Brain or Spinal Cord Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury – Often Invisible But Always Dangerous and Very Costly to Treat
Traumatic brain injury, which involves damage to brain tissues, is often serious and life-altering. A major challenge is that a brain injury is not always immediately visible and can go undetected for months, if not years. Brain injuries are usually the result of a car accident, fall or firearm but can also be caused by physician error.
Almost 2 million Americans suffer a brain injury each year and almost half involve a long-term disability. More than $48 million is spent annually in the U.S. to treat traumatic brain injuries.
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The Science of the Human Brain
The brain is about five pounds, a little less in weight than a gallon of milk. The brain consists of a soft, spongy material inside, almost like firm gelatin, and is surrounded by four lobes. The frontal lobe is what distinguishes man from the animal kingdom, as it is the portion that allows us to make judgments, execute thought, think, perceive and make subtle distinctions.
The brain is encased by a bone skull that acts like a helmet to protect the brain. The brain itself is covered by a fluid net that helps hold the brain inside the skull. If the skull is bumped hard and pieces of the skull enter the brain, the result is what is called a fractured skull.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The head can be hit hard enough to throw the head forward or backward so hard that the brain strikes the skull, causing a shearing, bruising or tears, much like a torn ligament. The motion of the brain bouncing forward and then back is known as coup and contra-coup. This type of damage is known as a traumatic brain injury.
A penetrating injury, or open wound, involves an actual penetration of the skull and brain tissue is clearly visible. The most common traumatic brain injury, known as a closed head injury, can be a temporary concussion or a more serious injury resulting in permanent disability, loss of learning ability, or death.
Brain Injury Side Effects
A traumatic brain injury can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness or an alarmed state of consciousness, a momentary sensation of “being out of it,” a feeling of being dazed, a coma, or severe headache. No two brain injuries are alike but are as distinct as our fingerprints. Each traumatic brain injury is as different and distinct as our individual personalities. Some victims will suffer a loss of memory, others aggressive behavior.
In most cases a traumatic brain injury will not show up in a MRI. Medical professionals used by Cochran, Foley & Associates, PC, use a Neurological Psychological Evaluation (NPE) which is a battery of tests administered for 6-8 hours by a certified neuro-psychologist. An NPE tests different functions of the brain as well as basic intelligence, and will determine the area of the brain that is not functioning as it should.
Terry Cochran, senior partner, says it is important for the public to understand that mild to moderate traumatic brain injury can produce highly significant results but often is misunderstood and misdiagnosed because the symptoms are not initially clearly visible. The victim can appear to resume a normal functional life and then experience serious problems months later.
Both Terry Cochran, a board member of and activist with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, and partner Lynn Foley, also a Registered Nurse and expert on medical issues, should be consulted by anyone who believes they have sustained a traumatic brain injury.
The special knowledge Terry Cochran and Lynn Foley possess make them uniquely qualified as attorneys to counsel brain injury victims and family members. Because physicians fail to diagnose a traumatic brain injury, and because such injuries are misunderstood by insurance companies, getting the financial help you need without an attorney can be very challenging.
Let Us Help!
Cochran, Foley & Associates will gather all the documentation needed, and order any necessary tests, to make a determination on whether a traumatic brain injury exists, what type it is, and how it specifically will be manifested. We will then file the appropriate claim so you can be financially reimbursed for actual expenses, and sometimes for punitive damage.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Foley & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.