It should come as no surprise that entering the military can be incredibly risky for someone’s health, and soldiers face constant threats to their health and safety. However, some people might be surprised to learn exactly how veterans tend to get injured, which can lead to serious long-term disabilities. Here are seven of the most common injuries that cause veteran disabilities:
- Tinnitus and hearing loss
- Military life often involves a great deal of exposure to loud noises. Gunshots, explosions, and the roar of engines from vehicles and aircraft all ensure that soldiers are constantly assaulted by sound. This leaves many veterans with tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears) and hearing loss, making it one of the most common veteran disabilities.
- Vision loss
- Soldiers’ ears may be under constant assault, but their eyes do not tend to fare much better. Many veterans suffer eye injuries while in the service, which can substantially impair vision or result in blindness entirely. Many veterans also suffer from blurry vision, light sensitivity, and double vision after exposure to large explosions, which can lead to veteran disabilities.
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- The military makes major physical demands on its soldiers, forcing them to carry heavy weights and engage in serious physical exertion constantly. Even if they’re in top shape, however, it is still easy for people to suffer from muscle strain, sprains, or even bone fractures, even if they are never hurt in combat. Meanwhile, soldiers who do see combat can suffer serious musculoskeletal injuries as well, in some cases losing a limb.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Soldiers are at a disproportionately high risk of suffering head injuries that can result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries, unfortunately, often go unreported and undiagnosed, with veterans suffering from symptoms for months or years before getting adequate treatment. Suffice it to say that anyone who suffers a serious head injury should be examined to make sure they have not suffered a TBI.
- Bullet and shrapnel wounds
- These sorts of injuries are primarily seen in veterans who have seen combat, although mishaps elsewhere can also lead to bullet and shrapnel wounds. While some people manage to heal with minimal problems, some veterans suffer from the effects for years. In some cases, a veteran with disabilities may simply need to live with shrapnel or bullet fragments in their bodies, due to being unable to operate and remove them.
- Exposure to environmental hazards
- In recent years, people have spoken more about the danger of burn pits and other environmental hazards in the military. These hazards often contain toxic chemicals that can injure or sicken people that are exposed to them. However, even those who do not feel sick in the short term may suffer in the long term, and many veterans suffer from cancer and other disabilities resulting from chemical exposure.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- While not an “injury” in the conventional sense, PTSD is a major cause of veteran disabilities for soldiers of all types. This is most common among combat veterans, as well as victims of sexual assault, who often come away suffering from the psychological effects of what they suffered. Unfortunately, many veterans suffer in silence, and do not seek the help they need to deal with their trauma.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.