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Any type of traumatic brain injury can be life-changing.  Whether the injury is mild, moderate, or severe, they 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 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.  People throughout Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley put their trust in Munley Law. We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.

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.

How an Allentown Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have long term effects on your health and your life. 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. 

 

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; to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve, you will need a lawyer familiar with TBI diagnoses and the many ways they can affect your quality of life. At Munley Law, we have won 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 TBI or concussion. Motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents can also result in brain trauma. 

Sports Injuries

Athletes often experience traumatic brain injuries from colliding with other players. 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. 

Slip and Falls

slip and fall accident lawyersFalls 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 TBIs 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. 

Physical Violence

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

Workplace 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, or TBI, than others. Overall, men of any age are far more likely to experience a TBI, 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

Traumatic 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 shrapnel. 

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 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 injury you or your loved one has suffered, Allentown brain injury lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you both require and deserve.

What are Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms?

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.  Symptoms of severe brain injuries can result in cognitive, behavioral and physical disabilities.

Traumatic brain injury symptoms fall into four main categories:  cognitive, perceptual, physical, and behavioral/emotional.

Cognitive symptoms include:injured victim filling out paperwork

  • Difficulty processing information
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts
  • Difficulty understanding others
  • Shortened attention span
  • Inability to understand abstract concepts
  • Impaired decision-making ability
  • Memory loss

Perceptual symptoms:

  • Change in vision, hearing or sense of touch
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Inability to sense time
  • Disorders of smell and taste
  • Balance issues
  • Heightened sensitivity to pain

Some physical symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Extreme mental fatigue
  • Extreme physical fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sleep disorders
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness

Behavioral and emotional symptoms:

  • Irritability and impatience
  • Reduced tolerance for stress
  • Sluggishness
  • Flattened or heightened emotions and reactions
  • Denial of disability
  • Increased aggression

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 milder 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 of a severe TBI is much more difficult to predict, and depends greatly on the details of the injury (the location 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. As you or your loved one recovers from this injury, know that Allentown traumatic brain injury lawyers are the go to when you want an attorney you can truly trust. The lawyers at Munley law are the go to Lehigh brain injury attorneys, for people in Pennsylvania and throughout the Lehigh Valley.

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:

  • Coma
  • Vegetative State
  • 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.

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.

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, 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. 

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 TBI 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 an Allentown brain injury lawyer at Munley Law. We receive no payment unless we win for you. Contact us today for your free consultation.

How Munley Law Can Help

If you or a loved one are suffering from a traumatic brain injury, speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience with complex cases such as these.  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 work closely with investigators, industry experts and medical professionals to ensure you are properly compensated for your medical bills, rehabilitation, long-term care, lost wages, lost earning power, and your pain and suffering.

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.  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. 

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