Brain Injury Cases & Claims
THE HUMAN BRAIN IS AN AMAZINGLY COMPLEX ORGAN, BUT IT IS ALSO SUBJECT TO INJURY FROM MANY SOURCES.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, over 1.5 million people face traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, and at least 50,000 individuals will die from their injury. TBI is a leading cause of death for persons under age 45. Approximately 80,000 will face life-long injuries and rehabilitative care from their injuries, and there are currently about 5 million Americans suffering from some form of TBI disability.
If your brain injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills, therapy, and rehabilitation costs. The experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania brain injury Attorney Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows how debilitating TBI is and understands what you are going through. We offer a free consultation to help you investigate the cause and extent of your injury and determine the options you have to secure lifetime benefits and compensation.
Causes of Brain Injuries
The leading causes of brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, sports injuries, obstruction of the airway, near drowning, toxic exposure, heart attack or stroke, aneurysm, and electrical shock. Brain injuries may occur at birth through medical negligence or errors made by doctors, nurses, and hospitals, or other healthcare personnel.
Underneath the skull, the brain is soft and vulnerable.
It consists of both gray and white matter. The gray matter is found on the outside layer of the brain, and the white matter connects the different lobes of the brain and allows the parts of the brain to communicate through long nerve fibers called axons that carry electrical signals. The point where the white matter connects with the gray matter, called the “gray/white junction,” is particularly subject to damage.
Severe brain injury is commonly caused by a sudden, violent blow to the head. Although the brain is somewhat protected by the skull, nevertheless skull injuries can cause severe and debilitating problems. The cerebral cortex at the tips of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain can become bruised (contused) if the head contacts a hard object and the brain bangs up against the interior of the skull. Axons in the white matter can be stretched and damaged if the head is whiplashed back and forth.
Force that penetrates, fractures or impacts the skull may cause severe brain injury from destructive shock waves or from bone being pushed into the brain, causing tissue damage. Even without penetration, injury can occur when forces cause the brain to collide against the inside of the hard skull. Bruising of the brain (a contusion) and bleeding (hemorrhage) causes injury in parts of the brain closest to the point of impact, often the tips of the frontal and temporal lobes.
The damage from brain injuries may be either temporary or permanent, but in either case it will have a significant impact on your life, your relationships, and your ability to work. If you have a brain injury, you might suffer symptoms that include:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Emotional or behavioral problems
In spite of symptoms, it is important to be aware that unless there is evidence of brain injury on MRI or CT scan, many insurance companies will try to show a person is faking their injuries or has psychological problems from before the accident. Special MRI machine software is usually necessary to help show damage to brains. Specialized testing may show brain injury, such as that performed by neuropsychologists.
What to do if Injured
If you become injured in an accident, there are steps you can take to help your case:
- Seek immediate medical help. Urgent medical care may help reduce the extent of your damage. If you think you may have a brain injury, make sure your MRI or other diagnostic testing is of the type that will show damage to soft tissue or the blood vessels in your brain, and be sure you see a specialist in brain injuries.
- Obtain evidence. If you were in an accident that involved a vehicle, get photographs of the damage and make sure the vehicle you were in is not sold or crushed. If there were witnesses to the accident, get their names and statements. See if there was evidence from video surveillance cameras. This needs to be done quickly as tapes are erased and witnesses may disappear or forget details as time goes on.
- Record your symptoms or have others help do so. Note whether you lost consciousness, had seizures, have post-traumatic amnesia or loss of memory or signs of a concussion or alteration of consciousness after injury.
- Find “before and after injury” witnesses – people, not from your family, who have known you and can testify to the change in your behavior and abilities.
- Contact a competent, experienced attorney. Brain injuries have a devastating impact on your quality of life and your ability to support yourself, and they require substantial and expensive medical and rehabilitative care. Loss of cognitive function or other permanent disabilities are understandable and can be horrendous in terms of quality of life.
Trust Our Firm for Honest Answers
Feel free to call us for a free consultation. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, defective product or other negligence or wrongdoing, take steps to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. Brain and head injury cases are complicated, as each person’s symptoms and circumstances are unique. Since symptoms change over time and evidence and witnesses disappear, it is important to contact an attorney experienced in brain injuries as soon as possible.
Whether in gathering evidence, dealing with medical professionals and insurance companies, negotiating settlements or pursuing a trial verdict, the experienced Pennsylvania brain injury Attorney Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann is familiar with the law and thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our sizeable staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.
Do not delay in advocating for your rights. Contact Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling (570) 323-8711 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.
Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, providing a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.
Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field. Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.