Traveling Forward Surviving with a traumatic brain injury
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented victims of pediatric brain injuries as a result of medical malpractice or accident. Our firm has successfully litigated birth injury cases, including labor and delivery negligence cases, across Illinois and the Midwest. One of the most critical developments in the field of brain injury treatment is the ability to quickly diagnose brain trauma in order to implement treatment as soon as possible. Some brain injuries may be indicated by the various symptoms described above, as well as others including:. These and other symptoms may be indicative of an injury that merits closer evaluation or testing such as MRIs or CT scans.
When a brain injury is suspected or confirmed, a doctor may order medication or surgery. With any kind of injury to the head, it is important to seek care in an emergency room as soon as possible so doctors can take x-rays and monitor your blood pressure, oxygen, and other vital signs.
If they decide your head wound is minor or mild, you should be fine recovering at home. However, if your injury is deemed more serious, then physicians might put you on a course of treatment that includes surgery, medication, and rehabilitation. You might be prescribed medications to reduce the risk of pressure buildup in your brain, comas, or seizures. Doctors might perform surgery to remove blood clots and repair skull fractures, among other things. Ongoing rehabilitation might be necessary to address long-term health implications of your injury. If brain injury is left untreated, there can be serious long-term ramifications for the victim, including educational difficulties in the case of a child; problems concentrating or performing on a job; effects on personal relationships; and ongoing mental health issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
If someone else acted negligently and caused an accident that injured your brain, you could have a case against them. There are several different kinds of claims you could bring in Illinois including negligence, medical malpractice, and product liability, but the key is that you must prove that someone else acted wrongfully and that wrongful conduct caused your injuries. However, if you are found to be more than half responsible for your injuries, you will not be allowed to recover under Illinois comparative fault rules.
A brain injury lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will be able to evaluate your case and tell you what you can expect in the way of potential monetary damages. However, this clock does not start running until you discover the injury. If your suit is a medical malpractice action , then you cannot file it once four years have passed from the date of the injury regardless of when you discovered you had a possible cause of action.
The point at which the clock starts running on your brain injury case is known as accrual. As noted above, you typically have two years once it begins to accrue. But how will you know when it starts? Broadly speaking, it starts whenever you realize you were injured. But because the law recognizes that not all injuries or their causes manifest themselves right away, it created a backstop, which is the point when you should have discovered your injuries. Illinois law also gives children and fraud victims more time to pursue their personal injury lawsuits.
If your injuries were latent and presented after a long period of time, you might get relief from the standard two-year window. Consult a brain injury attorney today to make sure you file your claims in a timely manner for your circumstances. A female newborn sustained significant anoxic ischemic brain damage after an obstetrician and various hospital personnel allegedly failed to properly identify and respond to negative fetal monitoring data for over three hours.
The hospital's neonatologist allegedly did not arrive until two minutes after delivery and did not attempt intubation until five minutes of life. As a result, the child, now age 7, suffers from spastic quadriplegia, cortical blindness, seizures, and global developmental delay.
The settlement, paid by the anonymous hospital and several medical defendants, is believed to be the highest reported Will County medical malpractice verdict or settlement. A year-old factory worker suffered a permanent neuromuscular injury impairing his motor skills after he was deprived of oxygen during a botched intubation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
He had previously undergone a tracheostomy and was on a ventilator and suffered the injury when a third-year resident employed by a community hospital who was training at Northwestern attempted to change his tracheostomy tube but failed to maintain an adequate airway. The injury left the plaintiff unable to return to work. A year-old pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that was turning left while she was crossing a street in Lake Forest, Illinois. Among other injuries, she suffered a closed head injury that resulted in post-concussion syndrome with occasional short-term memory loss and intractable headaches.
The highest reported medical malpractice settlement in Lake County was paid after ER nursing staff allegedly failed to continuously monitor oxygen in a year-old female patient who was being treated for meningitis and encephalitis. The patient suffered an hypoxic brain injury and now requires constant care in an assisted living facility.
Half the settlement was paid by the self-insured hospital and the other half by its excess carrier, Allied World. A male newborn infant suffered severe brain damage during delivery when an OB-GYN at Evanston Hospital allegedly failed to perform a Cesarean section even after multiple signs of fetal distress and also ordered administration of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin, which put further stress on the infant.
The child suffers from cerebral palsy and impaired language and motor skills, in addition to other developmental problems, and needs assistance with daily living. The verdict included damages for past and future medical care, future lost earnings, loss of normal life, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. A jury found defendant Chicago Transit Authority liable for damages after a CTA bus collided with the vehicle of the year-old female plaintiff in an intersection, causing the plaintiff multiple injuries including TBI with loss of consciousness.
She reportedly suffers from memory loss, mobility issues, loss of vision in one eye, and lingering psychological problems, requiring hour supervision. Plaintiff claimed the CTA bus driver was attempting to beat a red light when he struck her car. In the Chicagoland area, we are fortunate to have a number of nationally recognized hospitals that excel in treating people with brain injuries.
Among the leading facilities for brain injury rehabilitation are:. Erie St. Chicago, IL Rush University Medical Center W. Congress Parkway Chicago, IL Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital S. California Ave. Our brain injury attorneys have helped individuals and their families from across Illinois recover compensation, and we would like the opportunity to assist you as well.
To learn more about your legal rights and options, we invite you to arrange a free case review with an award-winning Chicago brain injury attorney today. Search Search. Practice Areas. Chicago Brain Injury Lawyers. Common Causes of Accidental Brain Injury Brain injuries can arise from a wide variety of accidents and other causes. These are some of the most common causes of brain injury: Auto and truck accidents — A car wreck can have devastating consequences, often changing the victim's life forever in the blink of an eye.
This is especially true if the victim is involved in an accident with a truck or a driver who is distracted or under the influence. The Centers for Disease Control has concluded that auto accidents account for more TBIs in people from 15 to 44 years of age than any other type of accident. Birth injuries — These injuries are often sustained by a newborn infant as a result of medical negligence during the childbirth process. Tragically, most birth injuries that lead to long-term brain damage are preventable. They often stem from other minor injuries or conditions that are undiagnosed or not treated in a prompt manner.
Medical malpractice — The negligent practice of medicine has been responsible for numerous traumatic brain injuries, and often involves errors in the administration of anesthesia or medications.
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Victims who expected to be treated for a different condition or injury awake from their medical procedures forever impacted by cognitive impairment or brain damage. Bicycle accidents — Bike accidents are on the increase and are a major source of traumatic brain injury, particularly in children and bicyclists not wearing helmets. Types of Brain Injury The severity of all types of TBI is usually determined by the amount of force making impact with the head or the amount of time the brain is deprived of oxygen. Concussion Concussion is the most common TBI. Concussions can be caused by a variety of factors, including: A direct blow to the head sustained in a fall or other accident, or playing sports Violent head shaking Whiplash trauma such as that experienced in auto accidents While most minor concussions heal with rest and over-the-counter medications without producing long-term effects, patients still must be medically monitored for signs of complications such as slurred speech or worsening headache.
Contusion A contusion is another common type of TBI, and often results from an impact directly to the head. Diffuse Axonal Injuries Diffuse axonal injuries are usually the result of a strong rotation or shaking of the head, a common occurrence when rotational forces happen in a vehicle accident. Symptoms of acute subdural hematoma include: Temporary loss of consciousness Severe headache Weakness Seizure Changes in vision or speech A chronic subdural hematoma develops over the course of many days to even weeks after a relatively minor head trauma, and is more common in older people.
Symptoms include: Mild headache Nausea or vomiting Change in personality Memory loss Loss of balance or difficulty walking Double vision Weakness, numbness or tingling in arms or legs Elderly persons are at increased risk of subdural hematoma because they are commonly taking anticoagulant medication blood thinners and are also susceptible to falls. Anoxic Brain Injury Anoxic brain injuries can occur any time there is a lack of oxygen delivered to the brain. Brain infection Parasites, fungi, viruses, and other organisms invading the body can cause infection of the brain. Individuals older than 24 months suffering from acute infections of the brain often develop a variety of symptoms that include: Severe headaches High fever Stiff neck Intense pain when moving the neck or head Light sensitivity photophobia Nausea or vomiting Lethargy Drowsiness Recovery from brain infection is highly dependent on early diagnosis and proper treatment in order to prevent lifelong neurological disability and even possible death.
Brain Injury in Infants and Children Brain injury or trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. Identifying and Treating Brain Injuries One of the most critical developments in the field of brain injury treatment is the ability to quickly diagnose brain trauma in order to implement treatment as soon as possible. Jump to navigation. Doctors say that traumatic brain injury TBI is a catastrophic condition, like burns, amputations, and spinal cord injuries.
But TBI is different. It upsets life on multiple levels: physical, psychological, social, and even spiritual. TBI affects the roots of who we are — our ability to think, to communicate, and to connect with other people. For approximately 85 percent of people with TBI, those problems eventually resolve, but the remaining 15 percent have lasting difficulties.
A tap on the head, and anything can go wrong. Anything usually does go wrong. Light taps — mild TBI — can result in daily headaches, agitated moods, or periods of sleeplessness. A TBI can introduce a frustrating amount of confusion and uncertainty into your life. TBI has a way of affecting everything and everyone in your life. It can make family life tough, and it can seriously impede your ability to work. It can affect the relationships you have and make it harder to make new friends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 2.
Fifty-six thousand people die from it.
Using Telehealth to Treat Combat-Related Traumatic Brain Injury
Over a two hundred eighty-two thousand people are hospitalized. So many Americans become disabled from a brain injury that each decade they could fill a city the size of Detroit. Seven of these cities are filled already. A third of their citizens are under fourteen years of age.
Currently, there are at least , people with a brain injury so severe that it requires extended hospital care — a service difficult to find and even harder to access. Fortunately, the majority of people who experience TBI will be able to return to a productive life once they receive appropriate treatment. It has a way of showing us that life is fragile and precious.
Because the brain is a complicated network of cells, each injury is as distinctive as the person it affects.
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- Types of Brain Injury.
Our skulls are only a quarter inch thick, although male skulls are a little thicker, which is lucky considering the fact that men tend to get TBI more often than women. Surrounding the brain is an almost rubbery, clear layer of tissue called the dura mater.
It helps protect the brain from moving around too much. Beneath the dura mater is another layer called the arachnoid layer, which looks and feels like wet cotton candy. The dura mater, the arachnoid layer, and another layer — the pia mater — all form what is known as the meninges, which keeps the brain floating inside the skull. If these layers get infected, ripped, or torn, it can cause serious damage to the brain. Every brain injury is different, but there are two basic types: open head injuries and closed head injuries.
Open head TBIs are a frightening mess. Whether the injury comes from a bullet, a baseball bat, or a high-speed collision, the result is always chaotic and distressing. The scalp bleeds a lot when it is cut, and when the skull is cracked or penetrated, pieces of it can get lodged in the brain. In a closed head injury, nothing penetrates your skull, but a closed head injury can be just as complicated and vicious as an open head injury, sometimes more so. During a closed head injury, the brain may slam against one portion of the skull, then bounce against the opposite side of the wall.
One of the most common types of closed head injury is a concussion — a strong blow from an external force. An injured brain also has a tendency to swell, so if there is no room in the skull to expand, the swollen brain may start pushing against the eye sockets. The optic nerve eventually gets pinched, and eyesight is affected. A surgeon might drill holes into a skull to test cranial pressure. If the swelling is too extreme, the only option is to create an escape hatch by sawing away a portion of the skull. The neurosurgeon is in charge of protecting the brain through medical procedures, but the survivor has to manage life with the effects of the TBI.
Everyone reacts differently, depending in part on the severity of the injury, the quality of their care, and the strength of the social network around them. Many survivors feel pulled in different directions, feeling at times that the injury has made them less than what they were, and at other times that they can integrate TBI into their lives in a positive way. People with TBI are forced to confront a whole series of personal questions: How does my injury really affect me?
What am I other than my brain? How can I make the most of my life? Our understanding of TBI is changing in front of our eyes. As organizations such as the Brain Trauma Foundation continue to define the best practices in treating brain injury, medical care is slowly improving — at least for those patients able to gain access to early trauma care. Military surgeons who learned life-saving techniques like early cranioplasty are able to employ similar protocols in American trauma centers.
In the years to come, we may increasingly see brain trauma as a chronic but manageable condition similar to diabetes or cardio-pulmonary disease. That perspective might also help in reducing the negative stereotypes of TBI. For now, though, TBI survivors and those who care for them continue to face serious challenges in finding help and finding acceptance.
TBI is a much more manageable injury today than it has been in the past, but it remains a major health problem. As people with TBI continue to live longer and face the challenges of aging with TBI, it will be our duty to provide better education and long-term programs and services. I was 6 months old when I was in a car accident and had a skull fracture.
At age 3 I had brain surgery and at 15 I had my first seizure. I am 20 now and am on a variety of seizure medications. My daughter had a very severe blow to her brain 20 years ago and was unconscious for over an hour. She was checked by a neurologist for months afterwards and was declared clear. She now has an MRI showing white blood cells in the brain at the site of the injury 20 years ago.
Is it possible this is still from the trauma as they are now checking her for MS? Any advice would be much appreciated. I have a friend who was just recently hit by a car while riding his atv and now seems to be suffering from amnesia, as he doesn't know who I am, where he is, and what happened.
Unfortunately he has had a previous head injury from a atv accident where the removed a piece of his skull to relieve swelling and replaced it with a metal plate. His new injury is right next to the old injury. He has bleeding on the brain also which through the Kat scan is increasing. Will this eventually fix itself and about how long will it take. Under any circumstances would it be considered normal not to be assessed for TBI if you were riding a motorcycle and had an accident at 80mph?
I guess you'd call me a baby boomer. I was raised in the 50's when stuff was kept in the family. My dad was a very short tempered and frustrated man. His main thing was to grab me around the neck and hit his fist on my head. This went on constantly to the point I was once knocked out.
He did this my entire childhood until I moved out when I was I'm I didn't get that kind of abuse.
Faces of Brain Injury
Now I am 52 yrs. I know I have TBI. Do not know what to do. I left home at I had a head injury when I was about 20 years old or so. I got hit in head with tree. So they cut my skull open for blood to drain. Now some time it burns and hurts were they cut my scalp or skull I don't think it's inside my brain. Just outside is this just nerve damage or sumthing else any help would be great or any one else deal with this.
For 1 example I put my motor cycle helmet on and lean my head over it burns real bad. Use to just do it then now it does if I move my head a certain way or raise my eye brows up. It burns and feels weird there. Hello everyone I am 37 years old and I suffer from a Traumatic brain injury. Please Can someone please help me out? Does anyone know anyone in my position where their father suffered a Traumatic brain injury when they were a child then later on in life they suffer for a Traumatic brain injury? I really need some help on this because I feel alone.
I have therapy I see a psychologist twice a week and psychiatrist once a week. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could help me out. I hope someone out there can help me. Thank you Mike. Hi Mike. Have you gotten any answers to your question yet? My dad suffered many TBIs, some before I was even born. He lived a risky and dangerous lifestyle. I got my TBI when I was I had just graduated high school with honors when I was struck by a drunk driver.
You're not alone. TBIs can and do just happen to the best of us. It was a very foggy night- Christmas Eve- and needless to say, he didn't join us for Christmas that year. When he finally came home, he was wrapped from head to toe in white bandages. He looked like the Mummy from the movies. He had his scalp pulled back over his skull and broke most of his ribs. He was never properly treated for a brain injury, and now that he is gone I finally understand what may have been a tragic situation for him, a severe blow to the front of his head.
I now also have a TBI, but fortunately for me it was to the back of my head I was thrown from a faulty inversion table onto the back of my head a year ago , and I deal with balance issues, headaches, feel like I'm lost in space, frightened a lot about the future. I am lucky that I have a job I can work when I feel up to it, and I still perform with other musicians. This is no picnic, but I realize it could have been so much worse. Hang in there, bro. You are not alone. He is currently in minimal conscious state.
Do you have any recommendations for support groups in the area for family members? A traumatic brain injury effects the entire family as I'm sure you know. It can be considered a shared trauma.
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Any support group that helps facilitate trauma processing can help, whether TBI specific or not. You can look at local counseling services for emotional support groups. Hospitals may offer emotional support groups as well. Oftentimes a small, local paper will have a list of different groups happening in your area. I wish you and your family the best.
Feb 15, , I was involved in a car accident with black ice being the culprit. The person who rear-ended me just left me.
Resources For Those That Suffer With Brain Injury
I was found by someone passing by on the highway who saw my car in a ditch smoking from the engine. They called for help. The ambulance deemed it was too dangerous to transport me, so they called air support. When I arrived at the hospital, I died three times. They were able to get me stable, but I laid in a coma for three months. I eventually woke from the coma and was told that I died three times, had been in a coma, and now suffer from a TBI.
At first, I was ignorant and just couldn't sit still. But after physical therapy and going home the reality of having a traumatic brain injury started to kick in. I often thought "why couldn't I have just died? I just had so much rage that it was unbearable for the people around me. I would get mad at anything. I would even amuse myself on how ridiculous I was being. The hardest part was no doctor could explain what I was experiencing. I am going on four years and every day is a new experience. The problem for me is that no memory can stay long enough to become long-term memory.
I feel like a newborn every morning I awake! No one ever explained to me what I was going through but my life sucks. I can't remember anything to save my life. I was on felony probation. Starting a well when I get t-boned by a car waiting to turn. Didn't even see me while I was on a motorized mountain bike doing at least They had to put me out for fighting with them. Everything I just read really spells out what I been going through for about 9 years. I grew up ADD and learning disability so it was really.. I mean IS very hard. I haven't felt no pain at all so that's nice but I have been through so much stuff already that my brain is just mush.
Sometimes I pretended to be so spacey because I can't remember anything short term so now I just don't even really try to remember stuff because I'll forget what I been running in my head for days. I can mostly get to work on time. Still back inside a few times every day.
And can't just be like ok it's fine I can bring it tomorrow.. Then the process is compromised and I'll be lost all day even more. I signed myself out of the hospital. My family, soon as I'm up they got to go home. So all alone for 9 or 10 years just being passive and excepting I'm unable to function.
So I just go to prison with no idea the situation I read in. The hospital nursery let me go. I was so mean when I got up trying to get my girlfriend to get in bed with me. A vikodin 9 I think is what I was getting every 4 hrs. With fractures up both side of body from ankle to wrist, three ribs, and two parts of my back. I was alone now not even recollecting.
They just let me go cause I was mean to everyone maybe? None told me "hey this is what happens" or "here's where you need to go" to be thought to process your confusion with stuff you know but you don't. My lawyer didn't do nothing for me. He ended up with more than me after I had to pay all the bills and lawyer out of the little S, I got for being injured for life. No one ever explained anything to me.
I thought I was fine. I didn't remember the accident and maybe one time was told I need to go see this counselor. Anyway, that's what happened to me. Got three small plates in my face where they went in behind my eye. Twenty feet bouncing off the windshield landing on my face. I didn't know until I went to prison and got my psi investigation for sentencing. Didn't even get to cash it, they knew. But ten years ago when I was 15 got jumped after friends and I chased some other kids home. My friends started running away when they came out with sticks and bats. Not me. I'm already in it.
I took this guy's bat after I let him swing and chasing hitting him his friends jump out from hiding waiting. Straight in the back head with bat doing doggie paddle cause 5 people are all trying to hit my face with wepons. Had a concussion for couple days couldn't remember. Kept having to ask what happened when I'm trying to share the stories.
About 28 years old my best friend was tricked into thinking I'm stealing something his wife pawned while he was in jail. Set me up. At my face again another bat. Couldn't close my teeth my lips were so swollen. Ducktape saved my face.. This was just after the first five years in prison. Then another ten years to help my girlfriend try and cash this check cause her kids are gone and we're trying to get them back.
At a homeless shelter now after 8 months for probation. Got a job going every day but no license so it's motorized cause work is 10 miles away from where I live. And bam, kiss the windshield out on contact. I'm grateful I do not remember but like a dead fish on my face after 20 feet. Not figuring out why I spend most hrs trying to remember what I was going for with everyone saying "oh yeah me too trying to remember.
Anyway this blog or whatever it is really helped me and now I'm off to doctor first thing because my nose has been dripping. I'm more sick and it's like light yellow colored just keeps on coming out. Oh and now I have an electric bike. It does 40 mph all over. Still no license but I got to work. Now out there again in the snow ice and rain freezing 7 miles to work at 6am along with everyone trying to get to work.
So I got a car now. I'm suspended so i might go to prison for it. I have been out over two years with 0 trouble. I am getting off early soon. Quit one job cause I felt uncomfortable after everyone thinks I'm just on drugs. That's why I'm never the same one day to next. I was doing pot and that's the only way I can sleep or alcohol. Otherwise, pillows can't be used and need smoked every morning with no sleep.
Now I have Gout in my toe too that sometimes wake up and can't walk well at all. Got no insurance, no family in the same state. They moved here from the coast when I was in juvie. Alone there and now moved back while I stayed here on parole working with now on top of the trouble I get in trying to be excepted cause I'm being taken care of just like whole life.
No one to teach me nothing. Growing up mom had PTSD my grandpa abused them all. Now for two years, I been making it work but I quit job to go back to another but I can't remember things enough to keep up and not do things obviously wrong. Tried another job and was told I can find another job that "there's not much going on.. So now put all my things that I can't sell into my piece of crap car and moved back to the shelter.
To start all over. I have never been on meds or had a doctor to even get any. Ritalin when I was 12 for a month. I really think I need help with resources to help me with rent while I get some very much needed medical attention to help me get focused, get my license insurance, and a way to relearn how to learn without having anxiety attacks daily.
I know most may have moved on but I really needed to get that out. I've been through a lot and being a drug user I don't even know what to ask for and if I would even get it. It needs to be something that is stronger than normal cause my tolerance naturally is way more than most since I have been self-medicating my whole life. Goodnight lol..