Articles Tagged with TBI

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Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys / Blackwell Law FirmLast week I wrote about Coup-Contrecoup brain injuries. You can read my post at Traumatic Brain Injury:  Coup and Contrecoup Brain Injuries Explained. We frequently see Coup-Contrecoup traumatic brain injuries in car accidents. Today, I’m writing about another TBI issue. This time the subject is Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI). We sometimes see diffuse axonal injuries in very severe car accidents. We’ve also seen these injuries in some severe industrial and construction accident cases. So, what is a Diffuse Axonal Injury?

Normally, I write a few TBI articles every March. Why March? That month is designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month by public health groups. Throughout March, advocacy groups try and shed light on an important issue that is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. We’ve seen many TBI issues, including the struggles of loved ones to help a suffering family member. So, March is a great time to talk about these important issues.

Why not wait until March to write these recent articles? Honestly, I read a blog post published by a ghostwriter for a local Alabama law firm that simply listed types of accidents and types of diagnoses. While the article’s title offered advice on TBIs and car accidents, the text offered little but keyword lists for search. I think articles should offer some real information or opinion. So, I decided to actually discuss the diagnoses listed by that firm. Let’s provide some real and helpful information!

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BLackwell-Law-Firm-300x300Last week, I read a page on another law firm’s website asking, What You Should Know About Car Accidents And Brain Trauma. The title peaked my interest! But, the article really disappointed. Like so many other lawyer pages, it was mostly a long list of different types of accidents and different medical conditions. Short on substance! Stuffed with key words to capture search traffic! It worked – I stopped and clicked. The article provided no real information and suggested the reader call the lawyers. I’d rather have a real discussion with some real answers.

I’ve written several past articles discussing specific traumatic brain injury (TBI) topics, including the evaluation, treatment and presentation of these injuries. You can find many of my prior articles on this blog. My goal is to provide helpful information. So, I thought I would write today about a specific type of brain injury:  Coup-Contrecoup Injuries. Many people have never heard those terms. But, these injuries are common in serious accidents.

What Are Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

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Alabama Premises Liability InjuryEarlier this week, I read an article about a lady in another state who suffered a serious head injury from falling merchandise in her local Walmart store. You can read the article at Lawsuit Says TV Fell On Woman. While this lady was a customer, falling merchandise is a danger to both customers and other store employees.

Over the years, we’ve represented numerous retail workers injured by falling merchandise. In many of those cases, we were fighting for work comp benefits due to serious head and upper body injuries. We’ve also represented numerous workers injured because a store required them to climb and retrieve merchandise at heights with little regard for safety. In both situations, merchandise stored or displayed at significant heights presents serious dangers. This presents a huge risk of traumatic brain injury to people. Many customers don’t realize this risk as they shop the aisles at our local stores.

Today, I’ll focus mainly on customers. Is falling merchandise a danger to innocent store customers? Yes, in many big box stores it is a serious issue. In recent years, I’ve prepared a case very similar to the one in the news article I mentioned at the beginning of this post. My case also involved falling merchandise at a Walmart. This Walmart was in Guntersville. My client suffered both traumatic head and shoulder injuries which left her significantly disabled. Because of her injuries, she required shoulder surgery. And, she suffered cognitive impairments from the traumatic brain injury. These accidents are often very serious. What is the problem with falling merchandise at big box retailers?

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Blackwell Law Firm -- Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersThe month of March is recognized as a time to promote awareness of brain injuries. Why do we focus on brain injuries?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases are different than other injuries. TBI victims often go undiagnosed and untreated. Emergency rooms are good at saving lives. However, they often ignore the signs and symptoms of a mild TBI. Later physicians may lack the experience or training to diagnose or treat a mild TBI. TBI victims are left to suffer in silence.

Many TBI victims also look “normal.” No scars. No casts. No assistive devices like wheelchairs. When you couple the often “normal” appearance with the lack of diagnosis, many of these patients are doubted or questioned about their symptoms. Yet, almost one-third of patients with a mild-TBI suffer long-term problems working and living.

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In the article “Getting Back on the Bike:  My Insurance-Driven Recovery,” a brain injury patient tells his recovery story. The patient, David, was riding his bicycle when a car struck him. In the years following his accident, David has healed from his physical injuries. Yet, he continues to suffer problems from his brain injury.

David’s story involves a life forever changed following a traumatic brain injury. It’s a story other head injury patients will understand.

Traumatic brain injuries affect many families. Many families have a loved one who suffers head injury problems from an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident or workplace accident. David’s story of healing reveals several common truths for brain injury patients. What are these common truths? They are:

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People suffering traumatic brain injury (TBI) can appear normal. TBI victims may look perfectly fine. That’s why this condition is often called the “invisible injury.” Because TBI victims can look fine on the outside, these injuries present many special challenges. Because TBI is an “invisible injury,” friends, family and even medical professionals often fail to understand the injury or support the victim. This leaves many TBI victims suffering largely in silence.

Brain injuries can cause many different cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems affecting relationships and work. In our law practice, we have seen many of these impacts on individuals, families and jobs. One ability sometimes impacted by brain injury is referred to as “Impartial third-party punishment (TPP).” TPP is the ability to judge the severity of conduct and assess reasonable punishment. People suffering this problem — are more prone to misjudge when faced with situations involving disputes or requiring discipline.

In the larger context, patients suffering an impairment in TPP may also struggle with evaluating the intentions of others around them as well as with making other rational judgments. As humans, we are required to make these rational judgments throughout the day. This ability is necessary to function in every family and in many jobs. That’s what makes this injury very serious. As the director of brain research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago says:

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March is brain injury awareness month. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can devastate entire families. Many times, the person suffering a brain injury looks fine. Yet, their personality, emotional state and cognitive function can be greatly affected. Some brain injury victims and their families struggle to cope with the changes in personality and mental ability. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths. Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.

In my law practice, I encourage family involvement in the healing and coping process. I also believe it essential for the injured person to see qualified medical specialists. Within the medical community, many healthcare professionals lack the training or experience necessary to understand these complex injuries. I’ve seen many cases where doctors initially ignored significant symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury.

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Blackwell Law Firm: Traumatic Brain Injury AttorneysTraumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability. What’s worse, these injuries often go untreated or unrecognized by medical professionals. Many medical professionals lack training in the evaluation of TBI symptoms. In workers’ compensation cases, insurance companies often ignore the problems or send the patient to doctors unable to provide treatment.

Insurance companies frequently choose their own short-term savings over the tremendous long-term costs of TBI to affected families and communities. Patients and their families should push for needed care as soon as possible. Early evaluation and rehabilitation may have a significant positive impact on recovery. Additionally, a lengthy delay in evaluation and diagnosis may make it much more difficult for health professionals to provide important opinions at trial establishing an accident as the cause of the injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following data:

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We represent numerous clients in traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases. These cases are unique. They are often complex. They require study and preparation. At our firm, we follow a unique approach that: (1) emphasizes current scientific research into TBI issues; and, (2) when possible, integrates the victim’s family into their care.

Outside of our cases, we continue to advocate for TBI issues. We highlight national brain injury awareness month each March. I regularly write and post TBI articles on my blog.

Today, I want to discuss one specific TBI issues — The refusal by some neuropsychologists to disclose their underlying data. Many TBI cases involve expert neuropsychologists. These are professionals with specialized training who conduct detailed tests to understand the problems a person suffers following a head trauma.

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