The winter brings a slew of outdoor sports and activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. But while these pursuits can be fun, without the proper safety precautions they can lead to accidents, injuries, and even death. In fact, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, nearly 4 million Americans are diagnosed annually with brain injuries related to sports or recreational activities. In North Carolina, the Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2012, 1,872 state residents died after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and TBIs accounted for 31.3 percent of all injury deaths.
A traumatic brain injury can occur due to a direct hit, jolt, or bump to the head, rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head from whiplash, or an injury that penetrates the head.
What are the symptoms?
While TBIs can range from mild concussions to serious, life-threatening injuries, there are several symptoms to identify soon as possible:
- Blurred vision
- Problems with balance
- Nausea/vomiting after injury
- Feeling slower than normal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty recalling new information
- Sensitivity to light or noise
It is important to keep in mind that mild concussions and related injuries tend to lessen over time (this can range from minutes to hours). If someone experiences worsening symptoms or decreased consciousness they must be taken to the emergency room immediately. If getting to a hospital would take more than a few minutes it may be wise to dial 9-1-1.
It is important to note that loss of consciousness only occurs in about 10 percent of concussions.
There are several precautionary things that you can do to lower the likelihood of a TBI. These include:
- Always wearing a helmet during winter sports, especially during contact sports
- Ensure that your helmet fits correctly.
- Replace your helmet after a serious fall.
- Always supervise children during activities where they may more susceptible to TBIs.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury while engaged in a winter sport accident or other situation, it can greatly impact many aspects of your life and the lives of those who care for you. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. The qualified attorneys at Daggett Shuler can help. Call us at 336-724-1234 for a free consultation.
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