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Meet Attorney Frank Jenkins

More Than 200,000 Residents of Kentucky Are Living with a Brain Injury

brain injury lawyer

Much attention is being focused on the prevalence of head injuries in professional and youth sports in America. Last year, nearly 5,000 former football players sued the NFL, alleging that the organization knew about the dangers of concussions but didn’t do enough to protect players from on-field injuries. Public health agencies are spreading the word that brain injuries happen all too frequently in school and community sports, and are cautioning that concussions can be particularly damaging to young people, whose brains are still developing.

Even the Obama administration has weighed in on the problem of brain injuries in sports, with the president heading up a summit on youth sports concussions last month.

Chief among the discussion points is the need to develop sports equipment that can provide the maximum amount of protection possible from a blow to the head. Now, manufacturers of football helmets may face tougher standards before getting their products on the market.

The National Operating Committee for Standards for Athletic Equipment is considering adopting a new safety standard that would test helmets on how they perform when the head spins during impact. Current testing examines how helmets withstand direct blows to the head, but the new standard would evaluate how well the brain is protected when it is stretched and twisted, according to an article in the Washington Post.

The new standards are crucial for sports, but could also raise the bar for how other helmets are engineered. Traumatic brain injuries are a common result from motorcycle wrecks, bicycle accidents and ATV crashes. In those accidents, wearing a helmet can mean the difference between a mild concussion, catastrophic injury or even death.

Helmets are required by law for all motorcyclists and ATV riders in Kentucky. There is no law requiring bicyclists to wear a helmet, but the state Department of Transportation reports that they protect against injury in 8 out of 10 bike crashes.

But while helmets can shield some vulnerable populations from brain injuries, it’s important to remember than anyone can suffer a head injury, in slip and fall accidents as well as vehicle collisions.

Statistics from the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky show that 214,000 residents are living with a brain injury today.  Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of head injuries for people under 24 in Kentucky, and many are expected to incur at least $1.5 million in medical expenses during their lifetimes.

Not only that, 45 percent of Kentuckians with brain injuries report losing their jobs or other educational opportunities as a result of their accidents. Experts estimate that the lifetime loss of wages for someone with a brain injury is $1.5 million, which means that many families find themselves destitute after their loved one is injured.

Perhaps even harder, some caregivers also find that their loved one is vastly different from the person they knew before the accident. The injured person may be prone to violent outbursts that ultimately require hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital, nursing home or other housing facility – additional costs on top of medical bills and rehabilitation expenses that inevitably accompany a brain injury survivor.

In cases where a preventable accident results in a brain injury, victims may be able to obtain compensation to help restore their financial well-being by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Life after a brain injury is never quite the same, but a satisfactory settlement may help pave the way for the best quality of life possible for the victim and his or her family.

For more information about brain injury in Kentucky, click here.