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Articles Posted in Traumatic Brain Injury

A lawsuit was recently filed after a police officer ran an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) into two pedestrians that were walking along the beach in Florida, one of which suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys found this lawsuit particularly interesting because the lawsuit alleges that the police officer responsible was on-duty at the time of the accident and had been served alcohol all night at a local hotel. According to Fox News, the lawsuit names both the hotel and the officer as defendants and the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the victim who is still in serious condition and is likely to require years of rehabilitation.

The police department fired the cop responsible for the accident immediately following the accident and the officer also faces criminal charges for driving under the influence as his blood alcohol count was reported to over the legal driving limit for Florida even five hours after the accident. The police department also stated that they will look into whether police officers are being served while on duty regularly and try to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. The lawsuit also alleges that the hotel that was named as defendant was known to serve on duty police officers. The hotel will not discuss the lawsuit other than to say that they did not serve any alcohol to the officer while he was on duty that night. The representative of the victim says that they plan to sue the City of Miami Beach as well, but state law requires a six month waiting period to sue the city so that lawsuit has not yet been filed.

One victim of the accident suffered only minor physical injuries, but the woman who the lawsuit is filed on behalf of suffered physical injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury. The brain injury has left her with memory loss, trouble concentrating, partial paralysis and difficulty speaking. These types of injuries are common with a brain injury, and often require years and years of painful recovery and can end up costing millions in damages. Since our brains control who we are, brain injuries can often be as devastating long term, and sometimes even more devastating, to a family than physical injuries because they can change the personality of the person injured. Given how much a brain injury can affect the victim permanently and affect their family, damages other than just medical costs associated with the accident are often sought to try to help and compensate for all that has been lost. In this accident, the victim is the mother of a one year old baby and it is unknown when she will be able to care for the baby again.

Our Illinois injury attorneys recently read a report on CtPost.com about a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 14 year old girl who sustained a traumatic brain injury and memory loss after being struck in the head during her high school gym class. The injury occurred as a result of being struck in the head with a tennis ball during a gym class game of “tennis/baseball.” The game required that the students play baseball with the use of a tennis racquet and tennis ball in replacement of a bat and a baseball. The plaintiff contends that in a game that consisted of both upper and under-classman, the batter hit the ball as hard as he could –ultimately striking the plaintiff in the head causing severe brain injury.

The young woman’s neuropsychologist confirms that the 14 year old did indeed suffer traumatic brain injury including: permanent damage to the right hemisphere of the brain, persistent post concussion syndrome, contusion to the right eye, as well as, consistent headaches. In the lawsuit filed against the school district, the plaintiff is seeking $15,000 in damages to cover medical, hospital, and therapy expenses. The plaintiff’s lawyer asserts that school district’s gym teachers acted careless and negligent for allowing students to participate in such a dangerous game in the small confinement of half a gymnasium.

An injury to the brain of any sort can prove to be traumatic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury occurs when an injury to the head disrupts normal brain function. These sorts of traumatic brain injuries can range from “mild” being a brief change of mental status or conscious – or “severe” being an extensive phase of unconsciousness after the injury to the brain. The CDC confirms that a traumatic brain injury can cause many short term, as well as, long term effects. These effects vary from changes affecting memory, reasoning, communication, and even personality changes.

Our Chicago injury lawyers know that with the summer months upon us, one of the most popular outdoor activities during this scorching season is to take a dip in a swimming pool. Whether you own one yourself or visit your local community pool, it is a great way for people of all ages to have fun in the sun. Regrettably, sometimes this fun could turn fatal or cause serious brain injury if proper pool safety precautions are ignored.

While not all swimming pool-related accidents result in fatalities, another common injury that may result is a traumatic brain injury. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stoke, a traumatic brain injury is defined as a form of acquired brain injury that results when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. This kind of brain injury can result when the head suddenly, as well as, violently hits an object – or when an object enters the skull and punctures the brain. Pool related brain injuries can result from diving accidents, or even from slip-and-fall accidents that result around pools. Diving is one of the most common causes for neck, spinal, and brain injuries in pools. According to EnjoySwimming.com, a diver can sustain these types of injuries when diving into a too-shallow pool, diving into water they are unfamiliar with, as well as, using incorrect techniques. Injuries, such as those to the brain, may quickly result if a diver fails to heed caution that results in a collision with pool walls.

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys strongly recommend that people of all ages use the utmost caution during these summer months. Tragic swimming pool related injuries can arise from any situation and we strongly recommend using the proper pool safety provided by PoolSafely.gov. It is encouraged that; adults should always pay close attention to their children and be alert while they are in and around the pool, teach children basic water safety tips, and finally install proper equipment and markings for their residential pool to prevent any accidents.

Many community members are aware that backyard trampolines have been particularly popular over the past several years. Starting in the 1990s, many families began getting these pieces of exercise and recreational equipment, often for their children to enjoy. Lately locations similar to amusement parks have begun sprouting up based on entire rooms filled with trampolines. These “trampoline parks” first gained popularity on the West Coast and are now scattered in a few areas in the Midwest, including Chicagoland. These parks are often in warehouses and include trampolines scattered in a checkerboard fashion across the facility.

A recent report in the Chicago Tribune about these trampoline parks explained the growing popularity of these locations as well as concerns being raised about their safety. Some safety advocates are arguing that these parks pose an unacceptable risk of participants suffering a Chicago brain injury. A Carol Stream based trampoline park has had an ambulance called 16 times since the facility opened in November. One of those victims was a 13-year old girl who fell on her head, reported tingling in her arms, had difficulty breathing, and was eventually discovered to have fractured her neck.

In the last two decades at least 11 people have been killed in trampoline accidents. But a staggering 100,000 trampoline injuries are reported each year nationwide. In fact, Central DuPage Hospital has already reported that they have seen a noticeable increase in traumatic injuries since the nearby park opened, including broken legs, arms, and a head injury.

Currently, Illinois state agencies do not regulate these parks as they do other amusement parks. The Department of Labor explains that only facilities that have moving apparatus are under the regulatory guidelines of the state. In their stead the regulation of these spaces is often done by local governments which frequently have little oversight of the process.
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The Roanoke Times recently reported on a lawsuit filed against a nationally recognized university for inadequate facilities and lack of supervision after a 15 year old sustained a traumatic brain injury playing basketball at a summer camp hosted by the university.

The camper’s parents are suing the university and the organization who organized the camp for $2.5 million. The camper’s family incurred large medical bills as a result of his injuries and although, the camper has recovered, he is still at risk for future injuries and other health issues.

According to the lawsuit, the 15 year old suffered a brain injury when he was thrown from the court during a game and struck his head on a wall. The parents of the child are claiming that the wall should have been properly padded. To read more about this brain injury lawsuit, follow the link.

Unfortunately, sports related brain injuries are not uncommon. According to the medical journal, Pediatrics, 375,000 children and teenagers are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for basketball-related injuries. Four percent of those injuries involved head trauma. Follow the link to learn more about this brain injury study.

Basketball is not the only sport where players are at risk for brain injuries. According to Pediatrics, basketball only accounted for 9 percent of all sports related concussions among youths. Football, soccer, hockey, and baseball are all sports where players are at high risk for brain injuries caused by head trauma. Click on the link in order to learn more about sports related brain injuries.
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The Seattle Times recently reported on a $10 million settlement in favor of a man who is now paralyzed after he sustained a traumatic brain injury.

The incident occurred on May 10, 2009 when the victim was being chased by two men who turned out to be deputies for the county. During the incident, the victim was thrown into a wall by one of the deputies causing catastrophic brain injuries. The victim is unable to speak and will be bedridden for the remainder of his life. The $10 million settlement will not only help pay for future medical expenses but it was also aid the victim’s family as they deal with the financial and emotional consequences.

According to the IBIA (International Brain Injury Association), one million Americans are treated and released from hospital emergency departments as a result of traumatic head injury each year. The symptoms of someone suffering from traumatic brain injury vary and can develop and change over time. Symptoms of traumatic brain injury also range in severity from blurred vision to inability to perform motor functions.

Most traumatic brain injuries are caused by head trauma. Recently, a Chicago area woman suffered a severe brain injury in a sledding accident. The medical community is also constantly working to improve this area of medicine. A recent study on brain injuries suggested that certain behaviors, such as consuming fish oils, may protect the brain against injury.
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A high school senior from San Marcos, California has been in a permanent vegetative state since his 2007 brain injury. The high school senior, who played football for the high school, suffered a traumatic brain injury after collapsing during a school football game. Evidence in a pending lawsuit against the school district suggests that the school was aware of the student’s health problems and that his injury could have been avoided.

An assistant student trainer at the school has come forward and stated that the senior football player had complained to the school’s athletic trainer about headaches in the days before his injury.

Under oath, the assistant student trainer stated in a deposition that the injured senior complained about severe headaches to the school’s athletic trainer and had even skipped a few practices the week before his injury. The assistant student trainer also stated that, on the day of the game, the injured senior asked the school’s athletic trainer if he could sit out for the first part of the game. According to the student trainer, the injured student even told the athletic trainer that he was having trouble seeing the football.

The assistant student trainer also claims that the school’s athletic trainer brought these health concerns to the head coach of the football team. Regardless of these warning, the coach had the senior play right away. He collapsed 45 minutes into the game.

For more on this story, please visit the San Diego Union Tribune.

While the cause of the senior’s brain injury is unreleased, trauma, such as a concussion or contusion, is one of the leading causes of PVS (permanent vegetative state). According to the Times, high school football players suffer 43,000 to 67,000 concussions per year.
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The Quad City Times recently reported on a trial involving an injured plumber. A Scott County jury recently awarded a couple in Coal Valley, Illinois $3.6 million in a brain injury lawsuit.

In 2006, a plumber was working in a trench as sewer and water service was being installed for a home under construction in Davenport. The trench collapsed when a skid loader drove too close. Rescue efforts successful dug the unconscious plumber out of the collapsed trench but the plumber suffered permanent brain damage in the work related accident.

The skid loader was being operated by an employee of Alliance Concrete Construction LLC of Davenport, Illinois. At trial, the injured worker and his wife were seeking damages from Alliance for lost wages and past and future medical expenses.

During the trial, the plumber’s wife took the witness stand and testified about dramatic changes in her husband’s behavior since his accident. She testified that since his brain injury, her husband suffers from severe nightmares that have caused the couple to sleep in separate beds at night.

The jury awarded the wife $300,000 for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries.

The defense attorney for Alliance argued at trial that the injured worker was at least partially responsible for his own injury because he failed to use a trench box and other safety precautions. The jury found the plumber 40 percent at fault. As a result of the plumber’s own negligence, he was awarded $1.8 million of his $3.6 million verdict. In Illinois, if an injured party is partially at fault for his or her injuries, then the total recovered amount may be reduced in proportion to the degree that the injured party was at fault.

For the full article on this brain injury case, see the Quad City Times.
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ABC News followed up on a brain injury case in Northern California where a man was awarded $6.4 million after being injured while getting on the bus in April of 2008.

The case involved a disabled man who was injured while being lifted onto a bus in Roseville, California. As he loaded the bus, his wheelchair rolled backwards off the ramp. The man fell 6 feet and hit his head, causing severe brain injury.

The city’s public transportation company was ordered to pay 83% of the $6.4 million verdict, while the city was ordered to pay the remaining 17%.

Falls on public transportation can be the result of improper safety measures. In Chicago, many of the city’s buses and trains are operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are among the three main causes of brain injury in the United States and they are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury among people 65 and older.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1.4 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year in the United States and about 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries.
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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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