The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

More Than Half Of Brain Injuries Lead To Depression

CNN reported on a recent study finding that more than half of those who suffer a traumatic brain injury will develop depression in the year following the injury. Results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That means it might be a good idea to ask your Illinois injury attorney whether you should also undergo a psychological screening if another party is liable for your brain injury.

Only 45 percent of those who do become depressed after a traumatic brain injury receive adequate treatment. Charles Bombardier, professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and lead author of the study, discusses the seriousness of the study's findings:

"We're not talking about normal day-to-day changes in mood, but symptoms that last for more than two weeks."

Symptoms of depression include diminished energy, foul mood, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, problems with concentration, restlessness and thoughts of death, the professor said. He cites earlier research that found a higher rate of suicide among those who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Another finding from the study that may be relevant in some personal injury cases is the conclusion that head injuries often take weeks of medical care at the outset.  

Traumatic brain injuries affect roughly 1.7 million people in the U.S. each year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited by CNN. Most of those in the study group suffered brain injury from falls and car crashes, which often involve some sort of tort liability.

Of the 559 patients in the study group, 53 percent were considered clinically depressed during the year following their injury. Chicago injury lawyers are trained to help you get the best possible settlement or court judgment for your injuries.

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