Over the years our firm has represented numerous individuals who have experienced some sort of brain injury. Our research and experience as brain injury attorneys in these cases when compiled may be of use to the public in a more general manner. Knowing the signs and symptoms of strokes, concussions, brain bleeds and other brain injury attorney is vitally important as every second is important when dealing with these types of injuries.
The below is the audio of a recent episode of Mississippi Public Broadcasting which covered legal issues of Concussion, Stroke and Brain Injury. If you have any additional questions after listening please feel free to contact us.
What is a concussion?
Concussions are brain injuries where a blow to the head results in a period of interference in full brain function. When there is a blow to the head or sudden change in speed (delta v) the brain can violently slosh back and forth causing some damage to the brain. Given that this is an injury to the brain, the body’s most vital organ, these injuries should be taken very seriously and medical care sought as necessary.
What causes a concussion?
A strike or blow to the head can cause a concussion, but also a very quick deceleration such as a car wreck. The seriousness of the concussion sometimes correlates to the severity of the impact, but the brain is made up of soft gray matter and denser materials. The differences in the density means that each respond to blows or changes in velocity differently and there may be shearing or tearing from even lesser impacts.
What are the symptoms to be on the lookout for?
Common concussion symptoms include: headaches, difficulty focusing, disorientation, loss of short term memory, upset stomach, confusion, uncertainty of the date, loss of balance or lightness in the head, blurring of vision, light sensitivity, sleeplessness, change in mood.
When these symptoms persist it is imperative to prevent additional injury or further concussion and to allow the brain to heal. It is also important to pay attention to any change in these symptoms such as worsening headache or nausea after the initial hours of injury. These worsening symptoms may indicate a more serious condition such as a brain bleed which should be treated immediately.
What type of treatment is typically involved in a concussion?
The most important part of any concussion treatment is the diagnostic testing that will be conducted. It is only by a CT-scan or MRI that certain injuries such as a brain bleed or swelling of the brain can be ruled out. If someone has sustained a blow to the head or deceleration and has any of the above symptoms it is vitally important to seek out treatment with a qualified physician.
Tell me more about recent legal claims involving concussions.
There has been recent media concern over concussions in sports. Some of this is due to recent studies concerning the potential long-term effects of concussions and the link between multiple concussions and neurological disease later in life.
The recent lawsuits involve the NCAA (college level) and NFL and allege that these entities knew or should have known the dangers of concussion but did nothing. Some of these allegations include players who were diagnosed with a concussion during a game, but were never told and continued to participate, potentially to their peril.
Should parents be concerned about their children playing contact sports?
It is not a matter of scientific certainty yet, but there are indications that avoiding these types of head injuries or enacting new laws and rules to limit the exposure to concussive head trauma will be for the best for the young athletes.
Many of the studies that have been conducted have examined individuals who have had repeated head trauma of many years. These studies have
What should be done when an athlete has suffered a concussion?
Athletes who have suffered a concussion need a medical evaluation by a physician. This evaluation will likely include x-rays, ct scans or MRIs in order to rule out brain bleeds, skull fractures, hematomas, contusions or other issues.
The symptoms usually last 5 to 7 days after the injury. While symptoms persist the individual should not be allowed to participate in contact activities.
How many concussions can an athlete have before he or she should stop playing contact sports?
We should know more in the coming years about the damage done by each successive concussion. There is some difficulty in this also due to the fact that each concussion injury is different. The questions that will arise in this discussion concern how likely it is that an athlete will have another concussion and if this later concussion would further injure him.
NFL Concussion Lawsuits
Tell us a little about the NFL Concussion cases.
Settlement comes form a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) consists of all former players and allows for payments of already diagnosed neurological disorders, (uncapped for 65-year settlement life span) treatment for those who have not yet been diagnosed ($75 million Baseline Assessment Program) and education programs concerning neurological and concussive health. ($10 million)
What is the current status of the NFL cases?
Judge Anita Brody in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Federal Court has given final approval to the settlement in the Concussion cases. In the last week notices of appeal have been filed which could very well delay the settlement for up to a year.
What local resources are available for those with a brain injury or with additional questions?
The Brain Injury Association of Mississippi was founded in 1987 and serves people throughout the
state of Mississippi. It is a private, non-profit corporation whose goal is to serve persons with traumatic
brain and spinal cord injuries, their families, caregivers, and professionals. The Association is an affiliated
member of the Brain Injury Association of America. The Brain Injury Association of Mississippi is a
501(c)(3) corporation. As such, all donations, gifts, membership dues and bequests are tax deductible.