Head Injuries

New York And New Jersey Head Injury Lawyer And Attorney

Are You A Victim Of A Head Injury In New York Or New Jersey?

When a person's negligence causes a traumatic head injury in New York and New Jersey, the victim and the family of the injury victim needs and deserves compensation. The attorneys of Robert A. Solomon, P.C., have more than 30 years of experience helping families get the money they are entitled to. Our lawyers have provided more information about their practice on our main brain injuries page; for more general legal information, read the following.

Head Injury — An Overview

Depending on the severity and location of the injury, the effects of a head injury can range from a minor annoyance to very serious and life-threatening. The study and diagnosis of head injuries is very complex. There may be overt signs of the injury such as loss of speech and motor skills, or there may only be more subtle personality changes. If you or a loved one have suffered a head injury you should contact a lawyer with experience representing clients in head injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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The Brain And Its Functions

The brain is the control center of the human body. It can be described as a bundle of gelatinous nervous system material floating in a protective sea of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid acts as a shock absorber that dampens movement of the brain when a person is jolted. All of this fluid is encased inside of the human skull, which acts as a protective shell. The outside of the skull is smooth, but the inside is rough and boney. It is these rough, boney structures inside the skull that can injure the brain when a person is struck or jolted.

The brain is a sensory processor. This means that the brain controls thought, smell, sight, memory, and touch. In addition, the brain controls vital bodily functions such as walking, talking, breathing, and heart rate.

The brain is divided into three main parts:

  • The cerebrum is the largest section of the brain. Different parts of the cerebrum are related to the control of cognitive abilities, memory, motor function, learning and speech.
  • The cerebellum is a part of the hindbrain. It coordinates voluntary and involuntary muscle movements.
  • The brain stem is the lower extension of the brain. It acts as a relay station between incoming stimulus and the rest of the brain.

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The Causes Of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can generally be divided by their cause. There are injuries caused by contact, and those that are not caused by contact.

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Contact Injuries

A contact traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain as a result of an external force to the head. A contact traumatic brain injury can result in a closed head injury, brain swelling, bruising of the brain tissue, or nerve tearing.

Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by:

  • Sports injuries
  • Work-related injuries
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Violence

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Noncontact Injuries

Contact is not necessary to cause a brain injury. Parts of the brain may be injured as a result of medical emergencies such as stroke (sometimes referred to as cerebrovascular accident, or CVA) or heart attack. Stroke and heart attack may affect the brain's blood and oxygen supply, causing localized or even widespread brain damage. In addition, the brain may be injured as a result of a near-drowning, suffocation, or heart-stopping electrical shock. Again, the brain may be injured as a result of a lack of blood and oxygen supply.

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The Effects Of A Head Injury

The effects of a brain injury largely depend on the severity of the injury, and the location of the affected part of the brain. All head injuries have the potential to be serious.

A concussion is the common result of a blow to the head or a sudden deceleration. It results from a jarring of the brain. A concussion is graded according to its severity; depending on the loss of consciousness, amnesia and loss of equilibrium. A concussion often results in a period of altered consciousness during which the person is dazed or disoriented.

A severe head injury may also cause a coma. Coma is defined as a state of unconsciousness from which the patient cannot be awakened or aroused, even by powerful stimulation.

Amnesia is generally defined as the loss of memory, or a period of forgetfulness. Anterograde amnesia is defined as the inability to remember events beginning with the onset of the injury. Retrograde amnesia is defined as the loss of memory regarding events preceding the injury.

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Effects Of Severe Brain Damage

When a brain injury is very severe, it can dramatically affect the person's ability to return to a normal life. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, there may be physical and/or behavioral effects. A severe head injury can affect a person's ability to work, learn, and interact with their family.

The following are possible physical effects:

  • Difficulty with mobility and coordination
  • Difficulty talking and communicating
  • Severe headaches
  • Difficulty with, or loss of, sensation

The following are possible behavioral effects:

  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Short attention span
  • Learning difficulty
  • Memory difficulty

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Proving And Treating A Brain Injury

A permanent brain injury may be difficult to recognize and prove. Many of the associated changes in a person's behavior or personality can be very subtle. The earlier a brain injury is diagnosed, the earlier a person can begin a treatment program.

The following are diagnostic tools used to determine the extent and nature of a brain injury.

  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • PET scan
  • EEG
  • Psychological and functional tests

Treatment and therapy will greatly depend on the extent and nature of the injury. For example, a person may need physical and occupational rehabilitation to condition muscles and relearn life skills. Generally, the earlier treatment begins the better.

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Conclusion

Brain injuries can be devastating for both the person injured and their family. Therapy, medical treatments and supplies can be very expensive. A legal claim may help you secure financial assistance from the party responsible for the injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling brain injury related legal claims to discuss your options.

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The Brain And Its Functions

The human body is a complex machine made up of multiple organs which all work together. The brain is the control center of the human body. It is exceedingly complex and has multiple vital duties. In fact, while scientists have long studied the brain, there is still much to learn. The brain is vital to the proper functioning of the body, reasoning, and emotions. Brain injuries are often devastating to an individual and their family. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury, you may have legal recourse. An attorney experienced in representing clients with brain injury related legal claims can help you understand your legal options.

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Brain Basics

The brain is part of the central nervous system and is the control center of the human body. The brain allows us to know ourselves, to reason, and to understand our environment and those around us.

The brain may be described as a bundle of gelatinous nervous system material floating in a protective sea of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid acts as a shock absorber to help to dampen movement of the brain when a person is jolted, or otherwise make a quick movement. The fluid is encased inside of the skull, which acts as a protective shell. The outside of the skull is smooth, but the inside is rough and boney. These rough, boney structures inside the skull can injure the brain when a person is struck or jolted.

The brain is a sensory processor. This means that it controls thought, smell, sight, memory, and touch. In addition, the brain controls vital bodily functions such as walking, talking, breathing, and heart rate.

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Brain Structure

Most of the brain's functions are tied to a certain section of the brain. There are three main parts of the brain; these are the cerebrum, cerebellum, and the brain stem.

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Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest section of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, which are further divided into lobes. The lobes are the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital. Each lobe is a center for certain brain functions. The outer cerebrum, or cerebral cortex, is responsible for the greatest order of brain function. This includes the brain's integration with the rest of the central nervous system. Different parts of the cerebral cortex are related to the control of cognitive abilities, memory, motor function, learning, speech, and other activities linked to the autonomic nervous system such as breathing and maintenance of the heart rate.

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Cerebellum

The cerebellum is a large part of the hindbrain. It controls the coordination of voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. It is responsible for muscle tone, balance, posture, and the coordination of the groups of muscles that are under a person's voluntary control.

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The Brain Stem

The brain stem is the lower extension of the brain. It connects the upper part of the brain to the spinal cord. It acts as a relay station between incoming stimuli and the cortex. It also controls basic bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and alertness.

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Conclusion

The brain is the central control and interpretation center of the human body. When a person suffers a brain injury they may be unable to work, learn, walk, or talk. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury, you may have legal recourse. An attorney who is experienced with handling brain injury-related legal claims can help you understand your legal options.

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The Causes Of Brain Injuries

The brain is central to thought, movement, emotion, and vital bodily functions. Brain injuries may occur through work-related accidents, car accidents, slip-and-fall injuries, diseases, or even from complications at birth. The potentially devastating effects of brain injuries are as widely varied as the injuries that cause them. If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer who has experience in brain injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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Contact Traumatic Brain Injuries

A contact traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain as a result of external force to the head. A contact traumatic brain injury can cause closed head injury, brain swelling, bruising of the brain tissue, or nerve tearing.

Traumatic brain injury may result from:

  • Sports injuries
  • Work-related injuries
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Violence and assault

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Closed Head Injuries

A closed head injury is brain damage resulting from external force to the head that does not penetrate the skull. Even though an object may not penetrate the head the potential for injury is still high. In fact, a closed head injury is often more dangerous than a penetration injury. When the brain is jostled in its entirety there is a greater chance of more widespread damage than when compared to a penetration injury which typically affects only one area of the brain.

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Nerve Shearing

A violent jolting of the head can cause nerve shearing. Nerve shear is defined as the tearing of the fragile nerve fibers in the brain. This type of injury can be difficult to diagnose, but the effects can be devastating.

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Brain Swelling And Bruising

Brain swelling and bruising may result from a violent blow to the skull. After the head is hit, the brain can "bounce" off the inside of the skull. This may cause nerve shearing as well as swelling and bruising of nerve tissue. This swelling can create pressure inside of the head which in turn leads to compression of vital blood vessels, hindering the brain's blood and oxygen supply.

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Brain Swelling And Bruising

Noncontact Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain may be injured as a result of a noncontact injury or disease. For example, certain parts of the brain may be injured during medical emergencies such as stroke or heart attack. Stroke (also know as cerebrovascular accident, or CVA) and heart attack may affect the brain's blood and oxygen supply causing localized or even widespread brain damage. In addition, the brain may be injured as a result of a near-drowning, suffocation, or heart-stopping electrical shock.

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Conclusion

There are many ways in which a person may suffer a head injury. Severe head injuries can result in brain damage, and in turn cause major life changes. Such injuries may result in compromised thought processes, altered moods, and mobility problems. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in brain injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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The Wide-Ranging Effects Of A Head Injury

The effects of a head injury largely depend on the severity of the accident, and the location within the brain. All head injuries have the potential to be serious. Something as common as a concussion can have serious or long-term effects. This short overview will show how wide-ranging the effects of a brain injury can be, whether a common concussion, or severe brain trauma. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling brain injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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Concussion

A concussion is a common result of a blow to the head or a sudden deceleration. It results from the jarring of the brain inside the skull. Concussion is graded according to its severity depending on the loss of consciousness, amnesia and loss of equilibrium. A concussion may result in a period of altered consciousness during which a person is dazed or disoriented.

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The common early symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo, or loss of equilibrium
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache

While many consider a concussion a minor annoyance, any head injury has the potential for serious long-term effects. The long-term effects of a head injury, such as a concussion can greatly impact a person's life.

Common long-term effects of a head injury involving concussion are:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lightheadedness
  • Poor memory
  • Depression
  • Ringing in ears
  • Poor concentration
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Intolerance to loud noise
  • Mood swings and altered personality
  • Difficulty choosing words

Comas

A severe head injury may cause a coma. Coma is defined as the state of unconsciousness from which a patient cannot be awakened or aroused, even by powerful stimulation. A coma sufferer will lack any response to their environment. Comas may last only a few days or many years.

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Amnesia

Amnesia is generally defined as the loss of memory or as a period of forgetfulness. There are several types of amnesia that may occur following a head injury. Anterograde amnesia is defined as the inability to remember events beginning with the onset of the injury. In contrast, retrograde amnesia is defined as the loss of memory regarding events preceding the injury.

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Effects Of Severe Brain Damage

When a head injury is very severe, it can dramatically affect a person's ability to return to a normal life. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, there may be physical and/or behavioral effects. A severe head injury may affect a person's ability to work, learn, and live with their family.

The following are possible physical effects of brain injury:

  • Difficulty with mobility and coordination
  • Difficulty talking and communicating
  • Severe headaches
  • Difficulty with sensation

The following are possible behavioral effects of brain injury:

  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Short attention span
  • Learning difficulties
  • Memory difficulties

Conclusion

Head injuries have the potential to be very serious life altering events. Often, serious effects do not show up until years after an injury. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer who has experience representing clients in brain injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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Proving And Treating A Brain Injury

A permanent brain injury may be difficult to recognize or prove. Changes in a person's behavior or personality may be subtle. In any case, the earlier a brain injury is diagnosed, the earlier a person can begin a treatment program. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer with experience in brain injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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Diagnostic Tools

Symptoms of brain damage can vary in type and severity. The effects largely depend on the degree of injury and the portion of the brain affected. In general, anyone who has sustained a serious blow to the head should see a doctor to determine if they should undergo diagnostic analysis.

There are a variety of physical, mental, and psychological tests that medical professionals use to determine the severity and effects of a brain injury. Following is a brief description of some diagnostic tools.

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive process that uses magnets to create nondestructive, three-dimensional, internal images of the soft tissues of the body. It is often used to analyze the brain, spinal cord and muscle.

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CT Scan

A computed tomography (CT scan) is often referred to as a CAT scan. It is a computer-assisted X-ray procedure that produces cross-sectional images of the body. This procedure is usually noninvasive and brief in duration.

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PET Scan

Position emission tomography scanning (PET scan) uses a small amount of a radioactive tracer to create a view of a "slice" of a scanned object. This type of diagnostic tool is helpful for brain injury patients because it can show how and where the brain is functioning.

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EEG

EEG is an abbreviation for an electroencephalography procedure. An EEG is the graphic recording of electric waves created in the brain. It is recorded through surface electrodes that are placed on the scalp.

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Functional Tests For Brain Damage

In addition to the above mentioned procedures, medical and psychological professionals use functional tests that analyze:

  • Vision and eye movement
  • Facial expression and reactions to stimuli
  • Hearing
  • Muscular movement
  • Personality
  • Memory

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Treatment And Therapy

Treatment and therapy will greatly depend on the extent and nature of the injury. For example, a person may need physical and occupational rehabilitation to condition muscles and relearn life skills. Generally, the earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome.

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Conclusion

A brain injury can be devastating for both the person injured and their family. Therapy, medical treatment and supplies can be exceedingly expensive. A legal claim can help you secure financial assistance from the party responsible for the injury. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling brain injury-related legal claims to discuss your options.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Injury

Q: What disabilities are associated with a brain injury?

A: There is a wide range of possible effects of a brain injury which depend on the location and severity of the injury. For example, a person may have altered muscle coordination, altered sensation, memory problems, or even major personality changes.

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Q: What are common symptoms of concussion?

A: The common early symptoms of concussion are headache, vertigo, nausea, and dizziness. Common later symptoms are anxiety, depression, chronic headaches, poor sleep, personality changes, depression, and intolerance to loud noises or bright lights.

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Q: What is a closed head injury?

A: A closed head injury is damage to the brain as a result of external force to the head that does not penetrate the skull.

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Q: What are the main parts of the brain and their respective functions?

A: The brain is divided into three main parts. The cerebrum is the largest section of the brain. Different parts of the cerebrum are related to the control of cognitive abilities, memory, motor function, learning and speech. The cerebellum is a part of the hindbrain. It coordinates voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. The brain stem is the lower extension of the brain. It acts as a relay station between incoming stimulus and the rest of the brain.

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Q: What happens if the brain loses its blood and oxygen supply?

A: Brain cells die when the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen. This can cause major brain injury. The brain may lose blood and oxygen supplies as a result of a near-drowning, choking, heart-stopping electrical shock, or other respiratory problems.

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Q: What are possible effects of a severe brain injury?

A: Depending on the location and severity of the injury, there may be physical and/or behavioral effects. A severe head injury may affect a person's ability to work, learn, and live with their family. Possible physical effects include difficulty with mobility and coordination, difficulty talking and communicating, severe headaches, and difficulty with sensation. Possible behavioral effects include personality changes, depression, short attention span, learning difficulties, and memory difficulties.

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Q: What is brain swelling, and how is it caused?

A: Brain swelling and bruising may occur following a violent force to the skull. The head, the brain will "bounce" off the inside of the skull. This can cause nerve shearing as well as the swelling and bruising of nerve tissue. The swelling can create pressure inside of the head, which may in turn lead to compression of vital blood vessels.

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Q: What kind of compensation is possible in a legal claim for a brain injury?

A: The compensation depends on the state, the injury, and the severity and extent of the permanent effects. Medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings, mental anguish, and rehabilitation costs may be possible.