Experienced Advocates for your Brain Injury Case
Representing survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury (or TBI) is an integral part of Blankingship & Keith's personal injury practice. Our experience in representing TBI victims helps us to understand the cognitive, physical and emotional problems stemming from such injuries, and to work with family members, friends and health care providers to help our clients assert their rights through the civil justice system.
No head injury is too trivial too ignore, and if you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, we stand ready to help. We have represented TBI survivors and their families in a variety of different cases, with a special focus on motor vehicle collisions involving 18 wheel tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles, including tankers, trash trucks and dump trucks.
Our firm also had the privilege of representing a courageous young boy catastrophically brain injured by a defective product, and has represented brain injury victims injured in on and off road bicycle accidents, and in negligent security cases against commercial landowners, such as apartments, hotels, and shopping malls. Our firm has undertaken brain injury cases arising from accidents and incidents throughout Northern Virginia, including Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Fauquier and Clarke Counties, as well as in Maryland, California and the District of Columbia.
Peter Everett, our partner in charge of the practice, has served on the Executive Committee of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and has written and lectured on legal issues concerning brain injury victims. Peter and Rob Stoney have been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America, for Personal Injury, and both enjoy the “A” rating by Martindale-Hubbell.
The Challenges of Mild Brain Injury
Survivors of “mild brain injuries” often face deficits in memory, attention and concentration problems, slowed information processing, trouble multi-tasking, fatigue, relentless headaches, seizures and other physical problems. They also face emotional challenges from mood swings, irritability, impulsive/compulsive disorders, and other conditions of emotional depression and instability. Perhaps worst of all, they must endure skepticism and hostility from their insurance companies when attempting to obtain adequate compensation for their injuries.
“Mild” Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild traumatic brain injuries often involve internal damage to the area of the head beneath the skull, where the injury is not visible. Because the extent of a brain injury is not always apparent until after extended periods of observation, it’s often necessary for families to research the causes, effects and symptoms of brain injury on their own. There are numerous resources available on the Internet to help brain injury victims and their families identify the many symptoms of brain injury.
The Centers for Disease Control defines Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) as any injury to the head resulting from blunt trauma, or acceleration or deceleration forces. These types of brain injuries are most common in car accidents, truck accidents and other accidents involving sudden stops or collisions. Signs of brain injury include:
- Any period of observed or self-reported:
- Transient confusion, disorientation, or impaired consciousness
- Dysfunction of memory around the time of injury
- Loss of consciousness lasting less than 30 minutes.
- Observed signs of other neurological or neuropsychological dysfunction, such as:
- Seizures acutely following injury to the head
- Irritability, lethargy, or vomiting following head injury, especially among infants and very young children
- Headache, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, or poor concentration, especially among older children and adults
- Other Important Facts from the CDC:
- Many mild TBI victims are not hospitalized or receive no medical care at all
- BIs may include both concussions and contusions
- Concussion may occur without loss of consciousness
- Mild concussion may be present even if there is no external sign of trauma to the head
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, every 21 seconds another person suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury, and 1.5 million people suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury each year in the United States.
Brain Injury Prevention
The CDC and the Brain Injury Association of America have published key recommendations to help families prevent brain injuries:
- Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle
- Always buckle your child into a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age) in the car
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when:
- Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle
- Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing
- Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard
- Batting and running bases in baseball or softball
- Riding a horse
- Skiing or snowboarding
Preventing Slips and Falls
- Using a step stool with a grab bar to reach objects on high shelves
- Installing handrails on stairways
- Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows
- Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around
- Removing tripping hazards such as small area rugs and loose electrical cords
- Using non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors
- Putting grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower
- Maintaining a regular exercise program to improve strength, balance, and coordination
- Seeing an eye doctor regularly for a vision check to help lower the risk of falling
- Make sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood, mulch, and sand
- Keep firearms stored unloaded in a locked cabinet or safe. Store bullets in a separate secured location.