Posts Tagged ‘head injuries’

Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries are Common Results of Motorcycle Accidents

There are many inherent risks in motorcycle riding, as anyone who owns a motorcycle knows all too well. The greatest among these risks are head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents. Such injuries can happen regardless of helmet wear, although wearing a protective helmet can certainly help reduce the severity of outcome. Wearing a helmet can even prevent traumatic brain injury in some circumstances.

Brain injuries are unique among injuries commonly suffered by the body, in that the brain is one organ that does not heal well. Broken bones, abrasions, contusions and other injuries of these types of accidents can heal, while brain damage can seriously impact an individual’s quality of life for as long as they live. In many circumstances, motorcycle riders are at first unaware that a brain injury has even occurred.

A motorcycle brain injury can be similar to the type of head injury suffered by actress Natasha Richardson, who was believed to be fine after head trauma suffered in a skiing accident. But she had received a traumatic brain injury that worsened within hours and took her life later that same day.

Whenever you are involved in an accident, such as a motorcycle accident that causes injury, it is important that you seek the consultation of a phoenix personal injury lawyer. You need help dealing with insurance adjusters to ensure you receive the full compensation you should, as part of an accident and personal injury claim.

What Is a Brain Trauma Lawyer?

A brain trauma lawyer is a personal injury attorney who has experience in dealing with insurance claims following brain injury sustained during a motorcycle accident. When you are the victim of a motorcycle accident that is no fault of your own, any injuries you sustain – such as a head or traumatic brain injury – will cause substantial expense in regard to medical treatment costs, imaging studies, property damage, lost income, and other damages. Insurance companies often try to quickly settle these types of insurance claims for lower than the victim deserves or needs to cover the lifetime of expenses that result from such injuries. A brain trauma lawyer will help you after your motorcycle accident, to ensure you are not taken advantage of by insurance adjusters and that you gain the full amount of recovery that you need.

About Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is more common than you may realize. Such injuries common to car and motorcycle accidents, as well as sports participation, can range from mild to severe. TBIs, as they are known, cause immediate changes in everyday life for most victims. A TBI can seriously alter daily living and may result in permanent loss of functioning. A TBI is the most severe injury the brain can suffer and is often the result of a head impact. During that impact the brain actually jars, moves or twists within the protective skull.

In many ways, your brain defines who you are and charts the course of your future. When you lose functioning of one or more areas of your brain, you can suffer tragic alterations to your life. You will incur hefty medical costs, loss of wages, and possibly even long-term damages such as home health care expenses.

Traumatic brain injuries can cause any or all of the following immediate effects:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of sensory perception
  • Vision changes, loss, or blurring
  • Light intolerance
  • Attention deficit
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory loss or lapses
  • Speech problems, such as slurring
  • Problems with reading, writing and other forms of communication
  • Difficulty understanding others’ speech or communications
  • Seizures or seizure disorder
  • Hearing loss or sensitivity
  • Sleep disorders, such as insomnia
  • Appetite changes
  • Paralysis
  • Emotional problems
  • Coma
  • Loss of daily or essential functioning

There are a host of issues that traumatic brain injury can cause after a motorcycle accident. Any of these changes or others after your accident qualify you for recovery of damages from the at-fault driver.

After-Effects of TBI: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Anyone who suffers a TBI, such as in a motorcycle accident, may develop a progressive brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This disease is most well known as causing the degeneration of motor skills, communication and functioning of sports figures and athletes, such as football players and boxers. A brain autopsy after death is how the condition is most accurately diagnosed, although many people can be presumed to have the condition if they have suffered degeneration of capabilities or functioning after a TBI.

Symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy include:

  • Confusion
  • Memory problems or loss
  • Paranoia
  • Impulse control problems
  • Behavioral issues
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Other signs

Patients with CTE or any of these symptoms after TBI often require ongoing medical care, including treatments, diagnostic imaging studies and even long term care. Symptoms may appear quickly after a TBI or may not appear until decades later.

How a Motorcycle Accident and Brain Trauma Lawyer Can Help

An experienced brain trauma lawyer with knowledge of your state’s personal injury laws can help you recover the compensation needed for medical bills, lost income, property damage, life care expenses and other damages associated with the motorcycle accident.

Despite New Study’s Findings, Parents Should Take Potential Child TBI Seriously

Let’s say your child is playing on a swing at school, falls off and hits his or her head on the ground, causing a bruise or bump to form. As a parent, should you be concerned that a serious child brain injury has occurred?

According to a recently published study, if your child’s only sign or symptom after the accident is a headache, there is actually a fairly low risk that the child has suffered a “clinically important” traumatic brain injury (ciTBI), or a brain injury that is likely to require hospitalization or surgery.

However, out of an abundance of caution, you should still have your child examined by a doctor after one of these “bumps on the head.” You should also keep a close watch for signs and symptoms of TBI in the weeks that follow.

Study Finds Low Risk of TBI in Children with Isolated Headaches

Researchers from New York’s Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital conducted the study, which was reported February 2 in the online edition of the journal, Pediatrics.

The study analyzed data from a prospective observational study of children between ages 2 and 18 with “minor blunt head trauma,” or head trauma registering a score of 14 or 15 on the 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale.

As Reuters Health describes, the children were placed into two groups: Those with isolated headaches and those with signs and symptoms in addition to a headache.

Out of 2,462 children who suffered only isolated headaches, none were found to have ciTBI. In contrast, out of 10,105 children with more than an isolated headache, 162 had ciTBI (1.6 percent).

In other words, the risk of serious brain injury is 1.6 percent higher when a child presents signs and symptoms that go beyond an isolated headache.

Additionally, commuted tomography (CT) scans identified ciTBI in only three out of 456 children with isolated headaches (0.7 percent). Out of a group of 6,089 children with additional signs and symptoms, CT scans revealed ciTBI in 271 (4.5 percent). In other words, the risk of ciTBI was 3.8 percent higher.

This research follows a study published online in September 2014 by JAMA Pediatrics that analyzed children with isolated loss of consciousness after suffering mild blunt head trauma. The researchers in that study found there was a “very low risk for ciTBI” among children with that lone symptom and concluded that they “do not routinely require” CT scan evaluations.

How Should Parents React to Head Injuries?

While the these studies, taken together, may suggest that parents have little to worry about if a child merely bumps his or her head and suffers only an isolated headache or loss of consciousness, it is still important to take these injuries seriously.

As the Brain Injury Association of America notes, “62,000 children sustain brain injuries [each year] requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes.”

Pay attention to signs and symptoms of TBI that a child may develop in addition to headaches or loss of consciousness, which the Children’s Health Center of Atlanta describes as:

  • Fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Confused or dazed looks
  • Inability to see or speak clearly
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Severe neck pain
  • Progressive drowsiness
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Inability to remember people or places.

If your child has suffered an apparent head injury, don’t do the evaluation yourself. Instead, take your child to see a doctor as soon as possible. Allow the doctor to do an examination and to consult with you on whether to order additional testing such as a CT scan or X-ray.