According to federal data, over 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries across the United States each year. To help spread awareness about the issue in Nevada and elsewhere, the Brain Injury Association of America has designated March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when someone suffers a blow to the head or a jolt to the upper body, causing the brain to move around inside the skull. Someone who suffers a TBI may lose consciousness and could experience minor, moderate or severe brain trauma. TBIs commonly occur during military operations, sporting activities, slip-and-fall accidents, car crashes, motorcycle accidents and bicycle mishaps. The problem impacts both adults and children. In fact, 2016 statistics show that around 7 percent of American kids have suffered a serious TBI at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of TBI, which may include headaches, dizziness and nausea, don’t always appear right away. Therefore, it is essential that people who experience an accident or a blow to the head get evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Prompt medical attention is critical to a patient’s long-term prognosis. Even minor TBIs can cause long-term medical issues if they are left untreated, and severe TBIs can cause brain swelling and death if a patient fails to get immediate emergency care.

Individuals who suffer a brain injury due to the negligent actions of another party might be entitled to financial compensation. For example, if someone suffers a TBI in a car accident caused by another driver, he or she could file a personal injury lawsuit against that driver seeking medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. An attorney may review the details of a victim’s case, gather evidence supporting a claim and file the lawsuit in court.