Easton Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
After an Accident, Learn Your Options with an Easton Brain Injury Attorney
Generally speaking, the majority of traumatic brain injuries occur due to accidents, such as slip-and-fall incidents and motor vehicle collisions. It’s important to note, however, that medical negligence can lead to traumatic brain injuries, too. If you’re being transported out of an ambulance and into an emergency department, for example, and healthcare workers carelessly handle the stretcher, you might fall and hit your head on the pavement, resulting in traumatic brain injury. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the context of healthcare, Pennsylvania law may entitle you to recover damages as compensation. For a free and thorough assessment of your claims, call (888) 777-7098 to connect with an Easton brain injury attorney here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC.
How Accidents Can Lead to Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury can occur in several different ways and the damage caused can be staggering. According to BrainLine.org – a free educational website, providing authoritative information about brain injury symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment – traumatic brain injuries have serious and lasting consequences for those directly suffering from the injury and their families.
- Each year there are a reported 7 million brain injuries in the U.S.
- An estimated 3 million Americans — about 2 percent of the U.S. population — currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help with everyday activities due to a traumatic brain injury.
- Most brain injuries are mild (known as concussions). People usually recover from a concussion in a matter of weeks but sometimes symptoms can persist.
Traumatic brain injuries are also a significant contributor to deaths. BrainLine.org noted that traumatic brain injuries contributed to the deaths of nearly 50,000 people in 2013.
BrainLine.org found the following statistics relating to the causes of traumatic brain injuries.
- Falls were the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (accounting for 47% of all traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States in 2013). Fall-related injuries were disproportionately represented by children and the elderly.
- Being struck by or against an object was the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (accounting for about 15% of traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States in 2013). Children were again disproportionally represented in this group.
- Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths (approximately 14% in 2013).
- Intentional self-harm was the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related deaths (33%) in 2013.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Medical Negligence
Traumatic brain injuries are common throughout Easton, as well as the rest of the United States. According to a data-trend study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as of 2010, there were 823.7 hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and deaths per 100,000 people. Traumatic brain injuries in the healthcare context are commonly caused by the following:
Hypoxia and Treatment Errors
Cerebral hypoxia is one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury. When the brain is starved of oxygen, every second that passes is precious. The difference between five minutes of oxygen deprivation and two minutes of oxygen deprivation is neurologically significant and can be the difference between irreversible injury and a serious injury that is potentially treatable.
Anesthesia-related errors during surgical intervention can lead to hypoxia. When this occurs, the treating healthcare professionals must act quickly with barbiturates and/or other medications to slow down brain activity and reduce inflammation and thereby minimize damage.
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can lead to traumatic brain injuries in many situations. For example, if a physician in Easton fails to identify a concussion, the patient could be exposed to a serious risk of additional injury (or even death). Infections must be identified in a timely manner, too. Failure to diagnose an infection at an early stage could result in a brain infection that causes injury.
Mistakes in the operating room can quickly lead to traumatic brain injury. For example, if a surgeon is performing brain surgery on a patient, then significant distraction, fatigue, intoxication, or other negligence can lead to a mistake that causes a traumatic brain injury. Hospital staff must also take care to ensure that all surgical equipment is properly sanitized, to avoid causing infection.
Specific Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries That Our Easton Brain Injury Attorney Handles
There are eight different types of TBis for which an Easton traumatic brain injury attorney can help you receive financial recovery.
As one of the most common types of TBI, concussions occur when the head is struck in such a way that the brain moves quickly back and forth inside the skull. This motion and hitting inside the skull causes brain cells to be damaged. Although often considered to be a minor injury, concussions can actually result in long-term difficulties. Any symptoms lasting more than a month are considered to be post-concussion syndrome.
A contusion is a brain bruise that often goes hand-in-hand with a concussion. While they are able to heal on their own, when they do not, they can turn into a hematoma, which is an abnormal collection of blood. When this happens, surgery may be needed to remove the hematoma.
Contusions also cause swelling of the brain and may occur alongside other blood clots or fractures.
A penetrating injury occurs when a foreign object goes through the skull and into the brain. Causes range from being shot with a bullet to being stabbed with a knife. These injuries require immediate assessment by medical professionals to ensure additional damage is not caused when removing the foreign object. Penetrating injuries often lead to epilepsy and they directly injure brain tissue. Penetrating injuries must be assessed immediately by health care professionals to ensure the best way to remove the object while causing the least amount of additional damage possible.
Diffuse Anoxic Injury
A diffuse anoxic injury (DAI) is a severe type of TBI. When the long nerve fibers (axons) that are used for connecting are shredded or torn as the brain moves rapidly back and forth inside the skull, a DAI has occurred. DAIs cause microscopic brain changes that often result in various brain injuries and victims are typically in a coma. Side effects are more serious when a large number of axons have been torn.
Uncontrolled bleeding within the brain tissue or on the surface of the brain is known as a brain hemorrhage. There are different types of brain hemorrhages that occur in different parts of the brain, from the space surrounding the brain to the cerebral matter itself. Treatment for brain hemorrhages varies depending on the hemorrhage’s location and the extent of the injury. Surgery may be required.
A hematoma is a pooling of blood outside of blood vessels. Hematomas can lead to death, and immediate medical attention is a must whenever a hematoma is suspected. Keep in mind that symptoms of hematomas may not even appear until days or weeks after the injury that caused the hematoma occurred.
Second Impact Syndrome
Second impact syndrome is the name given to when a person experiences a second injury to their brain not long after an initial brain injury. The first brain injury has not yet had sufficient time to heal, and the second injury, combined with the already existing damage, can cause severe impairments.
Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury
Coup-Contrecoup is french for “blow counterblow.” It is a perfect way to describe this brain injury which involves two injury sites: one where the point of impact occurs as well as the side of the brain that is directly opposite of the point of impact. The brain first hits where the skull was hit, then it shifts and hits the opposite side of the skull.
Our Easton Brain Injury Attorney Understands the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of TBIs, as not all of them are obvious, and early treatment is key to recovery. Some of the most common symptoms in adults include:
- Changes in sleep patterns as well as the inability to wake from sleep
- Mood swings
- Inability to remember things or concentrate for any real length of time
- Loss of consciousness for any length of time
- Fluid draining from ears or nose (it may be clear)
- Loss of coordination, including numbness or weakness in the digits
- Pupil dilation
- Unclear or slurred speech
- Easily agitated or combative
Children may show the following symptoms:
- Changes in nursing or other eating behaviors
- Cannot be consoled and crying more than normal
- Extreme drowsiness, or other changes in typical sleep patterns
- Loss of desire in participating in preferred activities
- Easily irritated
Make sure all symptoms are documented so that your Easton brain injury attorney can ensure you recover the compensation you are owed.
Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Unfortunately, TBIs can cause long-term effects in some people. These can range in severity from mild to debilitating. Some of the more common long-term effects include:
- An increased chance of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other degenerative brain diseases
- Migraine headaches
- Changes in personality, including being more aggressive and easily angered
- Visual impairment
- Inability to remember things
- Unhealthy sleep patterns
There are other long-term effects you can experience as a result of a TBI. Be sure to provide all relevant information to your Easton brain injury attorney.
Speak With Our Qualified Easton Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers Right Away
Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we have a “client first” approach to litigation. We will never force you to accept a settlement that you’re not happy with. If necessary, we can and will take your case all the way through to trial. With over 32 years of success litigating personal injury and medical malpractice claims, including those involving a traumatic brain injury, our unique “client first” approach has borne fruit.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it’s important that you consult with an Easton brain injury attorney as soon as possible so that your claims can be fully assessed and litigated in a timely manner. Call (888) 777-7098 to speak with the skilled brain injury lawyers here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC — consultation is free.
We look forward to speaking with you.