Articles Posted in Brain Injury Resources

When someone suffers a brain injury as the resut of the negligence of another, it seems obvious that they should be entitled to redress for their losses. However, the attorneys at our firm know well that, far from common sense solutions in these cases to ensure accountability and compensation, many parties–particularly big busineses–often do everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for their negligence. Sadly, the business community is usually motivated solely by self-interest, even if that means taking away the rights of others and advocating in a hypocritical manner.

Take, for example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As the nation’s premier advocacy group for business interests, the organization, unfortuantely, acts in ways that might be good for certain big businesses but terrible for the community as a whole. Recently, the American Association for Justice put together a slideshow that list ten different ways that the conduct of the Chamber harms the nation. Please click here to be taken to the full slideshow on the AAJ website.

Quickly glancing through the list is a helpful way to be reminded of some of the policy debates that continue to rage and that affect all of us. From the outset it is important to note that 55% of the funding for the entire national Chamber comes from just 16 mega-companies. While the entity claims to speak for both big and small businesses, the reality is that the vast majority of its work is geared toward advancing the interests of the largest, most profitable companies. Many of the local Chambers have cut ties with the national organization as a result of this reality.

No one expects a single household chore to end in serious, life-changing injury. However, the lawyers at our firm who work with those who suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) of all kinds understand that many simple actions can have deadly consequences. When it comes to TBIs that often involves falls that occur in and around the house.

For example, SF Gate reported on one man’s struggle to recover after suffering a brain injury. The 71-year old man was working outside of his house last October. He was on a ladder (in his words, a ladder that was “not very good”) when he accidentally fell. He hit his head hard of a rock after the fall. As a result of the fall he ultimately spent three full weeks in a coma. Fortunately, he eventually did wake up, but he was not unscathed. The year since the accident has been a long, drawn-out battle to get back to normal as much as possible

Brain Injury Recovery

It is never easy to deal with the aftermath of a tragedy. So many physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and psychological challenges are faced by local community members each and every day following accidents of all kinds. Perhaps the single most common accidents are those on our roadways-car, truck, motorcycle, bike, and pedestrian accidents strike frequently in Chicago and throughout the country. These accidents represent the single largest way that preventable brain injuries arise. No one is spared, victims including the elderly and our youngest children.

What makes the recovery process so difficult following one of these injuries is that often it lasts indefinitely. Sometimes life will never be the same following a brain injury. The best families can hope for is to get a bit close to perfect health each day.

But recovery following a brain injury requires resources. Those hurt need access to the best medical care, nursing support, equipment, education, and specialized therapy possible to give them the best shot at developing as much as they can. There remains a huge gap between the recovery outlook for those who receive the best care and those who receive merely the bare minimum to survive. When children are involved it is obvious that all parents should seek to ensure their child has access to all the resources they need to receive the best care available.

The Detroit Free Press shared a story this weekend on a new drug that is offering hope to those who have suffered various forms of brain injuries. Our Illinois brain injury attorneys appreciate that simple aids to help spur brain recovery or prevent long-term harm have long been sought after. As more information is being uncovered about how the brain actually works, medical experts are slowly figuring out ways to translate that knowledge into prevention and curative strategies.

The article on the new drug shares the story of one young woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the high-profile stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair last August. The thirty-year old was waiting for the musical show to start at the fair when high winds sent the stage crashing down. A part of the stage collapsed on the woman, crushing her skull. At first the woman’s family was not sure if she would survive. Shortly after the injury, while the woman was being operated on by neurosurgeons, the woman’ family was asked if they wanted to enroll her in an experimental trial for a drug in brain injury cases.

The family agreed.

Health Canal reported on an interesting new research study that caught the eye on a Chicago brain injury lawyer at our firm. The research effort looked at the rates of hospital use by children with various conditions. What they found, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that children with neurological impairments had particularly high hospital rates. The research effort was led by experts from the University of Utah and Harvard Medical School.

The overall results indicate that a particularly high proportion of inpatient hospitalizations in the county are made up of children with neurological impairments. The total data examined include 25 million pediatric hospitalizations-those with brain condition accounted for 5.2 percent of all hospitalizations and 20 percent of all hospital charges. These figures are much higher than would be expected based solely on the total number of children facing these conditions.

The data was published in last month’s issue of PLoS Medicine. Four different years were analyzed in the effort (1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006). In total, 1.3 million hospitalizations were required for children with neurological impairments. Over those years, there was actually a proportionally increasing use of specialty hospitals by those with the impairments. The most common impairments for those hospitalized were cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Last month an article was published in Neurosurgery-a leading medical research publication-on a new study which found an independent connection between brain damage and oxygen deprivation following a traumatic brain injury. The researchers explained how these injuries remain a leading cause of death, particularly among young people. Considering that younger community members are generally healthy, they are most likely to die in accidents like car crashes-traumatic brain injuries are often caused by those collisions.

The doctors explained that the consequences of these injuries are often made worse by damage that is delayed and develops hours to days after the actual injury. Doctors have long been working to better understand this secondary damage and figure out ways to prevent or minimize it. This new research has found that brain hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) is one of the causes of the harm. Therefore, there may be much to gain from pursuing strategies that minimize that hypoxia and return oxygen to the brain as soon as possible. For example, the researchers suggest that oxygen level monitoring should be conducted at the bedside of all victims of severe traumatic brain injuries. In that way, brain hypoxia may be diagnosed and corrected immediately when it arises, ultimately preventing irreversible brain damage. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys know that preventing the harm is of course the ideal, because there remains a significant difference in life for those who suffer some brain damage and severe brain damage.

The research published last month was the first to strongly suggest that this oxygen deprivation was an actual cause of the secondary damage, outside of other possible causes. Other research had suggested that hypoxia was seen when the damage occurred, but its causation had yet to be conclusively found. However, this latest work suggests that the effect of the hypoxia is independent of others-such as intracranial hypertension. The study which reached these conclusions involved the examination of 103 patients who has suffered traumatic brain injuries. All of the patients had various around-the-clock monitoring, including that which detects oxygen levels in the brain. The ultimate damage suffered by these victims was then measured and compared against others factors-such as their oxygen levels, intracranial hypertension, and cerebral perfusion pressure. Researchers found that damage seemed to be connected to the hypoxia outside of the possible other factors.

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers have repeatedly explained on this blog how every brain injury is unique, and the ultimate effects that it has on the lives of victims varies tremendously. When someone suffers a broken arm, it is pretty clear what the consequences will be. They will have limited use of the arm while it is in a cast, and they may have certain vulnerabilities in the arm depending upon its healing. However, in the vast majority of cases the harm and ultimate outcome with the broken bone is the same.

That is not the case with brain injuries.

Instead, victims who seemingly suffer similar head trauma may have wildly different consequences. Some may have temporary problems that return to normal soon. Others may have significant personality, memory, communication, and functioning problems that last indefinitely. In many ways, medical professionals are still in the early stages of understanding the mystery of the brain and the effect of brain injuries. However, seemingly every day new information is being uncovered by medical researchers that offers guidance on why certain brain injuries have different effects than others. Hopefully this new information will lead to a series of improvements in currently available treatments for these victims.

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers recently shared the results of new research that painted a somewhat depressing picture of the current ability of medical professionals to treat the complications that result from head trauma, oxygen deprivation, and other injuries that cause brain trouble. The complexity of the brain continues to befuddled our top-notch medical experts who are working to figure out new ways to help patients who have suffered brain injuries. The lack of proper treatment for many victims, means that the consequences are quite high for those who suffer brain trauma.

While many experts have reported on the lack of proper treatment, this week came with a bit of good news, as medical experts released results which indicate some progress in treating these injuries. As reported in Physician’s Weekly, a new study has found that patients taking cholesterol-lowering statins to treat their brain injuries were found much more likely to survive when compare with those who did not take the drug. The research project was conducted by experts at Johns Hopkins and was published in The Journal of Trauma this month.

Statins are a class of drug for cholesterol that works by inhibiting an enzyme that is involved in the production of cholesterol. The research team analyzed senior patients who had moderate to severe brain damage and found that within that group those who were taking statins were much more likely to survive. The only exception was for those who had documented heart disease-those patients were not found to have the same statin benefit.

Brain injuries can occur from a large variety of events and may result from an incident where the victim suffers a blow to the head, but also may result from an incident where the victim is injured but the injury is not to the head itself but the overall damage to the victim causes brain damage. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys have helped out victims, and their families, of all types of brain injury receive compensation for these brain injuries when they were caused by the negligence of another. The person causing the injury could have been a doctor that failed to act appropriately given the situation, could be a stranger to the victim that caused an accident in which the victim was injured, could be an employer that allowed conditions to get to a point where the victim was injured on the job, or could be anyone else that acted in a way where their negligence led to the victim’s injury.

One specific type of brain injury is referred to as a traumatic brain injury. This encompasses brain injuries that the victim acquires during their life (not ones they are born with) and refers to those injuries where either an object pierces the skull and enters into the brain, or where the victim’s head strikes or is stricken by an object. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke‘s website, the term traumatic brain injury does not only refer to severe and permanent brain injuries that were caused by a piercing or a striking, but also refers to minor injuries associated with this type of injury.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury to your head and maintained consciousness, or felt that the symptoms were not severe enough to worry about, you may still have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Other symptoms may include headaches, confusions, dizziness, lethargy, memory problems, blurred vision, as well as a range of other similar symptoms. So even if you feel that your injury may not be too severe, if you are experiencing these symptoms it is best to see a doctor to check you out and make sure that you are okay. Often times with traumatic brain injuries the victim will need surgery to remove ruptured blood vessels or bruised brain tissue, so please check with your doctor if you think you may have suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

According to PRWeb, a jury verdict awarded $12.2 million in damages to Emily Liou, a San Mateo County 17 year old who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car-pedestrian accident. The accident occurred on March 28, 2006, as Emily was walking home. She had just left her friends after singing Karaoke. As she was crossing El Camino Real in a marked crosswalk, a woman with her child driving a Toyota sedan, struck Emily knocking her to the ground. The resulting injuries left Emily in a permanent vegetative state.

According to her attorney, “Emily was struck in a marked crosswalk located at the crest of a rise in the road, which does not come into view until a driver is about 100 feet away. Additionally, the crosswalk is located at an ‘uncontrolled’ intersection, meaning that there are no lights or stop signs controlling vehicular traffic. El Camino Real, which Caltrans (the California Department of Transportation) calls State Route 82, is among the busiest roads on the peninsula.”

Discovery during the case produced the following information — within the past 15 years, three other pedestrians had been killed in the same crosswalk. The trial lasted four weeks. The jury found that the California Department of Transportation was 50% at fault and divided the remaining fault between the driver (30%) and Emily (20%).

According to Brainandspinalcord.org, brain injuries 20% of traumatic brain injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents. In addition, 15-24 year olds face the highest risk of traumatic brain injuries due to vehicle accidents.
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