Head Injuries

Head and Brain Injury Attorneys in York, PA

Advocacy for victims with brain and head injuries in South Central Pennsylvania

Experts may use the term “head injury” to encompass a wide variety of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Head injuries range in levels of severity and effects, depending on the individual and the circumstances of the injury. However, one constant is that these injuries can have devastating consequences on both the patient and their loved ones.

After experiencing a TBI, patients may suffer cognitive and physical difficulties that change their lives forever. Families and friends may see their loved one suffer from life-altering disabilities and lost independence. These injuries also come with substantial medical expenses, loss of income, and chronic pain. The York head and brain injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law want to help when another’s negligence or carelessness caused your injury. Contact us today.

What is traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can impair balance, coordination, and fine motor skills, as well as memory, information processing skills, and language. Unlike other injuries, a brain injury can completely alter an individual’s personality and cognitive abilities. While injuries like a broken leg or punctured lung display immediate and apparent symptoms, symptoms of a brain injury may not surface for days or even weeks after someone sustains an injury.

There are two main types of head injuries – open and closed head injuries.

  • Open head injury: In this type of injury, the skull is fractured or penetrated. Fractures are usually the result of direct contact with a blunt object or hard surface. Falls and other accidents in which the head comes in contact with a hard surface can cause open head injuries. Penetrating head injuries can occur when a foreign object penetrates the skull and damages the brain and surrounding tissues.
  • Closed head injury: A closed head injury does not involve fractures or penetrations of the skull, but instead occurs when the brain itself makes contact with the inside of the skull. Although there is no open wound, the brain can swell inside the skull, resulting in extreme pressure that can cause long-lasting or permanent damage. Closed head injuries are typically the result of whiplash or other indirect forces on the brain. These injuries can be quite serious, especially when accompanied by internal bleeding.

Another severe type of brain injury is anoxic, or hypoxic, brain injury. This type of TBI occurs due to a prolonged lack of oxygen to the brain. Without oxygen, cells in the brain begin to die. The effects of an anoxic brain injury can be severe and life-threatening.

What are the levels and degrees of brain injuries?

Medical professionals classify TBIs as mild, moderate or severe. Even a mild TBI, however, can have a profound effect on the injured individual.

  • Mild traumatic brain injuries: Mild TBIs, such as concussions, are typically characterized by brief loss of consciousness, an altered mental state at the time of the injury, or difficulty in focusing during or after the accident. Sometimes those who have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury may appear completely uninjured, though there may be significant damage. While most mild TBIs affect the brain temporarily, some do result in long term or permanent symptoms. Regardless, any head injury requires a visit to a physician.
  • Moderate traumatic brain injuries: Moderate brain injuries result from a blow to the head that does not penetrate the skull, or a violent shaking of the head in which the brain hits against the inside of the skull. Victims may experience a loss of consciousness that lasts from a few hours to one day or 24-hour period. Confusion and other cognitive and physical impairments may last months or longer. Usually, people who experience a moderate TBI can make a recovery with treatment over time.
  • Severe traumatic brain injuries: Penetrations to the skull or crushing blows to the head result in severe brain injuries, though closed brain injuries can be classified as severe as well. These injuries are often life-threatening. Victims may be unconscious for 24 hours or more with no sleep-wake cycle. Hospitalization and rehabilitation are required, though many patients may not return to the state they were in before the injury. Severe TBI patients may be at higher risk for developing other serious medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

There are several methods of determining the degree of a traumatic brain injury. Two of the most commonly used methods are the Glasgow Coma Scale and the Ranchos Los Amigos Scale:

  • Glasgow Coma Scale: The GCS is a preliminary evaluation tool to gauge the severity of traumatic brain injuries. It measures post-trauma eye-opening abilities, verbal responses and motor responses, assigning each area a score. The scores from each section are then totaled — the lower the score, the worse the initial injury.
  • Ranchos Los Amigos Scale: Another gauge health professionals use is the Ranchos Los Amigos Scale. This scale measures levels of cognition, awareness, behavior and interaction with the environment. The scale defines 10 levels of functioning, from 0 (No Response) to 10 (Purposeful and Appropriate Responses). Like with the Glasgow Coma Scale, a lower score on the Ranchos Los Amigos scale is an indicator of a severe head injury.

In addition to these two scales, skilled professionals like neuropsychologists can further define the nature and degree of injury through a series of sophisticated tests. They will also pay attention to any related symptoms the patient is experiencing in the days after the injury. Medical professionals can use this information to develop an effective rehabilitation plan for the brain injury patient.

What are common causes of head injuries?

Head and brain injuries can result from a variety of accidents, from playing sports to tripping on the stairs. Anyone is at risk of experiencing a TBI. Some of the most common causes of TBIs include:

  • Car accidents: Car accidents can cause drivers and passengers to slam their heads on hard surfaces inside the car or suffer whiplash that jolts the brain inside the skull.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Slips and falls can happen anywhere to almost anyone. They are especially common, though, on slick surfaces, such as a freshly mopped floors or icy sidewalks. Slip and falls are often part of premises liability
  • Intentional violence: Intentional violence to the head can cause severe damage, whether it is a punch, a kick, or any other type of impact. A gunshot wound to the head is one of the most severe forms of traumatic brain damage.
  • Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice can also cause a TBI, whether through surgical error or a lack of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen loss and resulting brain injury may also occur as a result of negligence during labor and delivery.

The York brain injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law will determine the exact cause of your or your loved one’s injury, and then work to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

What are the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries?

The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are not always immediately apparent, especially with a closed brain injury. In some cases, the affected individual may even report feeling fine immediately after receiving the injury, which is why it is so crucial to always get medical attention after an accident.

Whether they appear right away or are delayed, symptoms of a TBI often include a combination of:

  • Mild, constant headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Amnesia or decreased memory
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or balance problems
  • Mood or personality changes
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Neck pain
  • Vomiting
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty organizing and sequencing information

If any of these symptoms develop shortly after an accident or injury, seek medical attention right away. A medical professional will evaluate the symptoms to determine the severity of the TBI. Symptoms and impairments caused by a brain injury could be temporary, long-term, or permanent, but only a physician or neurologist can make this diagnosis.

What are the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury?

Head and brain injuries can cause complications and impairments lasting months, years, or the duration of a patient’s life. Long-term cognitive effects from a TBI can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating for long periods
  • Memory loss
  • Speaking slowly
  • Trouble learning new information
  • Problems keeping track of time
  • Difficulty understanding language

Individuals with a traumatic brain injury may also experience changes in mood and behavior. These long-term effects can include:

  • Increased dependency on others
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Decreased motivation
  • Inability to adapt behavior to various situations
  • Depression
  • Emotional mood swings

Though some of the cognitive and emotional challenges related to TBIs may be permanent, many patients can reduce the impact of the effects over time with rigorous therapy and rehabilitation. Some patients with severe brain injuries may also benefit from the services of a life care planner.

The York personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law work with your medical team to determine the extent of your brain injury to ensure you secure the compensation to get the help you need.

How can a York, PA brain injury attorney help me?

One of the things that sets our brain injury attorneys apart is that we understand how little is actually known about traumatic brain injuries. The reality is that head injury research is continuous and new treatments are developed every year. Unfortunately, most of these cutting-edge treatments — the therapies offering patients the best chance at a better life — are also expensive.

Seeking the compensation to which you are entitled can help you afford the medical treatment you need. In Pennsylvania, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, though there are exceptions to that rule. Our attorneys sit down with you and explain the damages to which you are entitled for your head injury claim. Our legal team understands the severe nature of injuries, as well as our obligations to our clients when they have experienced injuries that were not their fault.

Is there a York, PA brain injury attorney near me?

KBG Injury Law is located at 110 North George Street right in the heart of York, near Interstate 83 and Routes 30, 74 and 462.

Knowledgeable brain injury attorneys serving York, PA and surrounding areas

If you or a loved one suffered a head injury due to another’s negligence, the attorneys at KBG Injury Law are here to help. Our team understands the toll a serious injury takes on your health and your finances. Let us take legal action on your behalf, working to secure damages for your losses and put you back on the road to recovery. To schedule a free consultation, call 717-848-3838 or toll free at 800.509.1011 or fill out our contact form. KBG Injury Law maintains offices in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg, and serves individuals and families throughout South Central Pennsylvania.