What is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are generally caused by an external force to the head or body, such as a blow or jolt. These injuries can be severe and life-altering and oftentimes result from automobile accidents and workplace accidents. TBIs are categorized as either mild, moderate, or severe. A mild traumatic brain injury is a bit of a misnomer, as the results of even a minor type of TBI can cause a significant impact on someone’s everyday routine. The most common type of mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion.
Mild TBIs may involve a brief loss of consciousness, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. Post-traumatic amnesia may also be present for an hour or less following the injury
Symptoms that may present early on following a mild TBI include:
- Visual disturbances
- Lack of awareness
After suffering a mild TBI, additional symptoms can occur later on as well, such as:
- Difficulty focusing or paying attention
- Sensitivity to light and loud noises
- Ringing in the ears
It can be difficult to determine whether your symptoms are due to a TBI or another injury sustained in your accident. This is why it is crucial to see a doctor as soon as you can after an automobile accident or on the job accident. A check-up from a medical professional will help determine the extent of your injuries and what treatment you should receive thereafter. Delaying medical treatment can be extremely detrimental to your health and your potential personal injury case. Insurance companies will perceive a delay or gap in treatment as your injury not being all that serious, which could decrease the value of settlement offers and the amount that you hope to recover.
Recovering from a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Every brain injury case is unique and can affect people differently. For many people, recovery is swift and symptoms can resolve within a week. Unfortunately for others, symptoms can persist for weeks or months. The Brain Injury Association offers the following information for those suffering from a mild TBI:
- Some days will be easier than others when recovering from a brain injury. Try not to overwork yourself on days when you are feeling good.
- Limiting the use of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can help the recovery process. Alcohol consumption following even a mild traumatic brain injury can have negative consequences on your health and lead to dependency or abuse.
- Daily tasks may take longer to complete and be increasingly taxing, physically and mentally. Give yourself additional time to complete everyday things like shopping, laundry, and other chores.
- Seek professional help from a brain injury specialist and learn more about your injury through books and online resources. Knowing the extent of your injury and what to fully expect can help in the recovery process.
- Join a support group of others experiencing a similar injury as yours. Talking about your injury with others going through the same struggles can be helpful when recovering from a brain injury.
Prevalence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
In recent years, research has been conducted and brought forward regarding a condition caused by repetitive brain injuries, especially in athletes. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive trauma to the brain. According to the Concussion Foundation, CTE symptoms usually start to appear years after the initial head impacts.
Early symptoms of CTE include changes in mood and behavior, such as impulse control problems, depression, paranoia, and aggression. A person suffering from CTE will start to develop more severe, cognitive symptoms in their 40s and 50s, including memory loss, impaired judgment, confusion, and dementia.
The results of research over recent years has revealed that repeated concussive incidents are not the only cause of CTE. Evidence has shown that smaller blows to the head, or subconcussive impacts, are perhaps the biggest factor in CTE development. Subconcussive injuries oftentimes do not result in immediate symptoms, but over time, the repetitive damage to the brain can add up. Athletes that are exposed to head impacts at a younger age and over a longer playing career are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
In addition to athletes, victims of domestic abuse and members of the military have also been diagnosed with CTE.
Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury of any severity following an accident, call Thomas J. Henry. After an accident, it is vital to seek medical attention to determine the severity of your injuries. Brain injuries, even those deemed minor, can have long lasting effects on a victim of an accident. Our attorneys have experience handling all types of accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and a history of achieving real results for our injured clients. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free legal consultation. Contact our law offices today.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is any damage to the spinal column or nerves, resulting in permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries are classified into one of two categories: complete or incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury causes all feeling and ability to control movement below the injury site to be lost. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, some motor and sensory function remains below the injury site. The ‘completeness’ of a spine injury depends on how severely the spinal cord is damaged.
Spinal cord injuries can occur at any level in the spine, and the severity and level of paralysis varies depending on the location of the injury site. In general, the higher up the spinal column the injury occurs, the more paralysis will be present.
Damage to the cervical nerves (C1 – C8) can cause quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, which is the loss of function in both arms and both legs. Spinal cord injuries to the thoracic nerves (T1 – T12) can result in paraplegia, or loss of function from the middle of the chest or below the waist, including the legs. When the lumbar nerves (L1 – L5) are damaged, paraplegia may occur as well.
Although spinal cord injuries can occur without causing paralysis, symptoms can have a devastating impact on a person’s quality of life. Beyond paralysis, spinal cord injuries are associated with other serious health complications, including:
- Respiratory problems
- Bladder control
- Blood circulation issues
- Persistent pain
In some cases, spinal cord injuries can even result in death. Damage to the high cervical nerves (C1 – C4) result in ventilation dependency or coma and are usually fatal.
Spinal Cord Injury Causes
According to Mayo Clinic, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports and recreational activities
- Alcohol is a factor in approximately 25% of all spinal cord injuries
- Disease (cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis)
In the United States, there are approximately 282,000 people living with a spinal cord injury, with 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases occurring each year.
Handling Spinal Cord Injury Cases with Care
Cases involving spinal cord injuries can be complex, and each patient’s injury is different. Our firm works with a host of spinal injury experts to determine the severity of the injury and what sort of surgeries, treatments, and rehabilitation will be required for the rest of the client’s life. We want to ensure that our clients receive the proper treatment respective to their level of injury and see the specialists that they need. In addition, we are dedicated to achieving the compensation they need to cover all past and future medical costs related to the spinal cord injury.
People who suffer spinal cord injuries oftentimes cannot return to work following their accident. Only one third of people return to work following a spine injury. Financial hardships are further exacerbated when a person cannot continue to earn a living. In a spinal cord injury case, in addition to medical costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, we seek to recover lost wages and future earning capacity.
Record of Success Representing Clients with Spinal Injuries
Our firm has the legal and financial resources that are necessary to pursue the compensation you deserve and protect your rights as a victim of a serious injury.
In 2014, Thomas J. Henry represented a one-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident caused by a defective ignition switch in his great-grandmother’s vehicle. The accident claimed the lives of his great-grandmother, his 13-year-old aunt, and the driver of the other vehicle. The boy survived the crash but was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down, requiring intubation and a feeding tube to keep him alive.
Thomas J. Henry resolved the case and secured a result in the amount of $30.2 million for the child ($20,121,960.57 net to client). The one-year-old boy now has the necessary means to cover the future treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation that he needs.
Advocating for Spinal Cord Injury Sufferers
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury due to the negligence of an individual or business, you may be entitled to compensation. Spinal cord injuries can steal a person’s quality of life, cause lasting physical pain and mental anguish, and leave them with mounds of medical costs for surgeries and rehabilitation. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients with severe spinal cord and back injuries and a proven record of achieving the compensation they deserve.
Call our law offices and speak with a spinal cord injury attorney today for a free case review. We are dedicated to fighting for the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain is damaged by an external force, such as a blow to the head. The term traumatic brain injury is usually categorized into three categories: severe, moderate and mild. Traumatic brain injuries generally result in a loss of consciousness and an impairment of cognitive and physical abilities as well as behavioral functioning. Approximately 5.3 million people are living with TBI-related disabilities in the United States.
Traumatic Brain Injury Levels of Severity
The severity of a traumatic brain injury is oftentimes based on the length of time a person had a loss of consciousness, the Glasgow Coma Scale, duration of post-traumatic amnesia, or the results of brain imaging.
Mild TBI is characterized by a brief loss of consciousness, typically ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. Post-traumatic amnesia for people suffering from a mild TBI lasts less than an hour following the injury, and brain imaging results come back normal. A mild TBI does not mean that the injury should be taken lightly and certainly does not indicate that the consequences and results of the injury are minor. Concussions are an example of a mild traumatic brain injury that can have lasting effects on a person.
Moderate TBI is characterized by a loss of consciousness or post-traumatic amnesia ranging from one hour to a whole day. Abnormal brain imaging is expected in a person suffering from a moderate TBI.
Severe TBI is characterized by a loss of consciousness that lasts for more than 24 hours or results in coma. Post-traumatic amnesia for people suffering from a severe TBI lasts more than 24 hours after the injury occurred. Brain imaging results will show abnormalities.
In addition, severe TBIs may result in a coma or vegetative state.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is another system used to determine the level of consciousness in a person who suffered a TBI and the severity of the injury. According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah, The system measures three different functions: eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. All three functions are given a score — smaller numbers correlate with a more severe injury and a worse prognosis — and added together. If the final score falls between 3 and 8, the person is said to be in a coma. Patients who score between an 8 and 15 are believed to have a good chance of recovery, but may require some rehabilitation.
Common Results from a Traumatic Brain Injury
People suffering from a mild TBI can experience:
- Decreased attention and concentration
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Balance problems
- Visual disturbance
People suffering from a moderate or severe TBI may experience:
- Memory problems
- Decreased interaction skills and executive function abilities
- Decreased motivation
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Difficulty speaking
- Blurred vision
- Reduced sense of smell, taste, touch, and hearing
Unfortunately, in some cases, traumatic brain injuries can result in death. Traumatic brain injuries contributed to more than 50,000 deaths in the United States in 2010.
After a Traumatic Brain Injury
The road to recovery after suffering a TBI can be lengthy, difficult, and taxing — physically and financially. Oftentimes those suffering from a traumatic brain injury, especially a moderate or severe TBI, will require years of care and rehabilitation to improve cognitive and motor functions, their quality of life, and help return them to performing daily activities.
Following a TBI, the first line of care that a person sees will likely be in an intensive care unit. Severe TBIs may leave a person unable to breathe and eat on their own, which will require the use of a ventilator and feeding tube. When a person is intubated, they will likely require extensive speech and swallowing therapy in the future with the help of a speech/language pathologist.
People who sustain a severe traumatic brain injury will be put through rehabilitation in a variety of settings, from acute care, post-acute care, outpatient, or home-health services. A host of healthcare professionals will be required to recover from such a serious injury. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, physiatrists, and neuropsychologists provide the treatment and care that is necessary to help those suffering from TBI.
Have You Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our injury attorneys have experience handling cases involving clients with severe, moderate, and mild TBIs. We understand that TBIs can cause financial hardships in addition to the physical, mental, and emotional pain associated with the injury. In addition to the medical costs of treating TBIs, these injuries can prevent you from returning to work. You deserve to be compensated for your medical bills, future and past lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish that you have been put through.
Call our experienced injury attorneys today for a free legal consultation. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
Who Can be Sued in a Burn Case in Texas?
Thousands of people suffer burn injuries every year in the United States. Beyond the physical and psychological pain, burn victims are oftentimes met with financial burdens caused by massive medical bills and the inability to return to work.
Burns can be caused by toxic chemicals, electrical shock, explosions, fire, hot surfaces and liquid, or radiation. When your burn is caused by negligence on the part of an individual, business, or corporation, who can be held accountable for your injuries?
Who is Liable for Your Burns?
When you suffer a burn injury, who you can sue depends upon the mechanism that caused the burn. The causes of burns are numerous — here are a few examples:
- Automobile accidents
- Defective products, including household items, vehicles, and industrial equipment
- Dangerous premises with faulty electrical wiring or scalding water from water heaters
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Workplace accidents, including oil refinery explosions, oilfield incidents, and construction-related accidents
The at-fault driver in a car crash that led to your burn injury could be held responsible. The manufacturer of a defective machine or tool could be liable for your burn injuries. A property owner could be held liable if the premises they own or oversee are not reasonably safe. Your employer or a third-party on a work site could be responsible for a severe burn injury that occurred on the job if proper safety procedures were ignored.
An experienced injury attorney will investigate your accident, determine who is at fault and responsible for your burns, and help you recover damages such as past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Burn Injury Levels of Severity
Burns are classified into three levels of severity:
- First-degree — These burns affect the outer layer of the skin and generally heal within a week. Symptoms include minor pain and swelling and are typically treated with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, aloe vera, and antibiotic ointment. Sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn.
- Second-degree — These burns cause damage beyond the top layer of the skin and may take several weeks to heal. Symptoms include extreme redness, pain, and fluid-filled blisters. In severe cases, skin grafting may be required over the area of the burn. Scars may also develop in these cases.
- Third-degree — These burns penetrate every layer of skin and into the underlying tissue. Third-degree burns can be extremely painful or may cause little pain due to extensive nerve damage. Symptoms include black or white color, leathery texture, blistering, and scarring. Treatment from a medical professional is required in order for the burn to heal and prevent complications, such as infections, tetanus, hypothermia, and in severe cases death. People with third-degree burns oftentimes require several surgeries, years of therapy and rehabilitation, and psychological and mental care due to disfigurement and scarring.
“Burn victims are some of the most catastrophically injured people and deserve to be compensated.”
Thomas J. Henry handles burn cases because it is important that victims of these devastating injuries are rightfully compensated for their pain, disfigurement, and years of future surgeries and rehabilitation. For burn injury cases, we employ experts that can properly describe to a jury the kind of extensive care that will be required over a burn victim’s lifetime.
Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury at work, in an automobile accident, due to a defective product, or in any other fashion, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys immediately. When a severe injury such as a burn is caused by an individual or company’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Our burn lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free case review.
Study: 99% of NFL Players’ Brains Examined Show Signs of CTE
A recent study has shown that of the brains that were donated by NFL players, ninety-nine percent of them have shown the diagnostic signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder.
Details on the NFL Brain Study
According to Science Magazine, a study of 202 brains that were donated to science by former NFL players showed that ninety-nine percent of them displayed symptoms of CTE. This disorder is associated with repetitive head trauma, which is extremely common in the sport of football.
All of the brains that were donated to the study were from players that had shown symptoms of neurological issues during their lives.
The researchers included data from former college and professional players that were not in the NFL. They found CTE in the brains of 48 out of 53 former college football players, and they found that eighty-six percent of former professional players displayed symptoms.
The study also revealed that all of the football players affected by CTE showed behavioral and cognitive symptoms associated with the disease, such as mood swings, depression, and problems with higher-order thinking.
What This Means For The Sport of Football
The results of this study left some scientists skeptical of the interpretation of the results, as they thought that the study didn’t represent a wide enough range of players. For example, it didn’t include football players that never showed any symptoms of brain disorders during their lives, but may have had multiple concussions during their careers.
The NFL funded part of this study, and the league stated that studies involving brains of former players are “important to further advancing the science and progress related to head trauma”.
Study: “Heading” a Soccer Ball Can Lead to Concussion Symptoms
Reuters reports on a recent study published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It examined health problems that can arise in soccer players who utilize the technique of “heading.”
Details on the Study on “Heading” in Soccer
The study was led by Dr. Michael Lipton, a neuroscientist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The study found that soccer players had an increased risk of concussion-like symptoms if they used their head to hit the ball, a technique known as “heading.”
Researchers surveyed adult amateur soccer players around New York City. The survey participants were between the ages of 18 and 55 and 80% were men.
They asked the survey participants questions about how often they played soccer, how often they use their head to hit the ball, and if they took any unintentional hits to the head.
The survey also asked them if they had experienced any negative symptoms like pain, dizziness, and unconsciousness.
About 20% of participants reported moderate to severe concussion-like symptoms.
Compared to those reporting the least amount of accidental hits to the head, the participants who reported the most were six times more likely to experience negative symptoms.
Players who headed the ball frequently were more than three times as likely to experience symptoms compared to those who reported doing it infrequently.
Findings of this study contradict previous research suggesting concussion-like symptoms were caused by accidental collisions and not heading.
Reasons to Conduct Further Research on Heading Soccer Balls and Concussions
- The participants were only surveyed for short-term symptoms. The study does not address potential long-term consequences.
- Even though soccer is the most popular sport in the world, concussions in soccer are understudied compared to football.
- Technological advances like helmet sensors will continue to make research easier.
Students Almost Die After Being Given Dangerous Amounts of Caffeine by University
Two Northumbria University students who volunteered in the study analyzing the effects of caffeine almost died after they were given the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee.
Details on the Caffeine Overdose Incident
BBC News reports that Northumbria University in England sport students Alex Rossetta and Luke Parkin were given the dangerous amount of caffeine. Rossetta and Parkin were supposed to be given 0.3g of caffeine, but they were given 30g of coffee due to a mistake on a mobile phone calculator.
According to Sunderland Echo, the students consumed the caffeine in the form of a solution with water and orange juice. The intake resulted in dizziness, blurred vision, shaking, and rapid heartbeat.
The students were admitted to intensive care where they were put on dialysis and lost a tremendous amount of weight.
Rossetta stated that there was some short term memory loss, but luckily both men have recovered.
Legal Repercussions Faced by University
Prosecutor Adam Farrer expressed to the court that deaths were reported after 18g of the stimulant was consumed, which is less than what the students consumed.
Farrer also expressed to the court that “If they had not been admitted to intensive care immediately for treatment they could have died from caffeine overdose.”
On behalf of Northumbria University the institution states “All those involved are deeply sorry and genuinely sorry for the breach in this case.”
According to SFGate, the institution was fined $505,400.
A factor that contributed to the overconsumption was the switch from caffeine tablets to powder.
According to the Huffington Post, the Food and Drug Administration has previously reported issues from powdered caffeine, with a teaspoon being equal to about 28 cups of coffee.
Three People Die from Foodborne Illness Following Thanksgiving Dinner Event
Cause of Illness Unclear
The Sutter Delta Medical Center says eight patients were admitted with foodborne illness symptoms on Friday and Saturday. Three of the patients died, and one remains hospitalized, reports media sources.
All eight of the patients live in the same assisted living community and took part in a Thanksgiving dinner organized by Golden Hills Community Church. According to media sources, the event serves seniors, homeless populations, and others who would be alone on Thanksgiving.
The dinner consisted of Thanksgiving staples, including mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing, which were all prepared on site in a commercial-grade facility. However, the turkey, bread products, and pies were donated by other food facilities.
Media outlets report that other residents and staff members took part in the dinner and did not get ill. Officials are investigating whether additional people were sickened following the dinner but did not seek medical treatment.
The cause of the illness is unclear, but local health officers say the incident does not put the general public at risk.
Foodborne Illness Statistics
The following information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- An estimated one in six Americans – or 48 million people – get sick from foodborne diseases each year.
- 128,000 people require hospitalization annually due to foodborne illnesses.
- An estimated 3,000 people die each year from foodborne diseases.
- Salmonella causes the highest number of deaths annually of all domestically acquired foodborne illnesses – an estimated 378 fatalities each year.
Texas Football Player Suffers Brain Injury in Post-Game Accident
Details Of The Head Injury
The injury that Lopez is recovering from is a serious head injury that caused him to experience fractures on his skull, and bleeding and swelling of the brain. Lopez has been released from the hospital, but his recovery is only beginning.
The traumatic brain injury occurred after his team scored a 45-3 victory. Lopez himself performed well during the game as his first two tackles of the football season were recorded.
After the game, Lopez accompanied some teammates to eat at a local Buffalo Wild Wings. As Lopez and his teammates were leaving the restaurant, he fell off of the tailgate of the pick-up truck, which is where he incurred the serious head injury.
To help Lopez’s family with their medical expenses, a GoFundMe page has been set up.
Potential Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
According to Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result in a number of serious complications:
- Altered consciousness (i.e. coma, minimally conscious state)
- Blood vessel damage
- Nerve Damage
- Loss of vision
- Memory loss
- Reasoning and judgment problems
- Hampered executive functions such as problem solving and organization
- Social problems
- Behavioral changes
- Degenerative brain diseases (i.e. Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease)
Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies in Balcony Fall
According to NBC Philadelphia, Eric Feltyberger, 43, a volunteer firefighter for the Pioneer Fire Co. in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, died Wednesday evening after falling from a third-floor balcony at a friend’s apartment.
Feltyberger Remembered as “One-of-a-Kind Guy”
Feltyberger, who became a volunteer firefighter at the age of 14, was preparing dinner at a friend’s apartment when he went outside to smoke and sat on a railing. He then lost his balance and fell, says Jenkintown police Chief Albert DeValentino.
According to Fire Chief Mike Brogan, Feltyberger didn’t volunteer for recognition, he did it because it needed to be done. “That’s the type of guy he was. Always giving, giving, giving,” says Brogan.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
While traffic accidents are the most common cause of catastrophic injuries, such injuries are also frequently associated with workplace accidents, falls, medical errors, and even sporting accidents. Other common causes include fires, explosions, and the use of defective products.