[profileleft][/profileleft]Traumatic brain injuries can lead to years if not a lifetime of consequences. We’ve covered some of those potential consequences recently. However, that list was far from exhaustive. The more we learn about traumatic brain injuries, the more we are able to identify what can happen to people who endure them. Based on the results of a recent study in Canada, we may be looking at a whole new definition of the term, “traumatic brain injury lawyer.” That’s because this study revealed that people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past are more likely to wind up in prison than those who have not. The study was based on the population of Canadian federal prisons at the time.
About the Canadian Federal Prison Population Study
The researchers identified a group of 1.418 million young adults living in Ontario in 1997. These people were between 18 and 28 years old. The researchers followed these subjects by way of administrative health records through the year 2011. The researchers used these health records to identify those people who suffered traumatic brain injuries during this time period. They also obtained and reviewed records from the Correctional Service of Canada to track how many of these people wound up in prison. The researchers found the following:
- The timeframe mentioned above involved 18,297,508 person-years.
- 3,531 incarcerations occurred during this range of person-years.
- Both men and women who had suffered a previous traumatic brain injury were more likely to be incarcerated than those who did not.
- Specifically, those traumatic brain injury survivors were 2.5 times more likely to wind up in federal prison than the other subjects in the study.
After adjusting for independent variables, the researchers concluded that suffering a traumatic brain injury is associated with an increased risk of incarceration for both serious and chronic offenses. This association applies equally to both men and women, each of whom constituted approximately 50 percent of the subjects. Those interested in reading the entire study can find it here.
Other Potential Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Every traumatic brain injury lawyer who has represented clients has undoubtedly seen and heard firsthand about the problems that can arise after someone suffers a serious head injury. There is a growing body of data that lays out some of the more common consequences. Some examples of these potential consequences include:
- Communication – Some who suffer a traumatic brain injury will struggle for years if not for the rest of their lives communicating with others. TBI survivors can struggle to regain their ability to speak and to recognize speech from others. In addition, the nuances of verbal communication can be difficult to understand for someone who has suffered a brain injury.
- Personality – The brain affects nearly everything that is part of who a person is, and this includes personality. People who survive a traumatic brain injury can undergo profound personality changes. These changes can occur immediately after the injury, long after the injury or even slowly over time. There is no predicting this type of change.
- Motor skills – Movements that the rest of us take for granted can become nearly impossible challenges for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Walking, moving the arms, writing or even eating can become extremely cumbersome. Many TBI survivors need help with these seemingly basic tasks for an undetermined period of time.
- Behavioral – Behavioral issues are relatively prevalent for people who have suffered head trauma. Some TBI survivors are prone to violent outbursts and still others are eventually diagnosed with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Overall, when someone’s communication and motor skills are compromised and their personalities and behaviors change in unpredictable manners, life becomes extremely difficult. It may not be too much of a surprise, given all of these challenges, how people who suffer traumatic brain injuries face a greater risk of prison in the future.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
Given the awareness that’s been rising with regards to traumatic brain injuries in recent years, it seems logical that the number of traumatic brain injury diagnoses would also rise quickly. That’s what’s been happening in the United States. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, the following statistics relate to traumatic brain injuries in the United States:
- Nearly 1.4 million people visit emergency rooms because of head trauma.
- Nearly 300,000 people are hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries.
- 52,000 people die every year because of traumatic brain injuries.
To put the number of fatalities in context, approximately 32,000 people in the United States die every year because of car accidents. It’s expected that these numbers will continue to rise in the future as the technology surrounding brain imaging continues to advance.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury because of the actions of someone else, that injured person faces years of uncertainty if not longer. As discussed above, the long-term consequences of a TBI can be wide-ranging, unpredictable and even dangerous both for that TBI survivor and for those close to that person. A traumatic brain injury lawyer who represents a client who has been injured also has a growing list of concerns with regards to what may happen to his or her client. If this has happened to you or to someone you love, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.