Brain Injury

Hanover Head and Brain Injury Attorneys, York County, PA

Experienced counsel for traumatic brain injuries in South Central Pennsylvania

Accidents are a major cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and head injuries. Brain injuries are usually due to direct or indirect forces on a person’s skull, such as when a driver’s head hits the dashboard, or violent shaking of the head when a rear-end collision causes whiplash. Brain injuries can heal, but many are permanent with lifelong consequences.

At KBG Injury Law, our Hanover TBI lawyers are respected by insurance adjusters and defense lawyers for our ability to handle these types of catastrophic injury cases. Two of our highest personal injury settlements and verdicts are for brain injury cases. We obtained a $4 million verdict for a man who suffered a TBI as a result of a car accident, and settled another motorcycle accident brain injury case for $1.2 million. We are able to successfully resolve so many injury claims because we are always ready to try your case before a jury.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

According to BrainLine, a TBI “is a catastrophic condition, like burns, amputations, and spinal cord injuries.” TBIs affect patients physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and even spiritually. For about 85 percent of people with a TBI, their condition does resolve. For about 15 percent of victims, however, there are a lifetime of challenges.

The brain is a complex cell network protected by the skull. There are different lawyers of tissue around the brain called a dura mater layer, an arachnoid layer, and the pia mater layer. These layers keep the brain floating inside the skull. Traumatic brain injuries occur when these layers are ripped, torn, or become infected – or when the cerebellum, cerebrum, or midbrain suffer shearing or contusions.

The two main types of traumatic brain injuries are open head injuries and closed head injuries.

  • Open head TBIs involve a penetrating injury to the head and are usually due to extreme forces such as a high-speed vehicle accident or an injury such as a bullet. The skull may crack. Pieces of the skull may get stuck in the brain. Removing these fragments requires very complicated surgery.
  • Closed head TBIs don’t involve objects penetrating the skull, but they can be just as complicated as open head injuries. “During a closed head injury, the brain may slam against one portion of the skull, then bounce against the opposite side of the wall. Doctors call that a ‘coup-contracoup’ injury, where two injuries occur from a single blow.” A concussion is an example of a closed head injury.

Diffuse axonal injuries can occur if a Hanover accident victim’s head “is whipped around,” causing “a small tearing effect called shearing.” Axons are nerves cells that transmit messages. If the axons are damaged, these critical messages get mixed up or aren’t transmitted.

Other types of head injuries include:

  • Hematomas
  • Contusions
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Diffuse injuries
  • Ischemia
  • Edema
  • Skull fractures

What type of cases are associated with head injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries can arise in the context of many different cases, including personal injury claims, product liability claims, workers’ compensation claims, and wrongful death claims.

  • Personal injury claims. Accidents that may cause head injuries include car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. They also include premises liability claims, negligent security assaults, and medical malpractice
  • Product liability claims. Hanover accident victims can file claims against manufacturers if a defective product caused an injury. These claims are based on strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.
  • Workers’ compensation claims. Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, employees who experienced head or brain injuries on the job can claim temporary and permanent wage loss disability benefits.
  • Wrongful death claims. At KBG Injury Law, we also represent the families of loved ones if a traumatic brain injury causes death due to an accident.

In all types of claims, the liable defendants are required to pay your medical expenses – including the cost of surgeries, doctor visits, therapy, assistive devices, and medications – for as long as you need help.

In personal injury and product liability claims, victims can claim damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, scarring and disfigurement, and other damages. The pain and suffering amount is often the largest part of any claim. Victims in these cases are also entitled to payment for all their income losses – in many cases, for the rest of their life.

Our lawyers can also explain what damages families can claim if a loved one dies due to brain injuries.

What are the symptoms of a TBI?

BrainLine states that TBI symptoms can be delayed days or even weeks. The best course of action for anyone involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle crash, slip and fall, assault, explosion, or any other type of accident that might cause a TBI is to seek medical help immediately.

Some of the critical signs of a traumatic brain injury that victims and the family and friends of victims should look for include the following:

  • Any loss of consciousness for just seconds up to a few hours
  • Difficulty waking
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech, loss of balance, or weakness in the legs, arm, or face
  • Unequal dilation in the pupils of the eyes or double vision
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears

Other concerning symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sensory difficulties such as blurred vision, loss of taste or smell, and ringing in the ears
  • Light sensitivity
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering

Many symptoms can be mistaken for other health problems; again, the best course of action is to seek immediate medical help.

A TBI can also cause consciousness disorders including brain death, coma, a vegetative state, and a minimally conscious state.

How do physicians diagnose traumatic brain injury?

Severe head and brain injuries are usually diagnosed and treated emergently.  The diagnosis and assessment of less severe TBI’s usually begins with a basic neurological assessment to evaluate the function of a person's nervous system. Quite frequently, assessment of a TBI from a closed head injury takes place days or months later.  It’s not uncommon for there to be delays in getting to see a competent neurologist for months upon months

Once treatment with a neurologist has begun, mental status may be checked for orientation to person, place, and time, clearness and coherence of speech, and unusual behavior. Motor function and balance will be checked. Senses will be evaluated to determine if they’re still intact. Reflexes may be evaluated.  Cranial nerves (the twelve main nerves of the brain) will be checked for impairment with lights, sound, motion (from facial expressions to pressure against resistant), touch, and tapping or triggering.

After a neurological assessment is performed, testing may follow and include x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, Further diagnostic testing may be warranted, including electroencephalograms (EEG) and more sophisticated imaging techniques that measure brain cell metabolism, such as single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), and diffusion tensor imaging (TDI) can help visualize subtle injuries to the brain. It may even be necessary to measure and track intracranial pressure – which requires invasive procedures. Later, a more detailed and exhaustive type of clinical examination may take place, called a neuropsychological evaluation, to measure how well a person's brain is working with regard to reading, language usage, attention, learning, processing speed, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, and mood and personality.

Patients are often referred to neuro-ophthalmologists for evaluation and treatment if a primary component of their symptoms is related to visual dysfunction or disturbance.

What treatments are available for Hanover brain injury patients?

Emergency medical care providers focus on stabilizing and immobilizing a TBI patient. At the hospital, a neurologist or specialist determines whether surgery is required. Sometimes surgeries are immediate, and other times surgeries may be delayed depending on the extent of any swelling and other factors. Surgeries also involve treating related head injuries, such as skull fractures and harm to any other parts of the body. When the surgeries are complete, a rehabilitation team works to help the patient adjust to life with a TBI. The rehabilitation team includes many types of healthcare professionals, including:

  • Physicians
  • Physical therapists, who help with strength and mobility
  • Occupational therapists, who help with daily tasks and assistive devices
  • Speech therapists
  • Rehabilitation nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Social workers

Rehabilitation also focuses on helping family members best understand how they can help their spouse, child, parent, or loved one.

Is there a brain injury attorney near me?

KBG Injury Law is located at 250 York Street in Hanover, PA. We are just a few minutes away from York County district courts. We are conveniently located near Pennsylvania Routes 94, 116, 194, and 216. We also have locations throughout South Central Pennsylvania.

Get help from a seasoned Hanover PA head injury lawyer

It is important to speak with the experienced head and brain injury lawyers at KBG Injury Law as soon as possible after an accident so we can work to secure compensation for your losses. We are experienced at working with neurosurgeons, family doctors, and other healthcare providers to fully show the severity of your injuries and how they are affecting your life. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI due to another’s negligence, call now to schedule a free consultation at 717-848-3838 or fill out our contact form. We represent head trauma victims and families in Hanover, Gettysburg, Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg.