“Wear your helmet!” This constant parental warning can seem worn and tired at times and most parents, sick of nagging, might be tempted to let their kids ride a bike, skateboard, or scooter without a helmet just this once. Houston Bradley’s story should cure moms and dads of the impulse to slack off on safety, and to give them renewed confidence that the nagging pays off.
In late June, 17-year-old Bradley was skateboarding in an Austin, Texas parking ramp without a helmet and fell down and hit his head. Two months later, he was still in the operating room getting a significant chunk of his skull re-attached after a long and terrifying summer of slow recovery.
Bradley’s fall bruised the portion of his brain that controls speech and personality, so doctors had to remove a large bone flap – about the size of a large orange – in order to relieve pressure inside his skull. While doctors were seriously concerned about Bradley’s recovery, the 17-year-old has made great strides over the last several months.
Although he is still easily fatigued and bothered by the sometimes raucous gatherings of his boisterous friends, the reattachment of the bone flap – which had been sitting on ice since the accident – will hopefully put Bradley safely on the road to a full recovery.
Many families are not as lucky as the Bradleys, however, and according to the CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approximately 1.5 million people suffer from what’s known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. The leading cause of TBI is falls at about 36 percent, followed by auto accidents at 17 percent. Among children age 1-14, falls cause half of the TBIs and the number rises to 60% among the elderly. While 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries each year, even more suffer long term disabilities as a result.
There is no cure for a TBI, and helmets are a key in preventing these types of injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury, contacting an experienced attorney is crucial in helping to determine how best to proceed, and what type of compensation may be available to compensate medical bills, lost wages, continued disability, and suffering.