If counties in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina mirror a national trend, they could be on pace to see one of their highest car accident counts in nearly a decade.
As our personal injury lawyers have seen first-hand, these accidents can carry deadly consequences or result in serious, non-fatal injuries, with traumatic brain injury (TBI) being among the most severe.
A person who suffers TBI in an auto accident can be left permanently disabled and faced with daunting physical, emotional and financial challenges.
NSC Reports Spike in Car Accident Injuries, Deaths and Costs
In early August, the National Safety Council (NSC) issued its report on preliminary motor vehicle accident statistics through the first six months of 2015. According to the NSC, traffic fatalities, injuries and crash costs rose significantly when compared to the same six-month period in 2014.
On a national level, the NSC reports that motor vehicle accident-related:
- Deaths are up 14 percent (18,630)
- Injuries are up 30 percent (2,254,000)
- Costs are up 24 percent ($152 billion).
When calculating the costs of a car accident, the NSC takes into account wage and productivity losses, medical and administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage.
The traffic fatality rate in South Carolina has exceeded the national increase. The NSC reports that 445 fatal car crashes occurred in the state between January and June 2015, or a 21 percent spike from the 367 deadly accidents reported in the first six months of 2014.
According to the NSC, if the country continues at this pace, total car accident deaths could top 40,000 for the first time in eight years.
The non-profit, non-governmental public service organization asserts that lower gas prices and an improving economy have likely led to increased driving in 2015, which may account for the higher accident figures through the first half of the year.
Challenges Faced by Brain Injury Victims
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 14.3 percent of the nation’s TBI cases each year can be attributed to car crashes.
The Mayo Clinic defines TBI as a condition that typically results “from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.”
Given this definition, it is easy to see why auto accidents so often result in brain injuries. In a car crash, brain injury may be readily caused by one’s head slamming into the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield or by being struck by an object that is jarred loose. The very impact of the collision can lead to the type of nerve and tissue damage that marks TBI.
The impact of TBI varies from person to person, according to the Brain Injury Association of America It often depends on the extent of damage and which part of the brain has been harmed.
Broadly speaking, a person with severe TBI may face permanent problems with thinking, speaking and moving around. Additionally, the victim may experience serious mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. The victim may be unable to work or attend school again.
Family members, in this sense, suffer as well. They can lose the same level of services and companionship of a loved one that they enjoyed before the TBI occurred, and they may be burdened with providing around-the-clock care. High medical expenses for treatment, therapy, medication and assistive devices can only add to the strain.
Our Lawyers Help TBI Victims and Families
If you or a loved one has suffered TBI in a car wreck in Florence, Myrtle Beach or elsewhere in South Carolina that was caused by another person’s negligence, the lawyers of Jebaily Law Firm can help you to seek the compensation you are due.
We can also explore other options that may be available to help you get through a difficult time in your life. For instance, if the TBI arose from a work-related auto accident, workers’ compensation benefits may be available.
To learn more, please feel free to contact us by phone or through our online form. We can discuss your case in a free consultation.