Brain Injury Lawyer

ROB LEVINE, BRAIN INJURY LAWYER

VICTIM OF A BRAIN INJURY? GET AN ATTORNEY

A brain injury occurs when there is damage to the brain. This can happen because of several different factors including illness, oxygen deprivation, drug use, or a substantial impact on the head. Brain injuries are serious conditions that can often lead to a lifetime of struggle. They affect not only one’s cognitive functions but can also have an impact on mobility.

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BRAIN INJURY VS TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

A brain injury involves damage to the brain because of illness, oxygen deprivation, drug use, or other non-violent occurrences.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of direct impact to the head. These can result in a variety of symptoms from a concussion to a coma.

WHY DOES BRAIN INJURY HAPPEN?

Brain injuries are often caused by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which refers to a lack of oxygen and blood flow.

Reasons for oxygen deprivation include:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Umbilical cord complications
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Low maternal blood pressure

COMMON CAUSES OF BRAIN INJURY

While most people tend to think of TBIs when referring to brain injuries, non-violent brain injuries occur frequently.

Common causes of brain injuries include:

Failure to Diagnose: Brain injuries can occur in the wake of a heart attack, stroke, or meningitis. If a doctor fails to diagnose these conditions, then it can result in a brain injury.

Oxygen Deprivation: A non-violent example of oxygen deprivation is anesthesia errors that occur during surgery. This lack of oxygen can result in a brain injury.

Birth Asphyxia: This is another example of the oxygen deprivation that occurs during labor and delivery. Birth asphyxia can result in brain injury.

COMMON CAUSES OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

There can be any number of reasons that someone experiences a blow to the head. However, some of the more common causes of TBIs include:

Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall incidents are the leading cause of TBIs in the United States. They account for 81% of brain injuries in people over the age of 65.

Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents involving other cars, trucks, or motorcycles account for 20% of all TBI related hospitalizations.

Blunt Trauma: When an object hits a person’s head or a person’s head hits an object. These account for 17% of TBI related hospitalizations.

Assault: Criminal assault accounts for 10% of all brain injuries.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of a TBI may vary based on the age of the person and the severity of the impact to the head.

These symptoms include:

  • Bleeding or bruising on the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss or amnesia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Speech impairment
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Headaches
  • Behavioral changes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision

LONG-TERM EFFECTS

The long-term effects of a brain injury depend on how much damage was done. For example, if a concussion was suffered, the brain will most likely heal itself over time. However, if extensive damage has occurred, the person could be looking at long-lasting or permanent side effects.

Brain injuries can have long-term effects on:

  • Behavior
  • Memory
  • Ability to think
  • Language skills
  • Sense of smell and/or taste

In the most severe cases, extensive brain damage can lead to a temporary or permanent comatose state.

TREATMENT

Depending on the severity of the brain injury, treatment options vary.

  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Any of these treatments will assist a brain injury victim to manage their symptoms and regain abilities they may have lost such as mobility, speech, or the ability to think clearly.

WAS IT NEGLIGENCE?

Brain injury, while traumatic, is not always the fault of a medical professional. This birth injury can occur due to a wide variety of circumstances. However, it is important to recognize when the situation may have occurred because of medical negligence.

Examples of medical negligence that may result in brain injury include:

  • Failure to properly monitor mother and child
  • Failure to acknowledge existing risks or complications
  • Failure to treat respond to complications appropriately and promptly
  • Allowing prolonged labor
  • Improper use of birth tools
FAQs About Your

Medical Malpractice Case

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Medical Malpractice is a form of professional negligence that can be committed by any medical professional who is involved in giving care to a patient. To prove medical malpractice, a claimant must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the professional violated the standard of care, and an injury resulted from that violation.    
What is “informed consent” and how does this relate to malpractice?
In Rhode Island, informed consent refers to the conversation a medical professional has with their patient when they explain the proposed course of treatment and its risks. The physician must also offer information for alternative treatments and/or the option of not treating a specific illness. Rhode Island requires a five-part test to decide if there is validity in a medical malpractice case surrounding a lack of informed consent. This test includes: the physician’s explanation of risk was inadequate, the risk was known and withheld by the physician, the risk was a valid concern, and the injury in question was caused by this undisclosed risk.
How can a jury determine if a physician’s actions were negligent?
All medical professionals are expected to abide by a standard of care. A judge is responsible for questions of law. A juror is a trier of fact. While a jury listens to an entire trial, their job is to take the law as described to them by the judge and apply all of the facts and information that were relayed to them through testimony throughout the trial. A jury is then responsible for rendering a verdict based on the law given to them during jury instructions by the judge and their opinion a to whether or not the case presented by the plaintiff meets or exceeds the standard of law as defined by the judge of negligence by the medical professional.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
A licensed medical professional's actions that fall below the standard of care include failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, failure to order proper testing, failure to recognize symptoms, misreading/ignoring laboratory results, surgical errors or wrong-site surgery, improper medication/dosages, unnecessary surgery, poor follow-up or aftercare, premature discharge, or disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history.  
How much time do I have to start my case?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Rhode Island is up to three years after the discovery of their medical condition. In Massachusetts, patients are given up to three years from the discovery date if they would not have reasonably known of the malpractice. In Connecticut, patients are given up to two years to file their case.
Do I have any medical rights?
You have the right to:
  • Access information regarding your case that is accurate, easy to understand, and in your language.
  • Access any assistance you may need to understand your medical information.
  • Be involved in decisions regarding your medical treatment.
  • Receive respectful care from any medical professional.
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care and treatments.
  • Read and copy your medical records to ensure accuracy.
  • File a complaint against any medical staff who treats you.

Different Types of Medical Malpractice - malpractice law firm Medical Malpractice It is the responsibility of medical professionals to care for the patients. However, medical malpractice occurs frequently. Take advantage of this free book to learn more about medical malpractice and legality of the subject. Free Ebook

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