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Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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Brain Injuries: When Auto Accident Symptoms Do Not Improve

brain injury resulting from car crash

By Francis M. Smith

When most people think about the kinds of serious injuries that can result from an automobile accident, it's the visually obvious physical damage that first comes to mind: wounds, broken bones, and torn muscles and ligaments. These kinds of injury are relatively easy to identify, and the difference between "injured" and "recovered" is fairly obvious. But there is a type of injury that very frequently results from car accidents that is much harder to recognize and understand. In fact, the medical profession is still learning about these injuries.

Brain injuries resulting from head trauma are common in auto accidents, and until recently, they were considered among the less severe types of injury you might sustain in a crash. Common wisdom used to hold that the symptoms of a concussion would fade in a few days or weeks with careful rest. But concussions, or traumatic brain injuries as they are more accurately called, can be much more serious and persistent than once believed. A blow to the head received during an automobile accident - or even severe "whiplash" without striking the head - can produce the same kind of brain injuries that returning soldiers have suffered due to their proximity to an explosion.

Do Bike and Sports Helmets Really Protect Against Head Injuries?

family wearing bike helmets

By Francis M. Smith

You can’t replace your brain.

Naturally, you want to protect yourself if you’re engaged in potentially dangerous sports or other similar activities, which is why wearing helmets is a growing trend across all types of sports. But the truth is, head injury can still occur. No helmet can protect you 100% of the time, in every conceivable circumstance.

4 Tips to Prevent Dog Bites That Lead to Lawsuit

bigstock Beware Of Dog Sign 41048473

By Francis M. Smith

Here in New Jersey we have a strict liability statute that says the owner is liable for damages if his or her dog bites you (under most circumstances). That means medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering compensation, and damages based on enduring scars the rest of the victim's life. Even a landlord can be held accountable if he or she knows of the dog's vicious propensities.

Detection and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

doctor looking at brain scans

By Francis M. Smith

With so many veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) there has been a lot of focus on this type of injury. If anything good has come from the pain these veterans face every day, it is the increased awareness of how common brain injuries actually are and how dangerous they are if not correctly diagnosed and properly treated.

There are many things people do, usually for recreation, which can result in a TBI. Not surprisingly, in some motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, or other trauma, TBI can be incurred for the same reasons. Sadly too many people do not understand the symptoms and the danger in not seeking prompt treatment. So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from TBI?

Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck: Use Your Personal Injury Attorney to Your Advantage


By Francis M. Smith

Anyone who has been injured in a car accident before understands the importance of a good attorney to ensure that their recovery or settlement is commensurate with their injuries and other damages such as diminished capacity to engage in pre-injury activities, altered life style, difficulties in performing work responsibilities, lost wages or lost ability to earn wages, and the like. Unfortunately, most people who find themselves hurt and in need of advice after a car crash have no background in these situations – many have never consulted a lawyer before at all. This leaves most people very uncertain of how to proceed and vulnerable to the tactics that insurance companies use to get out of paying fair settlements.

NJ High School Football Player Death $2.8 Million Lawsuit Settlement

Football Injuries

By Francis M. Smith

Most parents are well aware that students who play high school sports run the risk of sustaining a serious injury, but in many people's minds, these injuries generally consist of broken bones and torn ligaments. The reality, however, is that the most dangerous, even potentially fatal, injuries show much less obvious signs. A concussion doesn't show the same unmistakable signs of physical trauma that many other injuries do, making it far too easy for a young athlete to be sent back onto the field. These students may still suffer the effects of a concussion or minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and are at risk of sustaining a second head injury before fully recovering from the first. The effects of such an injury can be devastating; death or permanent, severe disability are many times the outcome of what is referred to as "second impact syndrome." Even a minor impact that would not seriously threaten an uninjured person can be fatal to a young athlete with unresolved concussion symptoms.

The family of Ryne Dougherty, a junior linebacker at Montclair High School, made this tragic discovery in October of 2008. Ryne had sustained a concussion during a football practice on September 18, and was still suffering the residual effects of this injury when he was allowed to play in a game against Don Bosco Prep a little less than a month later, on October 13. When he tackled an opposing player using a move called an "alligator roll," Ryne sustained a second injury. According to witnesses, the play left him writhing on the ground in pain and attempting to get his helmet off. Initially he was able to regain his feet and answer basic questions, but before he could make it to the sideline, he collapsed in a seizure and lapsed into unconsciousness, from which he never awoke. He was removed from life support two days after the injury.

1.3 Million Yearly Children’s Sports Injuries End in Emergency Rooms

Concussion Poster

By Francis M. Smith

Participating in sports offers numerous benefits for children and young adults: they're an excellent opportunity for exercise and for learning to work with others as part of a team. They give young people a way to socialize and build self-confidence, and participation in a sport can enhance a student's college application or may even lead to scholarship opportunities. However, playing a sport carries risk – every year in the United States, there are 1.35 million sports injuries severe enough that the child is brought to an emergency room, an average of one sports-related ER visit every 25 seconds.

Though there are no "routine" or "minor" injuries that end in the emergency room, some kinds of sports injuries cause particular concern. About 12% of the sports injuries tracked by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) in 2012 were concussions. Though most people recover from concussions with no ill effects, a concussion sustained on the sports field requires more attention because of the dangers caused by a second head injury occurring before the patient recovers from the first. Second-impact syndrome is the term for the rapid swelling of the brain upon receiving a second concussion before the symptoms of the first have abated; it is often fatal, inflicting severe disabilities on nearly all sufferers who survive it.

Avoiding Injuries to Our Children: Getting To and From School Safely

Seat Belt Safety

By Francis M. Smith

With the end of summer fast approaching, many parents are starting to think about school safety and protecting their children in learning environments. One important element of school safety that's easier to overlook than most is the route between home and school. Though some of the dangers change as a child gets older, making sure they arrive at school safely and ready to learn is a priority for parents and educators alike. The best ways to safeguard a child en route to school and home again depend largely on the method of transportation being used to make the trip.

The School Bus

Brain Injury Claims Resolved by NFL with $765 Million Fund

Brain Injury Claims Resolved by NFL with $765 Million Fund

By Francis M. Smith

Most football players, from the high school level all the way up to the pros, are aware of the possibility that they may be seriously injured on the field. Torn knee ligaments, broken bones, and other damage to the body can force players out of the game for months, or even spell the end of a professional career. However, one type of injury has been regarded too lightly for a long time, and is only beginning to receive the attention and understanding that its seriousness warrants. Concussion and brain trauma can result in severe long-term health effects, which are compounded after multiple such injuries. The severity of concussion symptoms are often more severe in sufferers who have sustained previous concussions, even if those earlier injuries are months or years in the past, and multiple concussions dramatically increase the risk of certain psychiatric and degenerative disorders.

Despite these risks, professional football has a long history of on-field violence and danger, believed by some players to factor significantly into the game's popular appeal and profitability. As a result, more than 4,500 former professional athletes joined a lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that the league understood the dangers of the long-term effects of concussion injuries but withheld this knowledge from its players -- hurrying them off the injured list and back into the game more quickly than was medically advisable. And at the same time, playing up the violent impacts that were injuring players for the benefit of paying audiences in the stadiums and at home. The hits that cause these injuries are regularly sensationalized in slow-motion replays that seem to savor each skull-jarring impact for the entertainment of the viewers.

What You Need to Know About Concussion Injury Law in NJ

ConcussionBy Francis M. Smith

Patients who sustain a concussion are more susceptible to another, particularly when the symptoms of the first injury have not yet been fully resolved when the subsequent injury occurs. Multiple such head injuries can render a person more vulnerable to them, with less severe blows causing the same severity of effect as earlier, larger impacts. Repeated concussions over time can contribute to a variety of serious health problems later in life, including Parkinson's disease, depression, and dementia. The dangers of multiple concussions from recurring brain trauma are a major motivating factor in New Jersey legislation regulating policies for schools regarding student athletes; sports injuries are a common cause of concussions.

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