Assessment of such cases requires attorneys and intake staff to understand the basic aspects of the medicine behind such injuries, the sympotomolgy that often accompanies these injuries, as well as to recognize how to develop the damages in the case. One key aspect in evaluation of a PCS case is the understanding that the potential client may not be able to aid in recognizing or developing your understanding of the injury the he or she has sustained. As a result of their injuries, PCS clients are generally unaware that they have sustained a closed head injury nor do they appreciate the impact of the injury upon their lives. In many cases the consequences of such an injury are quite subtle and difficult to detect in casual conversation.
Paralysis is a common symptom from a traumatic brain injury following an auto or motorcycle accident. I have represented clients over the years who have suffered paralysis resulting from a head injury. Sadly, this condition can have a devastating effect on one’s life.
Hemiplegia is a complete paralysis of one side of the body; hemiparesis is a partial paralysis.
Concussions and closed head injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries, are common injuries following an auto or motorcycle accident. I have represented many clients over the years with these types of injuries and they can have a substantial effect on one’s life and cognitive abilities.
Classic concussion is defined as a brief and reversible coma occurring at the time of a trauma to the head. This type of concussion is always accompanied by some degree of retrograde and post-traumatic amnesia (anterograde amnesia). Neurological changes, such as slowed heart rate (bradycardia), dilated pupils, and sometimes even brief seizure-like episodes, are also associated with it. By definition, classic concussion always implies a transient loss of, or very signifi cant alteration of, consciousness and awareness.
There is little doubt based on safety studies that vehicle airbags offer protection against severe injuries in automobile collisions; that said, the deployment of airbags during a crash can also in and of itself cause injuries – albeit in a vast majority of cases, those injuries were classified as minor. So while data reveals that airbag deployment can cause injuries – most often to the face, upper extremities and torso – those injuries should be considered in the context of the more serious injuries that the deployed airbag prevented.
Studies have found that the eye area is especially prone to airbag injury, moreso if the party wears glasses. Such injuries include retinal detachment, lens ruptures and orbital fractures. Also, when the airbag deploys it releases chemicals which can be injurious to the eyes. Children seated in front are at risk of eye injuries due to height/position. However vulnerable the eye/face area appears to airbag injuries, studies have consistently shown that airbag deployment reduces the risk of skull fractures.
SPECT (Single-photon emission tomography) imaging is emerging as a necessary tool in the evaluation and treatment of patients with TBI (traumatic brain injury) based on results of a recent study. One of the reasons is the imaging provides greater ability to detect lesions than MRI and CT imaging, which remain valuable diagnostic tools to identify acute damage to the structures of the brain.
The difference with SPECT is that it can show dynamic information and show functional deficits…deficits that standard imaging such as MRI and CT do not reveal. Given the difficulties of obtaining a definitive TBI diagnosis, especially in mild cases, SPECT can offer valuable information in conjunction with neuropsychological testing.
The wet and cold weather of winter brings with it slippery walking surfaces and fall hazards. There are many types of injuries common to a fall – some are relatively minor but some can be life-threatening or even fatal, especially to an older individual.
For those 65 and older, falls are the most frequent case of nonfatal as well as fatal injuries, and most fractures suffered by older adults are caused by falls. Falls are also the most common cause of head injuries. Seniors who have suffered a previous fall may become fearful of activity and lead a more sedentary lifestyle. The potential for falls as we age carries with it far-ranging consequences.
The days are getting shorter and cooler, and we here in Sacramento are hoping for lots of rain this winter to help our drought. In addition to thinking about warmer clothing, hearty soups and umbrellas, it is a good time to be aware of winter safety tips as well. One of the dangers of wet, and especially icy, weather that is often not discussed in our generally mild climate, is the risk of falling.
Wet surfaces often mean slippery surfaces. One of the danger zones during wet weather can be the entrance to an office building or store, where the water, dirt and oil from visitors’ wet shoes is deposited, creating a slick and hazardous walking area. It can be difficult to maintain one’s footing in such an area. Often, but certainly not always, businesses will put up signs to create awareness of the hazard. It is important to be aware and careful of the walking surface on wet days, but often we are rushing around and do not always remember to step cautiously. Certain types of flooring are more prone to cause slipping. Marble, ceramic and other smooth tiles are key offenders.
A JAMA study published in January concluded that people that have sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBI) were more likely to experience a premature death, which is defined as dying before 56 years of age.
The researchers followed everyone born in 1954 and later in Sweden that had been treated medically (outpatient or inpatient) for TBI between the years of 1969 and 2009. The total number of people followed under these criteria was 218,300. The researchers looked at death rates at least six months after the brain injury and were compared with the general population. The study also considered the death rates of siblings of people within the study.
Neuropsychologists are scientists with advanced training in detecting injuries to the brain and how such injuries affect an injured person.
While most people believe neurologists are the experts of choice in dealing with brain injury, this is seldom the case. Neurologists are helpful in detecting and treating some serious brain injuries, and CT-Scans and MRI’s can also be useful, but most of the time the neuropsychologist does the heavy lifting in brain injury cases.