The Only Lehigh Valley Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer You Can Trust
Any type of traumatic brain injury is life-changing. Whether the injury is mild, moderate, or severe, it can take a great physical, psychological, and financial toll on victims and their families. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, an Allentown brain injury lawyer at Munley Law can help you get the proper compensation you deserve to cope with the aftermath.
The personal injury attorneys at Munley Law have fought for, on won on behalf of, victims of serious brain injuries and their families since 1959. Our award-winning legal team has been listed among the Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms (U.S. News and World Report), and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Families throughout Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley put their trust in Munley Law. We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, and we’re more than ready to put our winning track record and experience to work for you.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic head injury, our Allentown brain injury lawyers are here to help. Fill out our contact form or call us today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything. Even if you hire us, you won’t pay anything out of pocket; we aren’t paid unless you win money. Furthermore, contacting us won’t obligate you to do anything. The choice to proceed is, always, yours.
Our attorneys understand the difficulty of navigating life after a traumatic brain injury. Let our attorneys help.
How an Allentown Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have long term effects on your health and affect the way you navigate the world around you. In the days and weeks following a serious brain injury, you might not yet know the full extent of the complications you will suffer. You may need ongoing therapy for a while, or you may be unable to perform your job the way you did in the past.
The role of a brain injury attorney is to make sure you have the resources you need to recover properly from your injury and to rebuild your life. If someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer a traumatic brain injury, the at-fault party should be held responsible for damages. But after a TBI, you have more than enough going on. An experienced attorney can handle getting you the compensation you deserve, while you stay focused on moving forward from your brain injury.
It is important to have an injury lawyer with years of experience helping victims of brain injuries specifically. Brain injuries are more complex than other types of injuries. The medical evidence necessary to prove your injuries, and the ways they will impact your life, is complex. To ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve, you will need a lawyer familiar with TBI diagnoses and the unique challenges they pose.
At Munley Law, we have helped obtain record-breaking settlements on behalf of people who suffered serious brain trauma. We work with medical experts to calculate the full scope of your damages from medical care to assisted living, lost earning power, and pain and suffering.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Brain damage results from injuries that cause the destruction or deterioration of brain cells. There are two different types, traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries result from an external force that causes the brain to move inside or damage the skull.
Acquired brain injuries occur at a cellular level and are most often associated with pressure on the brain, such as a tumor or stroke.
Causes of traumatic brain injury include:
Car and Truck Accidents
Car and truck crashes are some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. The force of an impact in a head-on crash, rear-end crash, or any other collision can cause the head to move forward and back at a high rate of speed. This thrusts the brain against the skull wall, resulting in a brain injury. A car or truck accident can also cause blunt force trauma to the head resulting in a traumatic brain injury or concussion. Motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents can also result in brain trauma.
Athletes often experience traumatic brain injuries from colliding with other players. In fact, sports and other recreational activities were found to be the leading cause of non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in teens. Football players in particular experience a very high rate of brain injury. In fact, the type of repeated blows to the head these athletes often experience can lead to something called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Hockey players, soccer players, and cheerleaders are also at high risk for concussion and other brain injuries.
Sports injuries present unique challenges both because they often impact the still-developing brain of teenagers and because their full scope is often not immediately apparent.
Slip and Falls
Falls are easily the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in adults over the age of 65. They are also a fairly common cause of traumatic brain injuries in young children. Accidents in this category can include anything from falling down stairs, to falling when getting in and out of the shower, and much more. If you experienced a serious fall at someone’s residence or place of business due to a preventable hazard, the property owner can be held responsible.
Unfortunately, domestic and other types of violence can often result in TBIs. Shaken baby syndrome, which typically occurs when a caregiver shakes a child in frustration or anger, is a type of traumatic brain injury in infants that can cause lasting damage.
Explosive Blasts and Combat Injuries
The pressure wave that occurs when an explosive blast takes place can cause great damage as it passes through the brain, though the science of this is still somewhat unclear. Active-military personnel are also at a high risk for penetrating brain injuries from bullets or shrapnel. Construction workers can also experience explosive blasts that result in traumatic brain injuries
A traumatic brain injury at work can affect your ability to do your job. Falls are a leading cause of work-related brain injuries. Other high-risk industries include trucking, construction, and law enforcement.
Some people are at higher risk for a Traumatic Brain Injury than others. Overall, men of any age are far more likely to experience a traumatic brain injury, and it’s also more likely that their TBI will be a serious one. People over the age of 65 and young children, especially newborns to age 4, are also at a much higher risk level. Of course, certain activities and lifestyles, such as being an athlete or a member of the military, can also impact the likelihood of a TBI.
Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can be divided into two main categories: closed head injuries and penetrating head injuries. A closed head injury is the result of an external force that does not actually penetrate the skull. A penetrating head injury involves an object that breaks the skull, such as a bullet or other projectile.
Some common types of brain injuries include:
Concussion – A concussion is the most common type of brain injury. Concussions can be mild or severe; they can result from a direct blow to the head, or any intense shaking or jarring that causes the brain to hit against the skull.
Contusion – A contusion is a bruise on the brain that can cause bleeding or swelling.
Hematoma – A subdural hematoma or intracranial hematoma is a brain injury that involves blood collecting under the skull.
Penetrating Skull Fracture – A penetrating injury or skull fracture can cause damage to the brain directly, or cause pieces of broken skull to enter the brain and cause damage.
Diffuse Axonal Injury – Diffuse axonal injury is the tearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers (axons) that occurs when the brain is injured as it shifts and rotates inside the skull.
Regardless of what type of brain injury you or your loved one has suffered, Munley Law’s Allentown brain injury lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you both require and deserve.
What are Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms?
It can be difficult to spot a brain injury. Symptoms of brain injuries vary depending on the type and severity of the injury sustained.
Mild injuries typically result in temporary side effects that include headaches, confusion, memory problems and nausea. Symptoms of moderate injuries last longer and can be more pronounced. A severe brain injury can result in cognitive, behavioral and physical disabilities.
Regardless of the degree, traumatic brain injury symptoms fall into four main categories: cognitive, perceptual, physical, and behavioral/emotional.
Cognitive symptoms of a brain injury include:
Difficulty processing information
Difficulty expressing thoughts
Difficulty understanding others
Shortened attention span
Inability to understand abstract concepts
Impaired decision-making ability
Change in vision, hearing or sense of touch
Inability to appreciate time
Disorders of smell and taste
Heightened sensitivity to pain
Some physical symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
Extreme mental fatigue
Extreme physical fatigue
Sensitivity to light
Sleep disorders, which can appear as either difficulty falling or staying asleep, or difficulty waking up.
Sudden and unexplained slurred speech
Loss of consciousness or fainting
Behavioral and emotional symptoms:
Irritability and impatience
Reduced tolerance for stress
Flattened or heightened emotions and reactions
Denial of disability
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of brain injuries to diagnose and treat a head injury as quickly as possible. Any type of brain injury requires immediate medical attention to stabilize the patient and prevent further injury.
If the traumatic brain injury was inflicted due to someone else’ negligence, you need an Allentown brain injury lawyer to look into your case and provide legal advice and more.
TBI Recovery Period is Hard to Predict
TBIs exist in mild, moderate, and severe forms, and the prognosis tends to be better the more mild the injury is.
Most people who experience a concussion or mild TBI regain all of their brain function within three months of the incident. With a moderate TBI, most people will eventually recover the majority of their brain function. However, it’s not unusual that someone with this level of injury would need additional services in order to regain function, such as neurosurgery, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more.
The recovery period for a severe TBI is much more difficult to predict, and depends greatly on the details of the injury (the specific location of the injury in the brain, the length of time spent in a coma post injury, etc). Overall, the longer the period of recovery is, the more permanent long term effects there are likely to be.
In the immediate aftermath of a moderate or severe injury, it’s very possible that the injured party may, for some period of time, not show signs of awareness. Their eyes may remain closed as well. As the swelling and bleeding in the brain begin to ebb, they may slowly begin to show more signs of awareness, such as following commands and entering more normal sleep-wake cycles.
In this time period, there are several different terms that may be used, depending on the individual’s status in the following three categories:
Minimally Conscious state
Research shows that one year after injury, a little over 50 percent of patients are able to regain near total independence. An additional 30 percent are able to function with a minimal level of supervision.
Be it a mild traumatic brain injury or severe, the road to recovering from any head trauma is certainly long, and not without challenges. You and your family must dedicate yourselves fully to completing it. If your injury was caused by someone else’s actions, you may think you don’t have time to think about holding that person accountable. That’s where we come in. You need an Allentown brain injury attorney to focus on getting you the financial recovery you deserve; you don’t have to do it alone!
As you or your loved one recovers from this injury, know that Munley Law’s Allentown traumatic brain injury lawyers are ready and willing to hold the responsible party accountable. The lawyers at Munley law are the go to Lehigh brain injury attorneys, for people in Pennsylvania and throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Frequently Asked Questions for an Allentown Brain Injury Lawyer
Q: How is the severity of a brain injury determined?
A: Doctors often use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine the severity of a brain injury. The scale is divided into three sections: Eye Opening Response, Verbal Response, and Motor Response. Within each of these categories there is a scale of response that a doctor can test, each of which is associated with a number of points.
For instance, Eye Opening response runs from “No response” (1 point) up to “Open with blinking at baseline” (4 points) . Someone in a coma will fall in the range of 6 to 8 points, which typically means no eye opening or ability to follow commands. Beyond that, patients can fall into the categories of Mild TBI (12 to 15 points), Moderate TBI (9 to 12 points), or Severe TBI (8 or fewer points) depending on how capable they are of responding to stimuli and following commands.
Q: Is a concussion considered a traumatic brain injury?
A: A concussion is usually considered a mild TBI. Usually the effects of this type of injury are temporary, but the impact can be long term if someone experiences multiple concussions. Every concussive incident causes some amount of stretching and tearing of nerve fibers. The more this happens, the higher the likelihood of lasting impact. For that reason it’s important that everyone, even athletes, take every concussion seriously.
Q: How can a traumatic brain injury impact a person’s mood, personality, and emotions?
A: After a head injury, it’s very common for people to experience changes in mood and emotion, and what may feel like a shift in personality. The specifics of these changes have a lot to do with where the injury is located in the brain. For example, the orbitofrontal cortex is an area of the brain that helps to regulate impulse control and the sensation of empathy. If this area is damaged, the injured person may lack impulse control or struggle with empathy in a way they previously did not. Mood swings are also common, as are increased aggression (which appears in almost a third of TBI patients), a seeming disaffectedness or flatness, and more.
What’s very important to remember is that you, or your loved one, are still the same person after an injury. There are many things that can be done to help navigate and regulate these changes, such as identifying and removing things that trigger the aggression or mood swings, or working with a cognitive behavioral therapist.
Q: Can I have a TBI and not know it?
A: Yes, it is possible to have a traumatic brain injury and not know it right away. Because many TBIs result from closed head injuries, they are not always immediately apparent, especially if the victim does not lose consciousness.
If you are experiencing any or multiple of the symptoms of a brain injury discussed above, or even if you just generally don’t feel “right” or “normal” after an injury, you should go to a doctor immediately for further examination and treatment. The longer a brain injury is left untreated, the more serious the complications can become. For that reason, it’s always better to have a medical professional check it out.
Q: What can I do for a loved one experiencing a TBI?
A: Some of the ways you can help a loved one experiencing a traumatic brain injury are very simple, such as keeping your communication clear and direct. State your name when you greet them, speak slowly and allow plenty of time for your loved one to respond. If your loved one is searching for a word, give them a minute to do so; if they have not found the word at that point, you can guess at what they’re trying to say so that they don’t reach a point of frustration. You can also help your loved one feel grounded and connected to their life by singing familiar songs and showing pictures of friends and family.
The Mayo Clinic has a helpful set of guidelines for additional ways to support your loved one. And of course, you can help ensure that they receive the compensation owed to them by hiring the experienced attorneys at Munley Law. We receive no payment unless we win for you. Contact us today for your free consultation.
How Munley Law Can Help
We know the last thing you want to do when dealing with a traumatic brain injury is think about lawyers. That said, if you or a loved one are suffering from a traumatic brain injury, working with a lawyer can help.
We can help early after an injury to answer your questions and help you negotiate with the person who caused the injury and any insurance companies involved
After any brain injury, you will have questions. What happens with insurance? Do you accept the deal you are being offered? What should you do if the person who caused the injury says that you all can just “work it out?” Our attorneys at Munley Law will answer your questions and deal with insurance companies on your behalf so that you may focus on your healing process. We can also help you make sure that you’re covering all your bases; it’s a busy and emotionally draining time and you and your family should not be responsible for navigating it alone.
We can help gather evidence and structure your claim, in case more formal proceedings are required
You may not need to file a lawsuit after a traumatic brain injury. In fact, working with a lawyer can help you avoid a lawsuit. We can write demand letters, become involved early in the negotiation process to make sure your interests are represented, and present your case informally. Through these methods, early advocacy can get you the relief you need, quickly and without formal litigation.
Even so, we have to know what to ask for. We work closely with investigators, industry experts and medical professionals to ensure that you are properly compensated for your medical bills, rehabilitation, long-term care, lost wages, lost earning power, and your pain and suffering.
If we have to fight, we will. And we’ll win
If aggressive early advocacy doesn’t get you the results you need, Munley Law’s experienced attorneys are ready and willing to take the case to court. You aren’t just another case to us, so no matter the opponent, Munley Law is ready to see your case to the end.
Munley Law does some of its best work in the courtroom, so if that’s where the party who caused your injury makes us go? So be it. We’ll gather evidence, structure your case so it is persuasive to a jury, and make sure your case will withstand scrutiny from our opponents.
Furthermore, you can rest assured that you will not pay anything up front or out of your own pocket. We do not charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you. Furthermore, calling us won’t obligate you to do anything.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, contact us to speak to an Allentown brain injury lawyer for a free consultation by calling, filling out our email form, or chatting live with a personal injury lawyer from our law firm.