Articles Posted in Traumatic Brain Injury

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is likely the nation’s most famous traumatic brain injury victim. The tragic attack that caused her injury as well as her public recovery has led many Americans to truly see the impact of these injuries first-hand. Of course our Chicago brain injury lawyers know that this publicity is incredibly helpful as a way to focus attention on a problem that plagues hundreds of thousands of community members every year. Just last week the First Lady announced a large new initiative which seeks to provide increasing resources to medical professionals who are working both to prevent and treat traumatic brain injuries. If these trends continue hopefully very important advances can be made to actually help improve the lives of victims.

Yet, with all the publicity surrounding Congresswoman Giffords’s situation, many observers might get the wrong impression about the resources available to other brain injury victims-those without the platform, publicity, or resources of Giffords. The sad truth is that many (most) victims of traumatic brain injury have nowhere near the quality of care provided to the Congresswoman. In the aftermath of the tragedy the very best brain injury care was provided to Giffords. Then, in the weeks and months after the event, the top of the line full spectrum of treatment, rehabilitation, and therapies have been provided which have allowed her to make what seems to be a miraculous recovery. She still faces many challenges, particularly when it comes to communication, but it is unmistakable that she has made progress that no one would have thought possible from someone who received a gunshot to the head only a year earlier.

Now Congresswoman Giffords is taking her experience to the public policy arena by championing proper brain injury treatments for all those in similar situations. She fully understands that most community members do not have nearly he access that she does to prolonged, quality treatment and therapy. Instead, as so many local families have explained to our brain injury lawyers, insurance companies usually only cover the bare minimum of stabilization care. Few families are able to secure permanent therapy which, as Congresswoman Giffords case shows, is absolutely essential to allowing an injured brain to recover as much as possible.

Our Chicago injury lawyers were shocked last summer when word spread about the horrific stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. The popular country music duo Sugarland was set to perform in South Bend last August at the outdoor venue, and a large group had gathered near the stage and in the bleachers in anticipation of the show. Tragically, due to high winds, the temporary stage on which the concert was supposed to take place collapsed before the show began. The results were catastrophic. Four people were killed, including Illinois residents, and at least forty four others were injured-many of them seriously. Many of those hurt suffered serious brain injuries in the tragedy. Traumatic brain injuries are common in accidents such as this, which involve large heavy objects making contact with the head of the victim.

Expectedly, at least fifty different plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against various defendants in the aftermath of this tragedy. For example, one twenty-one year old victim filed a brain injury lawsuit after she was hurt in the event. The young woman spent several days on a ventilator, broke her collarbone, broke several ribs, punctured a lung, and suffered brain trauma after being hit by falling stage equipment. The victim is still undergoing therapy and admits that her road to recovery is a long one.

Many other legal actions have been commenced by the various individuals hurt in the accident and the families of those killed. When large scale accidents like this occur, there are quite a few tricky legal issues to sort through. For one thing, many different defendants are usually named, because there are usually multiple acts of negligence which leads to the harm. For example, in this case, there are at least thirteen named defendants. Those defendants include the band itself, the state government which put on the fair, the companies involved in building the stage, promoting the event, and various others.

Brain injury victims and their families need support. In ways that cannot be compared with other injuries, the victims of head trauma often have their lives turned upside down, affecting all those around them. It is one thing to suffer broken bones, cuts, or other problems that have physical consequences for the victim. It is another to suffer mental problems such as changes in memory, personality, communication, and other life skills. It is not an exaggeration to say that many families have reported that their loved one often seems like a “different person” after their injury. The changes can be tough to deal with, and as with other tough situations, it is often helpful to have the support and camaraderie of others who have gone through the same thing.

But, as our Chicago brain injury attorneys have previously discussed, it is often difficult for the victims of these injuries to find the resources they need to help deal with the situation. Support groups are few and far between. That is why our Chicago injury lawyers were pleased to read this week in the Meridian Booster about one brain injury support group that is recently celebrating its Twenty Fifth Anniversary. The Lloydminster and Area Brain Injury Society (LABIS) gathered this week to honor the occasion-marking a quarter century of providing support to victims of these injuries and their families.

According to the report, 60 people made it to the event, which featured a keynote address by one brain injury victim who explained the multitude of challenges he has had to overcome since his injury. The current executive director of the organization was also honored for her ten years of service to the group. One of the brain injury support group’s founders was on hand to receive an award as well. It was explained that the founders started the body after having family members who suffered head trauma. The duo began running a recreation program for all those in the area who had suffered brain injuries. Initially the organization provided these services once a week. However, the popularity of the activities continues to grow, and now the group provides three days of recreational activities every week. These activities are free for participants and funded by government grants and fundraising. Besides helping the injury victims, the programs are also intended to provide respite for the victim’s caregivers.

The Mail-Tribune reported late last week on a new brain injury lawsuit that has been filed by the mother of a teen athlete following a football head injury. According to reports, the mother claims that her son was playing in a junior varsity football game for the local high school when he suffered a concussion. The boy, a sophomore at the time, was hit hard in the first quarter and then again in the second quarter. The teen was shaken up by the incident. He told his coaches that he thought he had suffered a concussion. However, those charged with looking out for the player’s health-coaches and administrators-failed to act appropriately in response to the injury. They were playing their cross-town rivals and did not want to lose their player, so the boy’s coaches sent him back into the game. He was told to “try to stick it out.”

Eventually, after going back into the game, the player was hit hard again. This time as he was going back to the sidelines he collapsed and began to have seizures. He also began to vomit. An ambulance was called and the child was rushed to a nearby hospital. He had suffered a serious sports head injury. When he arrived at the medical center he was sent to intensive care and eventually placed in a medically induced coma. As a result of the trouble the now seventeen-year old teen suffered severe brain damage. He had suffered multiple concussions, including a “Grade 3” concussion. He also was diagnosed with post-concussive prolonged seizures, cognitive changes, sensitivity to light, vertigo, headaches, and a variety of other daily symptoms. Doctors have repeatedly explained that the overall injuries are permanent and will have a lifelong impact on his life.

The suit filed by the victim’s mother following the incident alleges that the involved coaches were negligent in failing to recognize the boy’s injury and demanding his removal from the game. At the very least, claims the suit, the coaches could have had the child examined by the qualified athletic trainer that was on the field and available at the time of the injury.

Sadly, accidents like this continue to happen, even though awareness of the dangers of concussions has increased steadily. No longer can coaches and administrators claim that they simply didn’t know that a child suffered a concussion. Particularly in sports where there is contact-like football, hockey, soccer, boxing, and others-it is incumbent upon coaches and administrators to ensure proper screening procedures are in place so that those injured received the treatment and rest they need.
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Our Illinois brain injury lawyers know that besides being one of the most dangerous injuries to sustain, head trauma can also be difficult to detect. Unlike other types of harm that are immediately identifiable, many brain injuries are not readily apparent. The brain injuries can cause deterioration over time if not treated. Fortunately, there continue to be new medical advances that allow professionals to detect these earlier and provide treatment to prevent further harm. It is vital for all those in a position to prevent, identify, and or treat these injuries to do everything in their power to do so.

Market Watch reported on the new Illinois brain injury lawsuit which we previously discussed that suggests the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) may be failing to protect players from suffering head injuries and getting the medical help that they need. The class-action lawsuit specifically alleges that the NCAA is neglecting its duty to protect college football players from concussions. The complaint filed this week in the case claims that the governing body of the NCAA has not done enough to discourage coaches from teaching tackling methods using the head and failing to screen for head injuries. In addition, the class-action lawsuit claims that the NCAA was failing to provide necessary financial support to those players who need medical assistance after they leave school.

We have long-reported on the steady stream of evidence that concussions occur much more frequently than many believe, and that many of the head injuries are never detected. High school and college athletes in certain high-impact sports-like football-are particularly likely to suffer concussions. When not detected, and therefore not properly treated, the long-term consequences can be severe. For example, experts have linked the head trauma to permanent brain damage, depression, early-onset Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other conditions.

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys are excited to hear that the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center has started using a new brain injury machine that was designed to help diagnose and help treat traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic brain injuries. This new machine uses a combination of MRI scanning and PET scanning which can show any problems or anything that is abnormal (MRI) and then check on the metabolic activity of any of these problems (PET), and this new machine is called a Biograph mMR. The ability to determine if something is wrong in the victim’s brain and what the problem in the brain is doing can greatly help doctors figure out what exactly is wrong with a patient and help determine what the best next step should be in order to help the patient recover as fully as possible. The goal is to help doctors diagnose more quickly, hopefully catching certain problems very early on. According to Next Gov, this new machine and technology are also safer than other forms of traumatic brain injury treatments.

This new device was recently approve by the Food and Drug Administration and has just recently started to be used to help patients. In addition to helping with traumatic brain injuries, the machine also aims to help with the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The ability to help out with post-traumatic stress disorder is hopefully something that can be used to help with troops that have suffered from this problem, and to help them get better.

Traumatic brain injuries are often times caused by a fall or a hit to the head or some other incident that causes the brain to be jarred and hit into the skull. This type of brain injury may be slight or may be very severe. Traumatic brain injuries can be permanent and can require a great deal of medical care and rehabilitation for the victim of the injury. The hope with this new machine is that with certain traumatic brain injury cases the doctor may be able to better understand what exactly was happened and what exactly is wrong, and hopefully the victims may be able to recover more fully from their injury if more is understood about what is wrong.

Our brain injury attorneys were interested to learn about a case in which a professional baseball player has been sued by his friend after the friend fell off of the player’s back deck at his house and suffered from severe physical injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury. According to The Houston Chronicle, the brain injury lawsuit names not only the baseball player, who plays for the Atlanta Braves, but also names the building contractor and the home inspector as parties. The personal injury lawsuit alleges that the negligence on the part of some or all of the parties made the deck railing unsafe for people to lean against, and in turn led the victim to suffer all of the physical injuries that he did.

The victim in this brain injury lawsuit was friendly with the player and was over at his house and was hanging out on the deck, which was on the second story of the house. He claims to have leaned on the railing and fallen through the railing, and fell around fifteen feet to the concrete ground. As a result of this fall, the man suffered the traumatic brain injury, and other physical injuries including fractures to his spine. The victim alleges in the lawsuit that the fall would not have happened if the railing had been installed properly and therefore that all of his injuries are because of the negligence on the part of someone responsible for the building of the house, the deck, and the railing.

Traumatic brain injuries are brain injuries that occur from some type of event, where the head is hit or jarred. This type of injury is different from a brain birth injury or a brain injury that is the result of an illness. Traumatic brain injuries are typically associated with a traumatic event, often times a fall, like in this specific personal injury lawsuit. A traumatic brain injury could result in all different types of physical issues for the victim, and depends on what part of the brain was affected, and upon how serious the injury was to the head that led to the brain injury. Depending on the severity of the traumatic brain injury, the recovery process may vary. In very serious cases, the victim may face a lifetime of therapy and recovery. In this type of personal injury case, the medical bills may be very high and many victims have trouble covering these costs, especially since they may be unable to work as a result of the severe head injuries.

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.

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys, Steven Levin and Margaret Battersby, recently reached a $17.7 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered severe brain damage as a patient at a Chicago hospital. The client is a former police officer who was in the hospital as a result of an injury that he suffered while on the job. The client was hospitalized in the neurosurgical unit of the hospital for his head injuries, and because of negligent nursing care while in the unit he suffered further serious brain damage that caused him to suffer from quadriplegia.

The brain injury lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of the nurses who were in charge of caring for our client. Hospital staff did not properly monitor our client’s intracranial pressure during a test of a drain that was in place to drain the excess fluid build-up following his stroke from his initial injury. As a result of this failure, his intracranial pressure rose to dangerous levels, but his physician was not notified by the nurses of the increase in pressure until the damage had already been done. As a result of this delay, he suffered an irreparable brain injury.

The brain injury lawsuit was filed in 2005. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys reached a settlement days before this case went to trial. With this brain injury settlement although the victim will never be fully compensated for what has been done to him, the compensation will allow him to receive lifetime medical care and will enable his family to purchase advanced assistive technology to help him communicate.
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Our Illinois personal injury attorneys were sad to hear about an Illinois motorcycle accident, which left one passenger dead and two others seriously injured. The motorcycle accident occurred this past weekend when one motorcycle attempted to make a u-turn and struck another motorcycle that was heading in the other direction. The drivers of both motorcycles were injured, and the passenger of the motorcycle suffered serious brain injuries. According to the State Journal-Register, none of the riders were wearing helmets at the time of the motorcycle accident and the young woman that died as a result of her injuries suffered severe head injuries after she was thrown of the motorcycle during the accident.

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys strongly encourage all motorcycle drivers and riders to always wear a helmet whenever they are on a motorcycle. Given the danger of severe head injuries in a motorcycle accident, the importance of wearing a helmet is very high, and wearing a helmet will hopefully keep tragedies like this from occurring again. Though the state of Illinois unfortunately does not require helmets when driving or riding on a motorcycle, it is something that each motorcycle driver or passenger should definitely choose to do themselves anytime they get on a motorcycle. While you or a loved one may feel that you are very safe on a motorcycle and will not get into an accident and therefore do not need a helmet, it is important to realize that not everyone else out there on the road may be as careful, cautious, and skilled of a driver and could cause an accident that you may be unable to avoid.

Unfortunately, the overall usage of helmets has been decreasing greatly in recent years and a 2010 study showed that only 54% of drivers and passengers wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. This incredibly low percentage of helmet usage even includes those states where wearing a helmet is required to ride a motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as of 2010 only 20 states and the District of Columbia required helmets on motorcyclists. It is upsetting that so many states do not require helmets, because helmets can offer so much protection when a person is thrown off of a motorcycle and can protect against traumatic brain injuries and even against fatalities.

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