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. Children are very trusting, so dogs don’t seem that dangerous to them. On the other hand, children are small and don’t exert as much dominance over the animals as adults do, meaning the animals may not respect them as much as they should.

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. Psychologically, a dog attack can cause a fear of dogs in the victim, which can have an impact that persists long after the physical wounds have healed.

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 Benton 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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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. Employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their workers as much as possible, and should use these regulations to accomplish this. When employees are hurt on the job, the employers may be held liable, especially if the accident resulted from a dangerous situation onsite.

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. People shouldn’t have to fear being injured at work due to overly dangerous job conditions beyond those which are reasonable for the job at hand.

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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. 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. This startling figure could be altered for the better if only these workers were allowed to get enough rest.

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 personal injury lawyers experienced in handling cases involving oil field accidents to find out your options. Work-related injuries due to companies pushing their employees too hard for too long are inexcusable. While the overtime pay may be attractive, workers are often unaware of the effects exhaustion may have in their ability to continue working safely. Employers, however, should be aware of these kinds of dangers and would be negligent not to.

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