respectively):

TBI Survivor Chris Wilfong Goudreau - Brain Injury Awareness

TBI Survivor Theresa Wilson - Brain Injury Awareness

As a community – both during TBI Awareness month and throughout the year – we have work to do so we can improve understanding of how brain injuries occur and what we can do better to protect brain injury survivors.

And we need to help the public better understand what TBI survivors are going through and helping them to overcome the many obstacles that have been thrown in their path. Perhaps no place needs this more than within the medical community itself. The overall lack of awareness about TBI among too many doctors and many medical professionals is still shocking. I have far too many real life examples with my own clients of very clear traumatic brain injuries that are overlooked in the emergency rooms and ignored by family doctors.

Having recently been elected President of the American Association for Justice’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, I’m committed to doing everything in my power to help raise this much-needed awareness about the challenges faced by car accident victims – and all personal injury accident victims – who have suffered brain injuries. Next month I’ll be moderating and speaking at a very special brain injury seminar in Las Vegas for the AAJ to help educate lawyers on how to identify and better serve brain injury survivors.

Watch my Auto Lawyers Blog for more TBI-related posts honoring TBI Awareness Month.

Attorney Brandon Hewitt talks to WZZM about raising TBI awareness

Michigan Auto Law attorney Brandon Hewitt talked to WZZM 13 Grand Rapids about the effect that traumatic brain injuries have on survivors – and on society as a whole.

Acknowledging the jaw-dropping statistic that 10 million people are affected by TBI every year – with car accidents being the cause for most – Brandon explained the following:

“More than half of those people are going to be struggling with that a year after their injury. Long term consequences . . . four years post-injury. Many of these people are living at home. They’re not working. They’re not in school. So we’re talking, not just acute, but really long-term, lifelong problems. From an economic standpoint, it’s estimated that it has a $76.5 billion effect on our economy. So it’s a true national emergency.”

To see WZZM’s full interview of Brandon, please check out the video below.

Brain injury statistics to know about for TBI Awareness month

Here are brain injury statistics from the experts at the Brain Injury Associations of Michigan and America:

  • 58,500 people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in Michigan every year
  • Throughout the U.S., 280,000 people are hospitalized and 50,000 die from TBIs every year
  • At least 2.5 million people in the U.S. sustain traumatic brain injuries every year and 2.2 million are treated for TBI in Emergency Departments (also known as ERs) or Trauma Centers
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the cause of more than 14% of the TBIs that occur in the U.S. annually
  • Every day, 137 people die in the U.S. because of a TBI-related injury
  • A traumatic brain injury is caused by trauma to the brain from an external force

TBI symptoms to learn about during national traumatic brain injury awareness month

On our Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms page, we discuss the symptoms that people should be watching for after a car accident or other another traumatic event – and how those symptoms can affect victims.

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan on its “Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)” provides the following list of TBI symptoms:

  • Extended loss of consciousness and coma
  • Headache
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Feeling in a fog
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Emotional instability
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Hypersensitivity to light or sound
  • Sleep disturbances

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