Feb 26 2010

The Invisible Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the most life-threatening bodily harms that can come to people is traumatic brain injury. This is a sudden, physical trauma to the brain acquired non-congenitally, through external force often typified in various catastrophic accidents and violence.  While the dangerous condition of a person suffering from an open head injury is readily perceptible, the consequences of closed head injuries are not. Nevertheless, all traumatic brain injuries often lead to an array of possible consequences that can persist throughout a person’s lifetime.

Primary and Secondary Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are classified into primary and secondary types.

Primary injuries are those that directly occur at the moment of trauma. These include contusions, blood vessel damage, and axonal shearing where the long ends of brain cells are stretched and torn. In primary injuries, brain cells and tissues may deform and die, drastically altering brain function.

Secondary injuries are indirect results of the trauma, usually as results of complex cellular processes and biochemical cascades initiated by primary injuries. These injury aftershocks can damage areas previously unharmed in the initial trauma and occurs minutes to days after sustaining injury. Secondary injuries include reduced blood and oxygen flow to the brain, low blood pressure, edema or swelling of the brain, and raised pressure within the skull, all of which substantially likely to have further serious effects on the brain, the body, overall body function, and even on the life of the injured person itself.

Signs and Symptoms

While all these injuries can occur, they may not be readily apparent, invisible dangers that can sometimes elude even sophisticated medical technology. Nevertheless, there are physical signs and symptoms to look for to help confirm brain injury. Unconsciousness is one common sign. Other symptoms include dizziness, difficulty balancing, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, unequal pupil size, ringing in the ears, and a bad taste in the mouth among others. Cognitive and emotional symptoms include changes in mood and behavior, and problems with memory, concentration, and thinking.

While traumatic brain injuries can be mild and do not cause permanent or long-term disability, all severity levels of traumatic brain injuries have the potential to cause significant, long-lasting disability that can affect overall quality of life.

Additional legal site: Personal Injury Lawyer Elan Wurtzel. Providing legal assistance in the Long Island area.

This article is intended to provide only general information on the topic and not as legal advice.

Feb 23 2010

What Causes Car Accidents?

Whether we like it or not, car accidents can occur at any moment and in any situation. In fact, car accident statistics show that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people aged 35 years and below. Even the most careful driver or even a passenger can encounter an accident on the road. The sad thing is that majority of car accidents are caused by irresponsible driving behavior that could easily be avoided. To prevent these kinds of accidents, we must take into account what causes these accidents.

Leading Causes of Car Accidents

  • Rubbernecking – used to refer to the activity of motorists slowing down in order to see what is going on. According to a 2003 study, rubbernecking was the cause of 16 percent of distraction-related traffic accidents.
  • Diversions or distractions of the driver – can cause for him to lose focus on driving and being aware of the road or highway. Activities like cell phone use, changing the CD, looking for something, etc.
  • Intoxication- it is estimated that a person dies every 30 minutes in an alcohol-related crash. Most people lose the ability to drive well after consumption of drugs or alcoholic beverages.
  • Driver fatigue- Many head-on collisions occur due to drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Reckless drivers- drivers who forget their responsibilities and break road rules and traffic laws. Speeding, excessive/improper lane changing, tailgating, disobeying traffic signals are among the common causes of car accidents by reckless drivers.

Other Causes of Car Accidents

  • Bad weather
  • Defective vehicle- loss of brakes, tire blowouts, steering/suspension failure
  • Defective road/poor roadway maintenance

It is essential to know all the causes of car accidents. We may never foresee an accident from happening, but it always pays to be cautious and be aware of the things you should be alert about.

If in any case, you or a loved has been seriously injured or killed from a car accident because of negligence from the other party, it is vital that you find a qualified lawyer to fight for your rights as a victim.

This article is not intended to take the place of legal advice. Always consult a competent lawyer before making important decisions arising out of a car crash.

Additional Legal Information: The Law Offices of Kelley and Uustall. Serving the State of Florida.

Feb 17 2010

Car Accident Claims: What Can Be Recovered

One of the best ways to estimate one’s injury claims after a car accident is by looking at insurance reports. Often, the insurance provider is the first to see and evaluate vehicle damage, and consequently, determine how much this damage is worth. The types of damage one can recover can vary largely from case to case, but typically include the following:

Property damage
Property damage is often the quickest to assess because the vehicle has a determined value, and because the physical damage is apparent. The owner’s degree of fault is usually taken into account; that is, if he or she is 30% at fault, the property damage claim is likewise reduced by 30%.

Medical expenses
Insurers typically cover the cost of treating injuries caused by the accident, including emergency room expenses, physical therapy, and medical devices such as braces or crutches. One can also file claims for future medical expenses relating to the injury, such as rehabilitation and continued medication. However, examinations done for litigation purposes are usually not covered.

Pain and suffering
Victims can also file claims for physical pain resulting from car accident injuries. Working with medical professionals, the jury will then determine the severity and duration of the pain and declare a corresponding damage amount.

Mental anguish
Damages can be claimed for mental or emotional difficulties that arise from the victim’s injuries. These include anxiety, grief, shock, humiliation, fear and nervousness. Mental suffering is also common among victims who have been disfigured from the accident.

Lost wages and earning capacity
If a person is unable to work as a result of the accident, he or she can recover the wages that would have been paid during the period. In case of lost earning capacity, wherein one’s ability to make money is reduced by his injuries, the jury may take into account past earnings and the amount that the person might have earned otherwise.

Loss of consortium
A victim and/or his spouse can file for loss of consortium, or the loss of sexual relations and other benefits of married life as a result of the injuries. However, this claim can only be awarded if the injured spouse recovers damages as well. To prove and assess the claim, the jury takes into account the life expectancy of each spouse, the stability of the marriage, and how much of the said benefits were lost.

This article is not intended as legal advice.

Additional website: For more information about car accident claims, visit The Barber Law Firm. Serving clients in Dallas, TX.

Apr 24 2009

What are your Rights if you are a Victim of a Car Accident?

It can be devastating, changing your life in a split second. You are on your way to the grocery store and someone fails to stop at the light. You didn’t see it coming as the other driver carelessly plunges deeply into the side of your car. You are now a victim of a car accident. You can’t predict what every driver will do in fact all we can do is hope that everyone obeys the law. They follow the signs and pay attention to where they are going. But unfortunately this is not the way that it goes and there is a car accident happening somewhere now as you read.

If you are a victim of a car accident what rights do you have? It’s important to be prepared in case this happens to you. The law protects car accident victims and will help to prevent suffering from loss of income and loss of assets that you may own. To cover all the basics you must do the following if you are a victim in a car accident.

After your car has come to a stop remain seated for a few minutes to assess your situation. Don’t get up and walk around immediately, unless you see or smell smoke. It’s critical to do the right thing the first few minutes of a car accident. You had no idea that you were going to get hit so this is all new to you and you have to absorb it all. Pain can sometimes start immediately or it can be delayed. Sitting still for a few minutes will give you the opportunity to figure out how you or any passengers that are riding with you.

It’s always a good idea to carry a pen and paper in your glove box in case of accidents. Find someone who can take charge of the paper and pen to write names down of everyone who witnessed the car accident. Always get the name and number of the person in charge of the list so you can give it to police. It’s easier to contact one person than several people.

Always seek medical attention. Sometimes the body doesn’t feel pain immediately due to the adrenaline rush. This rush prevents feeling pain and hurt until the rush is over. That is why it’s a good idea to receive care on site, never refuse.

If you are injured, whether you stay in the hospital or recover at home, keep a journal of how you are feeling, what occurred, if anyone contacted you, did you receive any mail regarding the car accident, and every doctor appointment. If you stay on top of things then you will be more prepared if your case goes to trial.

Call an attorney the moment things become complicated. They are there to help you and protect you. Sometimes car accidents are easy and others are hard so be prepared if you need them. Make a list of questions you want to ask your attorney if you need one. This will help you stay on top of things and be prepared so no time is wasted.