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Articles Posted in Traumatic Brain Injuries

In 2012, David Moradi was attacked by security staff in a Las Vegas nightclub, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury. The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino’s Marguee nightclub was ordered to pay Moradi a whopping $160.5 million for compensatory damages. But he also sought another $483 million in punitive damages to punish the nightclub for bad behavior and deter staff from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Moradi has since settled with the nightclub for an undisclosed amount.

The 2014 lawsuit alleges that security and a manager forced Moradi into a private room where they demanded that he show identification and give them a credit card. All of this occurred after, Moradi claims, he had already paid a $10,000 tab. According to the Marquee’s attorneys, there was an issue with Moradi’s signature on the original bill. Moradi, who claims he was a VIP guest at the Marquee, accuses staff of doing a lot more than just asking for his signature. A Boston injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been unlawfully detained.

Moradi Feared for His Life

“The Marquee security members and manager shoved David to the ground, causing his head to forcefully hit the concrete surface … The Marquee security members and manager repeatedly hit and smashed David’s head into the concrete and continually held his head and right eye against the concrete with a high degree of pressure … Still pressing his head to the concrete, they asked, ‘Are you going to cooperate and give your ID back?’ Believing he could be killed, David agreed in order to end the violent attack.”

At the time of the accident, Moradi was a hedge fund manager, earning approximately $11 million annually. Since then, he has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and his hedge fund closed its doors. Although the amount of the settlement remains unknown, it is likely that it was between the $160.5 million in compensatory damages and the $640 million in total that he asked for. Based on jury interviews, it is highly unlikely that the initial $160.5 million award was appealed. “I would have given him everything,” said juror Sara Sanguinetti, “the way we saw the evidence.” A MA injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been harmed by another’s negligent or intentional actions.

Security Guards, Bouncers, and the Use of Excessive Force

Individuals in these industries are more prone to using excessive force than other groups due to the nature of their work. Physical force is a factor of their jobs, and there is a fine line between appropriate and excessive force. Security guards and bouncers can easily cross this line, resulting in serious harm, and even death. When a security guard’s use of excessive force results in injury, it may be considered an “intentional tort.” An intentional tort is a civil – not criminal – act that is committed on purpose, rather than from negligence. In some cases, security guards and bouncers can be charged with assault and battery. False imprisonment is another common charge in cases involving guards and bouncers who misuse their authority. Unlawfully detaining a guest or patron for an extended period of time can result in a charge of false imprisonment or false arrest.  Continue reading

Snowmobiling accidents? Slipping on icy walkways? Shoveling injuries? Although all of the above would make sense, they are not more likely to happen in MA than other states. And the actual answer comes as a bit of a surprise. It’s concussions. MA reports more concussions than any U.S. state. Why? Read on for more information about this surprising statistic and why MA seems to have such a high rate of concussions.

Amino, a company that analyzes electronic insurance claims, recently conducted an analysis of claims for each U.S. state. According to the company’s data, Massachusetts reports more concussions than any other state in the nation. Now, to be clear, this does not mean that concussions are the most common injury in MA, only that they are more commonly reported in MA than in other states. The most common injury in nearly every state was actually open wounds or bruising. Whatever the injury, consulting with a Boston injury lawyer can be instrumental in helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Amino studied about 244 million health insurance claims filed from 2012 to 2016. If nothing else, the results were interesting. New York reports more fist fight-related injuries than other states and residents of Missouri suffer more animal bites than residents of other states. So what’s the deal with MA’s high rate of concussions? Interestingly enough, many conditions were seen with abnormal frequency in multiple states, but MA was the only state with a higher-than-average rate of concussion diagnoses. So, it must be more than a coincidence, right?

Could Increased Awareness be the Reason?

A 2016 Blue Cross Blue Shield report may shed some light on these results. According to the report, MA diagnoses more youth concussions than any other state. In states with strong concussion education campaigns (such as MA), patients may be more likely to seek medical attention immediately after a head injury. Early treatment is extremely important when it comes to concussions. However, seeking medical attention for head injuries more often than other states may also raise the rate of concussion diagnoses. Basically, we may not get more concussions, we may just diagnose more concussions. The strong medical and health community in MA is likely at least partially responsible for our high rate of reported concussions. But that’s actually a good thing.

Beyond the medical community, other contributing factors could be regulations imposed by the state (to seek medical attention or test for concussions, for example), higher participation in sports than some other states, and higher rates of physical activity than many other states. If you have suffered a concussion due to another’s negligence, it is in your best interest to consult with a Boston injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

What seemed like a bit of bad news may actually be quite positive. Stricter regulations, strong healthcare, and a physically-active community all contributed to the Amino study’s findings. That being said, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the risk for concussions and to watch out for warning signs and symptoms following a car accident, any type of head trauma, or if you engage in high-impact sports. Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Thinking and remembering symptoms: Inability to think clearly or concentrate, a general feeling of “slowness”, difficulty remembering new information.
  • Physical symptoms: Nausea and vomiting, headache, blurry vision, problems with balance, a feeling of dizziness, sensitivity to noise or light, fatigue.
  • Emotional or mood symptoms: Feeling sad, nervous or anxious, becoming easily upset, generally feeling more emotional than usual.
  • Sleep symptoms: Sleeping more or less than usual, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.4 million people in the U.S. suffer some type of brain injury annually. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. If your brain injury was caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Most Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Any type of trauma to the head, or sudden, violent “jostling” of the body, can result in injury to the brain. However, the causes below account for the majority of reported brain injuries annually.

  • Slip and fall accidents: Falling accounts for about 40 percent of all brain injuries in the US. The very young and the very old are most at risk. In children between the ages of 0 and 14, more than half of brain injuries are a result of falls. More than 80 percent of these types of injuries in the elderly are fall-related. A skilled Boston slip and fall attorney can help you determine whether to file a lawsuit for your injuries.
  • Blunt trauma: About 15 percent of all brain injuries in the US are caused by unintentional blunt trauma to the head. Blunt trauma usually occurs when the victim is hit by an object. For example, if a child “sneaks up” on mom or dad while they are golfing and gets hit in the head with a golf club, the child could suffer blunt trauma, and thus a brain injury. Nearly one-quarter of all brain injuries in children are caused by blunt trauma.
  • Motor vehicle accidents: Car crashes are the third leading cause of brain injuries, accounting for about 14 percent annually. However, they are the second leading cause of brain injury-related fatalities, at about 26 percent. Brain injuries can occur even without blunt trauma to the head. For example, if a car accident causes the body to jostle back and forth violently, the brain could move within the skull, resulting in brain damage.

Types of Brain Injuries

An individual’s prognosis following a brain injury is largely dependent on the type and severity of the injury. A mild concussion, for example, will likely heal well on its own without long-term side effects. But the most serious types of brain injuries can result in cognitive and physical impairments, and even death.

  • Concussion: When sudden movement or impact results in injury to the brain, the victim may experience a concussion. This is the most common type of brain injury and can be caused by direct trauma to the head or through violent shaking or force. Car crash-related whiplash is a common cause of concussions, as are sports injuries. A brief loss of consciousness may or may not occur, and concussions can range from mild to severe.
  • Contusion: This type of brain injury is characterized by bleeding on the brain, and is generally caused by blunt trauma to the head. Some contusions may need to be removed through a surgical procedure.
  • Coup-Contrecoup: These injuries occur when the brain suffers damage at the site of impact as well as on the opposite side. If blunt force to the head causes an injury at the site of the impact, but is forceful enough to slam the brain into the opposite side of the skull as well, the victim may suffer a coup-contrecoup injury.

All of the brain injuries above can be mild or serious, even fatal. If you are concerned that you may have experienced a brain injury, seek immediate medical attention. If your injury was the result of another’s negligence, you may wish to consult with a Boston brain injury attorney to determine whether you have a successful lawsuit on your hands. Although it’s always best to file a lawsuit as close to the injury incident as possible, even an older injury may be worth looking into. Continue reading

A traumatic brain injury is defined as any brain injury that results in some form of temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More severely traumatic brain injuries can result in the total loss of function in brain cells, which can lead to permanent, devastating injuries such as paralysis, vegetative states, and death.  Traumatic brain injuries can happen to anybody, anywhere and at any time. All that is required to suffer a traumatic brain injury is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffer a significant blow to the head. Head trauma can occur when something physically hits the head – like from a thrown object or as the result of a fall – but it can also occur as the result of “whiplash,” when the head is snapped rapidly due to a strong collision and resulting force; most commonly from a vehicular accident or a work related accident.

There are many symptoms that a traumatic brain injury has occurred. If you were in any accident in Massachusetts involving a blow to the head, you should always see a doctor immediately to assess the seriousness of the incident. Symptoms of a severe traumatic brain injury will usually be apparently evident, such as an extended loss of consciousness, clear fluid leaking from the nose or eyes, and profound mental difficulties.

Some common symptoms of a more mild traumatic brain injury include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Being confused, dazed or “foggy” for an extended period of time without losing consciousness
  • Vomiting or feeling nauseous
  • Severe or constant headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping abnormally long
  • Constant or severe dizziness or regular spells of dizziness
  • Blurred vision, a ringing in the ears, odd tastes in the mouth or sudden changes in the ability to smell
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Wild and random mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Sudden depression or anxiety

As stated before, traumatic brain injuries can really happen to anybody. However, the most common causes are falls, vehicular accidents, sports injuries, violent assaults, and explosions. Employees working in transportation, construction, and most industrial fields are at the highest risks for experiencing a traumatic brain injury while on the job.

Traumatic brain injuries can cause life-altering and life-threatening complications, depending on the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, the age of the victim, and the quality and timeliness of medical care received after the injury. Traumatic brain injuries can cause some of the most horrifying conditions known to happen, including comas, “locked-in syndrome,” vegetative states, and total brain death. Continue reading

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can vary in type and severity, and symptoms may not be immediately apparent. A serious TBI can be life-altering, impacting your personality, speech, and ability to complete even the simplest tasks. High-impact sports, motor vehicle accidents, and falls from high places are all common causes of TBIs. If you’ve been injured and suspect that you may be suffering from a TBI, contact your physician immediately.

Delayed Symptoms

Unfortunately, it can take weeks, even months, for TBI symptoms to appear. In some cases, the injuries don’t become obvious until the swelling around the brain begins to subside. If you’ve experienced any type of trauma to the head, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Typically, physicians will monitor head trauma patients for symptoms of TBI for several weeks. If you’ve suffered from a TBI due to another’s negligence, Contact a Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Today.

Beware of Quick Settlements

Insurance companies often encourage quick settlements in cases involving head trauma because symptoms haven’t yet appeared. It is in their best interest to settle as quickly as possible; if symptoms arise after a settlement, the insurance company may be ‘off the hook’ entirely. This is why it is so important to have a skilled personal injury attorney at your side if you even suspect a TBI. If you’ve been injured, the last thing you want to do is deal with an unscrupulous insurance company.

Common Signs and Symptoms of TBIs

When signs of TBI do begin to appear, they can vary in type and severity. Symptoms are based on many factors, including the location and extent of the injury to the brain. The following side effects are common in TBI cases:

  • Loss of short term memory
  • Loss of long term memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Becoming easily angry or agitated
  • Loss of ability to use certain limbs
  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Tremors or shaking

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In recent years, the National Football League and the National Hockey League have faced very public litigation regarding head injuries sustained by the professional athletes in each respective sport.  However, the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) is now involved in its own series of lawsuits with plaintiffs claiming brain injuries.  Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and numerous other former wrestlers are suing WWE claiming the business concealed the long-term effects caused by brain injuries sustained in and out of the ring.  Specifically, plaintiffs are alleging the WWE failed to care for their recurrent head injuries “in any medically competent or meaningful manner,” as well as for hiding the long-term effects that such injuries could cause.  The complaint was filed in federal court on Monday in New Haven, Connecticut and stated that WWE “placed corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies.”  WWE made a statement stating its confidence that the case will be dismissed.  “This is another ridiculous attempt by the same attorney who has previously filed class action lawsuits against WWE, both of which have been dismissed,” WWE said.  “A federal judge has already found that this lawyer made patently false allegations about WWE, and this is more of the same.”

WWE matches are unlike most other sports.  As the suit notes, these matches involve moves that are “scripted, controlled, directed and choreographed” by WWE.  The head injuries sustained by many of the wrestlers are a direct consequence of such moves.  Two moves in particular that are particularly risky for head injuries are the “body slam” and the “piledriver.”  In a “body slam” one wrestler picks up the other and literally slams him into the ground.  A “piledriver” was a common move in the past but has been banned in most cases and involves one wrestler turning the other upside down so that he can drop him head first to the mat.  The wrestlers who are suing the corporation are claiming it consciously disregarded and concealed “medically important and possibly lifesaving information” about neurological conditions, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy for example, that most often appear in athletes who participate in contact sports where head trauma is frequent.  In the suit, the wrestlers claim “the WWE knows that its wrestlers including the plaintiffs are at great risk for these diseases such as CTE that can result in suicide, drug abuse and violent behavior that pose a danger to not only the athletes themselves but their families and community, yet the WWE does nothing to warn, educate or provide treatment to them.”  Because the wrestlers are independent contractors, rather than employees, they don’t have the normal medical benefits that other people and athletes have, says Daniel Wallach.  He goes on saying, “They completely fall through the safety net. They’re in worse shape than retired professional football players or retired hockey players. They’re the most disposable athletes in the sports and entertainment business.”  Continue reading

Sports-related concussions (SRCs) and mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are a concern among student athletes, especially those engaged in high impact sports such as football, soccer, and rubgy. These injuries can cause both physical and cognitive symptoms, but they can also result in serious psychological and emotional issues. The focus has long been on physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigue, and neurocognitive problems with concentration and memory. However, ignoring the emotional trauma that may follow SRCs and mTBIs can be especially detrimental for student athletes. At such a young age, they may lack the life experience and confidence to speak out about their suffering. Contact a Boston Injury Attorney.

Psychological and emotional symptoms may begin to appear soon after the injury, or they may not surface until during the athlete’s recovery phase. The athlete may experience depression, fatigue, and a strong sense of loss. This may mean a loss of skills or control, or simply the loss of normalcy. He or she may also feel afraid and vulnerable, which can lead to an overwhelming sense of anxiety about what comes next. A young athlete may simply describe these emotions as “not feeling like myself,” and it is common for parents, teachers, and coaches to assume that this is the normal course of events following an injury. In some cases, this may be true. However, it is important to keep an eye on an injured athlete. Close monitoring by doctors, teachers, and parents of both physical and emotional symptoms is essential to a student athlete’s full recovery following a SRC or mTBI.

Non-Physical Symptoms of SRCs and mTBIs Continue reading

A wheelchair device that was supposed to prevent wheelchairs from rolling off a vehicle has left one man with serious permanent injuries. Miguel Colareta, who was suffering from a progressing neurological order, had just backed his wheelchair onto the lift of a Paratransit van in 2012 when the lift malfunctioned, causing him to fall to the ground.

Colareta, who is 64, sustained a broken vertebrae and a traumatic brain jury. He is now a quadriplegic and lives in a nursing home.

Following the catastrophic accident, Colareta filed a personal injury case seeking damages for negligence and products liability. Apparently the device that was supposed to keep his wheelchair from coming off the lift was recalled just prior to the incident because of a defect.

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A ruling issued by a federal appeals court in a wrongful death case on a cruise ship could pave the way for medical practice lawsuits for claims alleging negligent healthcare on these types of vessels. This could be significant for cruise ship passengers, who for the last century have been unable to pursue such allegations because of exemptions that have been created through a number of other court decisions. Some 21 million people go on cruises every year.

Now, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the last ruling, known as Barbetta, in 1988 is outdated. The decision in Barbetta determined that cruise ship passengers shouldn’t expect the type of medical care that they would get on land, and medical staff on cruise line vessels are private contractors and not ship employees.

This latest case involves a traumatic brain injury sustained by Pasquale Vaglio on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2011. After the 82-year-old was involved in a fall accident during a sightseeing trip, a nurse performed a minor exam on him and ordered the older man to rest. Vaglio died from a brain injury days later.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to start a rulemaking process that would protect kids from the strangulation hazard that comes with window coverings with exposed or dangling cords. October is Window Covering Safety Month.

A child’s neck can get caught and tangled up cord, resulting in strangulation or suffocation. Some children that are lucky enough to survive such an incident are left with permanent brain injuries.

According to the CPSC, between ’96 and ’12 approximately 184 young children and babies died from window cord strangulation. There were over 100 non-fatal strangulation accidents involving the cords of window shades and blinds during that time period, with 1,590 kids needing medical care because of incidents involving these products.