Levels of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Injuries | 0 comments

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are all caused by physical violence, whether accidental or intentional, and all are serious. The brain is a delicate structure with a lot on its plate when it comes to human function, so even relatively minor trauma can have significant effect on the injured individual. However, there are levels of severity that have a direct impact on the prognosis of the patient.

Mild

As the term suggests, mild TBI is the least severe, and registers between 13 and 15 in the Glasgow Coma Scale.
Mild traumatic brain injury occurs when:

  • Loss of consciousness is very brief, usually a few seconds or minutes
  • Loss of consciousness does not have to occur—the person may be dazed or confused
  • Testing or scans of the brain may appear normal
  • A mild traumatic brain injury is diagnosed only when there is a change in the mental status at the time of injury—the person is dazed, confused, or loses consciousness. The change in mental status indicates that the person’s brain functioning has been altered, this is called a concussion

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (Glascow Coma Scale core 9-12)

Most brain injuries result from moderate and minor head injuries. Such injuries usually result from a non-penetrating blow to the head, and/or a violent shaking of the head. As luck would have it many individuals sustain such head injuries without any apparent consequences. However, for many others, such injuries result in lifelong disabling impairments.

A moderate traumatic brain injury occurs when:

  • A loss of consciousness lasts from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Confusion lasts from days to weeks
  • Physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments last for months or are permanent.

Persons with moderate traumatic brain injury generally can make a good recovery with treatment or successfully learn to compensate for their deficits.

Severe Brain Injury

Severe head injuries usually result from crushing blows or penetrating wounds to the head. Such injuries crush, rip and shear delicate brain tissue. This is the most life threatening, and the most intractable type of brain injury.

Typically, heroic measures are required in treatment of such injuries. Frequently, severe head trauma results in an open head injury, one in which the skull has been crushed or seriously fractured. Treatment of open head injuries usually requires prolonged hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation. Typically, rehabilitation is incomplete and for most part there is no return to pre-injury status. Closed head injuries can also result in severe brain injury.
TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions.

TBI can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.

Repeated mild TBIs occurring over an extended period of time (i.e., months, years) can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficits. Repeated mild TBIs occurring within a short period of time (i.e., hours, days, or weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal.

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Birth Injuries and Disability

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Injuries | 0 comments

There are probably few things more tragic than an otherwise healthy baby being subjected to birth injuries that have long-term consequences. Aside from the fact of the immediate pain and suffering of the child, the emotional (not to mention financial) impact on the parents are often considerable.

Birth injuries more often than most people believe even in these days of modern medicine. On average, it is believed that as many as three birth injuries occur each hour in the US alone. This is not so strange if one thinks about it. After all, childbirth remains one of the most traumatic experiences of humans, and it does not take much for something untoward to happen. It could be due to poor prenatal care, prolonged labor, breech birth, cephalopelvic disproportion, or medical negligence. One birth injury which occurs in as many as 2 out of every 1,000 live births is Erb’s Palsy, also known as Brachial Plexus Nerve Palsy.

Erb’s palsy is not automatically a serious birth injury. When the birth is difficult because the baby is too large or in a breech delivery, injury may occur when there is pressure on the brachial plexus, a network of nerves located in the neck area, from excessive pulling during birth.

Erb’s palsy is essentially a type of paralysis; movement is restricted because the brachial plexus is damaged. The brachial plexus mainly controls voluntary movements in the arm and hands. However, in most cases Erb’s palsy is a temporary condition, and the baby may regain movement in the affected limb within three months.

In cases where the damage to the brachial plexus is severe, such as when some portion is avulsed or completely torn, then partial or total disability of that limb for voluntary movement becomes permanent. Because the injury occurs at birth, the development of the affected limb is arrested, so the affliction is apparent.

Birth injuries are certainly unfortunate incidents, but when it is due to medical negligence, it becomes nearly criminal. It is the right of the parents to seek compensation for their child from the responsible parties, not only for the physical pain and suffering and medical expenses, but also for the emotional and psychological impact. Consult with a birth injury lawyer in your area get started on getting justice for your child.

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Corrective Color for Gray Hair

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Hair and Beauty | 0 comments

One of the most common hair problems is going gray, although in general women mind it more than men, on whom gray hair can look “distinguished.” This is most apparent for those with dark hair such as redheads and brunettes, although it also looks a bit funky on lighter colored heads. Graying hair is often associated with aging, which is the main reason why most people would like to just make it go away.

The reason that hair goes gray most probably has something to do with the way melanin is produced. Melanin is the pigment produced by certain cells in the body called melanocytes which gives color to our hair, skin, and eyes. When melanin is not present or in inadequate quantities in the follicles, the new hair that grows out has little or no color. The slowing or halting of melanin production may be due to heredity or the environment, or a combination of both.

Women who are genetically predisposed to early loss of melanin in the hair often have a choice of politely declining the senior citizen discount or covering the gray up. The lucky ones have gray hair growing in clumps, so stylish streaks may be produced, which can look cool. But most women get gray hair growing unevenly, which makes the face look old and tired in consequence.

The easiest way to cover hair that has gone (prematurely) gray is to have corrective color applied. If you have the gray hair problem, go to your favorite salon and place your hair in professional hands to have the job done right. You can choose a shade that approximates your natural color, or you could take the opportunity to be adventurous and try another shade or even a different color altogether.

It will not do to overdo the coloring though; a reputable hair colorist will advise you on how often you can safely color your hair and what are the best products for your hair type and condition. In between coloring sessions, you can use rinses and hennas to cover up tell-tale roots that may show up.

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Options for BP Oil Spill Claims

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in BP & Oil Spill Claims | 0 comments

The statute of limitations for filing a BP claim appeal expired on April 20, 2013. This is in keeping with the maximum time allowed by federal law under the Oil Pollution Act to file against the oil producer and its associates in the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill incident.

This is bad news for those who have yet to file a claim or have been denied a moratorium by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the now-defunct organization that was supposed to handle compensation claims for individuals and businesses affected by the oil spill. Claims are now being handled directly by BP under a Court Supervised Settlement Program, and these include not only OPA claims but also those who participated in the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement, Seafood Compensation Programs, and Medical Benefit Settlements as well as appeals for denied claims.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there is extensive scrutiny from the courts as BP continuously challenges all claims and actually denies about 75% of them, sparking off protests and allegations of bad faith from claimants who are four years delayed in getting compensation. This is the pattern observed in the management of claims against BP, such as with the Medical Benefits program, which had already significantly delayed compensation to those whose health was affected by taking part in the clean-up operations in the aftermath of the explosion as well as residents of the affected areas. Most recently the Medical Benefit Settlement program was approved, and the deadline for making a claim under this category is now on February 14, 2015 barring any further legal wrangling.

There is no denying the BP has the legal muscle and financial capability to escape liability for a significant number of the affected populations. Claimants and appellants must have competent legal representation with experience in handling BP oil spill claims, and must act fast before time runs out.

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Types of Burn Injuries

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Burns | 0 comments

There is a kind of cavalier attitude that most people have about burns. Everyone has at one point been burned, deliberately while daring each other to touch the smoking tip of a match, or accidentally while ironing. These are minor burns and do not usually require a trip to the hospital or doctor, so one can afford to shrug it off with a wince and a smile. But when a burn is serious then it not only requires immediate and extensive medical attention, it can be life-changing if not fatal, so should be taken very seriously.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and is primarily designed to provide a protective layer between the body and the outside environment. Breaching the skin by burning can have significant effects on the integrity of the body’s immune system as well as other systems, depending on the cause. A burn can be caused by heat, chemicals, radiation, friction, and electrical current, and when it is serious enough, it can go all the way to the bone. There are four types of burns based on its severity.

First degree (superficial) burns are the most minor of burns and involve only the top layer of the skin (epidermis). A good example is sunburn, which can be uncomfortable and painful but is easily treated with over-the-counter topical creams and perhaps mild pain medication. First degree burns are usually dry. The effects usually pass after a couple of days, and the skin almost always heals completely.

Second degree burns are more serious and much more painful, penetrating into the second layer of the skin or the dermis. Severe sunburn may be considered a second degree burn. This type of burn is usually moist and red, forms blisters, and needs professional medical attention to make sure it is properly cleaned. A second degree burn, if left untreated, can lead to infections. It takes longer for a second degree burn to heal but usually leaves no scars, unless it penetrates deep into the dermis.

Third degree burns penetrate straight through the dermis and kills off most of the nerves in the affected area, which is why it is less painful than a second degree burn. However, because the affected area is effectively dead, all the tissue, including damaged skin and muscle, needs to be removed. Extreme third degree burns may necessitate amputation. It takes a long time for a third degree burn victim to recover.

Fourth degree burns are when the damage is so extensive that it goes all the way to the bone. In most cases, this means amputation of the affected area, and often leads to death.

Burns are one of the common complications of accidents. According to the website of Sampson Law Firm, this can have traumatic consequences. When serious burns result from the negligence of a third party, it is just right to seek compensation. Consult with a burn injury lawyer to know your rights and legal options.

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Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Criminal Defense Laws | 0 comments

A criminal record is something that one wants to avoid as much as possible because having one can affect many aspects of one’s life: educational opportunities, employment, social standing, and credit standing, among other things. While some crimes are more serious than others, in the end it does not really matter because it is still a black mark. Knowing this, it follows that when charged with a crime, choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is of paramount importance.

In the US, ensuring that a defendant has access to a lawyer is so important that one is provided for free for those who cannot afford to hire one. Called public defenders, these lawyers are generally as qualified and passionate as a private lawyer, but the volume of work they have to handle and the resources available to them puts them at a disadvantage. If it is at all possible, it would best to hire a private lawyer who will be able to concentrate on a case much more than a public defender can.

However, this does not mean that the most expensive lawyers are necessarily the best one for each case. The best criminal defense lawyer is someone who has already successfully defended clients in the particular crime at issue. As an article on the website of law firm Kohler & Hart in Wisconsin puts it, experience matters. Lawyers are licensed to handle all kinds of criminal cases, but from inclination or circumstance tend to specialize in two or three types, so it would be good to narrow the search to lawyers who have a good track record handling a particular type of case.

Depending on whether the crime is federal or state, it is also important to choose a lawyer who is licensed to practice in the right jurisdiction. Some lawyers are licensed to defend on both the state and federal levels, while some stick to one or the other. In general, federal cases usually carry more serious penalties, so the lawyer should have an established practice in defending federal cases.

Membership in criminal defense organizations is also a significant factor when choosing the right criminal defense lawyer. This is an indication that the lawyer takes a considerable interest in the criminal defense side of the practice.

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The Facts about Hurricane Damage Claims

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Hurricane Claims | 0 comments

When residents of Pennsylvania cautiously returned to their homes to survey the damage in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, it was bad, but fortunately not as bad as it could have been. hurricane Sandy is considered the second most expensive hurricane in the history of the US, beat out of first place by Hurricane Katrina and affected 24 states after it made landfall in Brigantine, New Jersey on October 29, 2012. It is estimated that Hurricane Sandy caused $65 billion in property damage in the US alone.

Pennsylvania residents escaped the worst of the storm’s wrath, but there was still considerable damage from falling trees, flying debris, strong winds, and flooding. Property owners who were long-sighted enough to have insurance coverage for storm damage are among the fortunate ones, but having coverage is not the same as getting compensation for the damage they suffered. It is a fact that filing Hurricane Sandy claims can be a long and frustrating process, made even more difficult in the absence of complete documentation.

Insurance companies will definitely not make it easy to make hurricane damage claims, especially when it is as widespread as that for victims of hurricane Sandy, or any other major natural disaster for that matter. Despite general sympathy for those that were affected, there are no free rides for making claims; the claimant has the burden of proof in a claim, and may require the assistance of an experienced insurance claims lawyer.

The costs associated with events such as a hurricane is not confined to repair or replacement of property. There are evacuation, temporary shelter and transportation expenses and in the immediate aftermath, medical bills for any injuries sustained. If the policy covers these incidental costs as well, it is important to keep all receipts and documents to prove that these are expenses directly caused by the hurricane.

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