Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain is probably the most important and at the same time the most delicate structure of the body. As such, it is especially important to ensure that it is protected at all times. Unfortunately, car accidents and similar events can result in traumatic brain injuries that may have long-lasting and life-changing effects. There are different types of traumatic brain injuries that may happen in an accident.

Traumatic brain injuries are characterized by damage to brain tissue due to some type of physical force or violent motion. They can manifest as a short or long period of unconsciousness, memory loss, headaches or disorientation. There are three basic types of traumatic brain injuries: closed, open and acquired.

Closed traumatic brain injuries

When there is a sudden deceleration of enough force, the brain may “bounce” around the inside of the skull, stretching or twisting the brain tissue and injuring or tearing nerve endings. There is no apparent injury on the outside, but the effects can be debilitating. Damage is not usually confined to one area but is diffuse, so it is not easy to predict the outcome of such injuries.

Open traumatic brain injuries

When a foreign object penetrates through the skull into the brain, this is called an open injury. An example would be a gunshot wound to the head where the bullet lodges in the brain. The damage is often localized, and because of this, it is easier to predict the effects of the injury.

Acquired brain injury (ABI)

This type of injury often results when the brain bleeds, swells or experiences cell death due to lack of oxygen. The physical force is not the actual cause of ABI, but rather as the secondary effect of the impact. For example, in an accident where the car goes into the water and the driver drowns but is resuscitated, the lack of oxygen to the brain prior to resuscitation can result in permanent disability due to ABI.

Traumatic brain injuries can change a life forever. If you or someone you know sustains traumatic brain injuries because of the negligence of others, you may be able to get compensation for the victim. Consult with a Champaign accident attorney to help you accomplish this successfully.

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The Strict Liability of Dog Owners in the Event of Dog Bites

It is quite surprising to know that the number of dog bite cases in the US every year reaches 800,000 and that those who are usually bitten are children. Majority of dob bite victims are boys aged five to nine; some children, aged four or younger also suffer bites which often lead to trauma as these bites are commonly on the neck or head. Child are very trusting, so dogs don’t seem that dangerous to them. On the other hand

Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend; these are loving creatures with which owners easily develop a special bond. There are some breeds of dogs, however, which are naturally more hostile compared to others, thus, these become easily threatened even before the people who own them.

Some dog bites may only be minor; but there certainly are serious ones which can inflict severe harm, whether physically, psychologically or both. A few of the severe consequences of dog bites include lacerations, nerve damage, disfigurement and paralysis, broken bones and infections; some bites would even require reconstructive surgery as treatment.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has never ceased in its information drive that would inform owners of their great responsibility in making sure that their dogs never get to bite or attack anyone. Everyone has to realize that a dog bite or attack, even if the injury it causes is just minor, can still result to unexpected medical cost and absence from work, which means loss of income.

To emphasize CDC’s campaign, the Leash law has been imposed all across the US. All states also hold all dog owners fully liable for any injury or harm caused by their dog. However, in instances wherein a dog bites or attacks anyone due to illegal entry into one’s property or because the dog was incited, liability is lifted from the owner of the dog.

Letting your dog roam freely because it is totally domesticated can never be accepted as an excuse if it ends up biting or attacking anyone. And since it would be hard to predict the extent of harm a dog’s bite may inflict, the safest thing to do, at all times, is to observe CDC’s stipulations and make sure that your dog is restricted from harming anyone.

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Grain Explosion Accidents

Concerns over workplace safety continue to arise after an explosion last month at Union Mills Co-op in Indiana killed one person and injured two others. Although Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the possible causes of the explosion, records indicate the OSHA had never inspected the facility before the accident.

67-year-old employee James Swank was working on top of a tower when a large quantity of grain dust exploded and caused him to fall 175 feet to the ground. Grain dust is an incredibly volatile material, especially when sealed in a concrete silo, and can react to even a small spark according to Purdue University farm safety expert Steve Wettschurack.

The June 24 explosion occurred just days after a man in Veedersburg, Indiana suffocated in a grain bin. According to a recent report from Purdue University, suffocation is the most common cause of death at grain storage areas; 21 people died in 2010 after being sucked under the unstable grain. Explosions have also caused untold injury and death. In the past 35 years, OSHA reports more than 180 people have died and 675 have been injured in grain bin explosions.

Funds have dried up for OSHA, forcing a reduction in the number of inspections at grain facilities around the country to one every 99 years. The number has dropped for other workplaces as well–in 2010, there were 4,500 preventable workplace deaths. According to the website of the Woodson Law Firm, the U.S. legal system states that any party or person that is responsible for the explosion may be due to pay compensation to cover any medical bills, lost wages, or other relevant costs. If you live in East Texas, your best option would be to contact a Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney today to learn more about your options.

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Colorado Passes Dog Protection Law

After more than 40 pets were killed in Colorado over the past five years by police officers responding to disturbances, the Senate and House have passed a law to cut down on such incidents. The Dog Protection Act, which has already been signed into law by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, is the first of its kind across the U.S.

Animal activists have been lobbying lawmakers since April to pass a bill that would require law enforcement officers to undergo a training program on how to treat dogs while on duty. The proposed training consists of three hours of online classes and would teach officers how to recognize aggressive dog behavior and how to use non-lethal force to protect themselves from dangerous dogs.

A task force comprised of dog owners, veterinarians, and police officers met on Wednesday to discuss how and when to begin implementation of officer training programs.

Republican Senator David Balmer, who originally sponsored the bill, said its goal is to aid officers when they are forced to make quick decisions in the field. Although the training emphasizes non-lethal ways to control animals, officers will still have discretion when responding to violent incidents.

An officer still has flexibility to make the gut-wrenching decisions that they make on a daily basis,” Balmer said.

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The Risk of Longshoreman Injuries

A longshoreman is often confused with a stevedore, but they are actually different. A longshoreman is primarily a dockworker who loads and unloads cargo. The term “longshoreman” comes from the colonial times phrase “men along the shore” or “alongshoremen.” A stevedore supervises dockworkers, and may be an individual or a company. The term is derived from the Spanish “estibador” which means someone who stuffs. But the terms are used interchangeably, although when it comes to occupational hazards, they are called longshoreman injuries.

Aside from loading and unloading cargo, longshoremen also do ship repair, bridge building and other duties. Because of the multitude of tasks they perform and the hazards they face, they are paid a premium rate. An experienced, unionized longshoreman may be paid as much as $20 an hour. However, longshore work and related maritime industry occupations are considered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be among the most hazardous occupations in the US. An average of 350 workers in this industry suffers serious work-related injuries every year. The most common longshoreman injuries are accidents involving equipment and machines, drowning, and slips and falls.

Some of the common injuries occur because of unsafe work environments. Working close to the water means the work surface is slippery. Defective equipment and inadequate safety procedures and gear also add to the risk of longshoreman injuries. In response, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came up with regulations in 2011 to promote a safer working environment including lighting standards, first-aid training, hazardous materials training and safe motor vehicle operation. According to the website of McAllen-based law firm Patino & Associates P.L.L.C., employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their workers as much as possible, and should use these regulations to accomplish this.

However, some employers fail to follow these regulations and expose their workers to the risk of longshoreman injuries unnecessarily. Workers who suffer from this negligence can avail of federal and civil solutions to get compensation for these injuries.

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Identifying the Risk for Elder Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Everybody will get old, which is why it is of paramount concern that there is a disturbing amount of elder sexual abuse in nursing homes. For many aging Americans, nursing homes are the practical option, especially when aging is accompanied by conditions that may require constant supervision. It is projected that by 2050, 6.6 million Americans will be nursing home residents. Every year, up to 2 million elder abuse cases is thought to occur, the most heinous of which is sexual abuse. Identifying the risk for elder sexual abuse in nursing homes will help prevent this from happening to someone you know.

Elder sexual abuse in the nursing home is the least reported of elder mistreatment. According to the website of Danville-based law firm Spiros Law, P.C., this is primarily because the victim is often unwilling or unable to report it, and when they do, they are often disbelieved or ignored unless serious injury or death occurs. In many cases, the staff is aware of these incidents but do not have the training or knowledge to properly handle the situation.

Elder sexual abuse is defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse as any sexual contact with any person which is unwanted, or to which the elder person is unable to consent to. It includes physical contact of any kind, enforced nudity, rape, sexual assault, sodomy and taking of sexually explicit photographs or videos.

Persons at risk for elder sexual abuse in nursing homes are of both sexes, although there are a smaller proportion of male victims. Nursing homes with a large resident population with dementia coupled with a low resident-to-staff ratio are more likely to have incidents of elder sexual abuse. Studies show that unmarried women aged 60 and older with no relatives in the immediate with functional and cognitive problems such as the inability to ambulate without assistance or confused about time and place are the most likely victims of sexual abuse from staff and other residents. The lower the mental capacity of the victim, the more invasive is the sexual abuse.

Nursing homes are facilities of care, and as such have a duty to protect the residents from harm. The failure to prevent foreseeable elder sexual abuse or to report it to the proper authorities may render the facility liable for personal injury claims as well as criminal charges. Consult with an experienced elder abuse lawyer if you suspect a relative or friend is a victim of nursing home abuse.

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Road Crashes a Significant Factor in Oilfield Accidents

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates road travel off shift may be more hazardous than working in an oil field. Between 2003 and 2009, there were 716 work-related oil and gas extraction industry deaths, a fatality rate of 27.5 for every 100,000 workers. This is seven times the fatality rate for all US workers. Curiously, the incidence rate of oilfield accidents with nonfatal injuries for the same period is 1.2 for every 100 full time workers, about one-third of the rate for all US workers at 3.5 injuries per 100 full time workers.

Of the fatalities, 208 were due to motor vehicle crashes. Other common causes include being hit by a tool or equipment (143), explosions (58), crushed by moving equipment (50) and falls (43). As the number of active oil fields increase, so do the number of fatalities and serious accidents, and are likely to get worse as the high demand for workers, especially in Texas, means less experienced workers are getting hired and working longer hours. According to McAllen-based law firm At Patino & Associates P.L.L.C., oil field workers have an increased rate of workplace injury and death due to employer negligence.

The finding that highway accidents are the biggest contributor to oil field accidents is perhaps not really surprising. The combined effect of fatigue and highway safety rules exemptions for oil field workers has been a major factor in these fatalities. Oil field workers work an average of 20 hours per shift, and then are expected to drive after their shift. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, oilfield workers and related fields are 8.5 times more at risk of dying in a vehicle crash than those in other industries.

If you or someone close to you sustained injury or death because of employer pressure to work longer than is safe, you may have an actionable case. Contact a lawyer experienced in handling cases involving oil field accidents to find out your options.

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Health Problems Associated with NuvaRing

The last decade has not been lucky for manufacturers and distributors of contraceptive products. Another large pharmaceutical company, Merck this time, is being sued by more of a dozen of its clients for failing to disclose the risks of using the contraceptive vaginal ring NuvaRing.

NuvaRing is a prescriptive flexible ring made of ethylene-vinyl acetate polymer that is placed in the vagina to inhibit ovulation and sperm penetration. As a contraceptive method, it is considered as effective but much more convenient than birth control pills. NuvaRing is left in the vagina in 3 week stretches, alternating with a rest of one week during which the user has her period. While the ring is in the vagina, it slowly releases small amounts of 120 µg of etonogestrel, a third generation progestin and 15 µg of ehinyl estradiol, a form of estrogen daily to prevent ovulation and theoretically implantation in the endometrium. According to Texas law firm Williams Kherkher, this particular combination of hormones has been found to be harmful to its users.

Studies conducted since 2002 when it was first marketed in the US, NuvaRing has been found to increase the risk of developing a serious blood clotting condition known as venous thrombosis by as much as 6.5 times. It is also thought to increase the risk of a pulmonary embolism as a blood clot that has dislodged and travelled to the lungs can serve to block an artery.

The main complaint of users that are slated to have their day in court in July 2013 is that Merck failed to adequately test the product before releasing it to the public, and to warn users about the risks associated with its use. Most of the plaintiffs are women who have suffered from the effects of blood clots or family members of women who have died alleging that the injuries or deaths had been directly caused by the use of NuvaRing. If you suspect that you are one or the other, consult with a defective pharmaceuticals lawyer in your area that has handled NuvaRing cases before. The specialized nature of federal multi-district litigation which NuvaRing cases has been classified under makes it the wisest course of action at this time.

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Woman Files Byetta Lawsuit after Husband Dies of Cancer

Adding to the extensive list of Byetta lawsuits, San Diego resident Rebecca Richard filed a suit on June 28 against drug manufacturers Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly on behalf of her husband, David Richard, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011.

According to the website of Williams Kherker, Byetta, a popular medication for Type-2 diabetes since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005, increases insulin secretion after meals, slows down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, and helps to reduce appetite. Patients with diabetes inject the medicine into their thigh, arm, or abdomen twice a day after meals. However, while the drug has been shown to effectively treat Type-2 diabetes, it has been linked to a number of side effects, ranging from inconveniences such as vomiting, diarrhea, and heartburn to possibly fatal conditions including pancreatic and thyroid cancer. Some Byetta users have also cited kidney damage and allergic reactions as side effects of the drug.

According to Richard’s suit, her husband was prescribed Byetta on July 27, 2005. He took the medication until May 2010, when he began experiencing sharp and intense abdominal pains. A little more than a year later, David Richard died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Richard joins a number of other plaintiffs, including a group that filed for multidistrict litigation on April 5, who claim Byetta manufacturers provided inadequate information about the possible side effects and risks of the drug. If you or someone you know has developed a serious medical condition after taking Byetta, you may wish to contact an experienced attorney who can help you gain compensation for the injury.

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Consumer Watchdog Fighting California Medical Malpractice Award Cap

Citing current laws as outdated, consumer education and advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has begun a campaign to do away with California’s cap on damages for pain and loss of enjoyment in medical malpractice lawsuits.

The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which passed in 1975 to combat rising insurance premiums and keep doctors practicing in California, set a cap of $250,000 for all types of damage in malpractice cases other than medical expenses and loss of income. The cap was never indexed to inflation–it has remained at $250,000 since the bill was signed into law more than 35 years ago.

According to the website of Patino & Associates P.L.L.C., even experienced doctors occasionally fail to obey proper conduct rules and make minor to severe mistakes. In fact, estimates show that as many as 195,000 people die each year due to the negligence of medical professionals. Victims of medical malpractice claim MICRA prevents them from gaining suitable compensation for their resulting injuries, particularly in terms of pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment.

Consumer Watchdog has stated its intention to add a ballot initiative for the November 2014 election that would update MICRA with a cap indexed to inflation or remove the cap entirely. Support for such an initiative is mixed: according to the Sacramento Business Journal, a recent survey of voters in California showed that more than 50 percent think the $250,000 damages cap is “too high or about right.”

According to spokespeople from Consumer Watchdog, a victim of medical malpractice should not only gain compensation for economic loss, but also for necessary changes in lifestyle and loss of enjoyment. The organization urges anyone who has been injured by medical malpractice to contact an experienced attorney to determine if they are eligible for compensation.

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