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Brain Injury

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Brain Injury Lawyers in Maine

The brain is at the very core of what it means to be human. We rely on it for every operation of the mind and body, both voluntary and involuntary, every moment of every day. Our brain is what allows us to connect with other people, to work, to feel love and compassion, and to make sense of the complex world around us.

That’s what makes brain injuries so devastating. A significant brain injury doesn’t just upset a person’s physical health, it also affects their psychological, social, and even spiritual health, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Approximately 2 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, resulting in over 50,000 deaths and 250,000 hospitalizations. Millions more suffer from mild traumatic brain trauma (mTBI), often without ever being diagnosed or treated. This often leads to physical and cognitive impairments that can last for years or forever.

We provide powerful legal representation for Mainers who have suffered brain injuries through no fault of their own. We understand traumatic brain injuries can present a long and frightening road ahead for patients, family members, friends, and caregivers. We want you to know that we’ll be with you every step of the way.

For the best results, you need the best Maine brain injury lawyers

People who sustain traumatic brain injuries due to someone else’s negligence are entitled to recover financial damages to pay for past and future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, among other losses.

Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S. You deserve no less than the best.

We have obtained several of the largest jury verdicts in Maine history, and many of the largest settlements for our clients. Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about medical issues and skilled at proving fault, documenting the extent of your losses, and ensuring your family receives full compensation. We have recovered $1 billion for our injured clients.

Helping in all aspects of your recovery: Financial, physical, and emotional

We never lose sight of what’s at stake for our clients who have suffered with traumatic brain injuries. There is only one opportunity to build your case and recover a favorable settlement or jury verdict.

No other firm in Maine can commit more experience, expertise and resources for your case than Berman & Simmons. We will do everything in our power to hold the responsible parties accountable and to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injury.

While we work to maximize your financial recovery, we also can serve as a partner for your physical and emotional recovery. Our lawyers and staff members will take the time to listen to you, understand your concerns, and come up with helpful solutions.

From day one, we will assist you in obtaining any necessary referrals to specialists for medical and mental health care. We can arrange payment or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved. We will also help you navigate the complex maze of medical insurance and disability programs.

Understanding Brain Injuries

It can be difficult to determine if you are suffering from TBI, or how to respond if you are. We are committed to helping you fully understand you situation and the next steps for you and your loved ones.

Common Symptoms of TBI
Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. If the following symptoms appear to be in line with what you are currently experiencing see a physician immediately.

Common Symptoms of Mild TBI

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Memory loss
  • Poor attention/concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Irritability-emotional disturbances
  • Feelings of depression

Common symptoms of moderate to severe TBI

  • Symptoms of mild TBI
  • Headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Weakness or numbness in the extremities
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation

Types of TBI
The brain is one of the most complex structures known to science. This means that every brain injury is unique and each victim is affected in their own way.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs due to a bump, jolt, or sudden trauma that disrupts the functionality of the brain. This trauma can be either external or internal.

Common types of external injuries are:

  • Impact
  • Whiplash
  • Shaking
  • Penetration

Common types of internal injuries are:

  • Anoxia – widespread lack of oxygen
  • Hypoxia – lack of oxygen specifically to the brain
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Falls, being struck by or against an object, motor vehicle accidents, assault, and explosions/blasts are among the leading causes of brain injuries in the United States. Unfortunately, those are just the beginning of the ways in which Americans sustain TBI during their daily lives:
Workplace and construction site injuries: Improper training, defective equipment, explosions, falls from ladders and scaffolding collapses are some of the leading causes of TBI at work sites. According to the Brain Injury Institute, the industries with the highest risk of TBI in the workplace are:

  • Construction;
  • Transportation;
  • Agriculture;
  • Forestry;
  • Fishing; and
  • Emergency medical services.

Sports and recreation: The short and long term effects of concussions have become a dominant topic among sports administrators, doctors, and scientists, ranging from the youngest athletes to the professional leagues. Experts are also learning about the negative effects of “micro-traumas” (repetitive impacts to the brain that are more mild than concussions and often go unexamined) observed including:

  • Football;
  • Boxing;
  • Lacrosse;
  • Hockey;
  • Rugby; and
  • Soccer

Medical malpractice: Sometimes doctors fail to diagnose brain injuries, or the diagnosis is incorrect or delayed, leading to even further harm. Failure to diagnose a brain injury in a timely manner can deny a patient the opportunity for proper treatment while the condition is still manageable. Babies are especially susceptible to brain injuries if the mother’s labor is not properly managed. Oxygen deprivation and injuries during birth can cause permanent cognitive and physical impairment to the child.

How common are brain injuries, and what are the different types of injury?

The brain can receive a variety of injuries depending on the forces involved. One, many, or all of the brain’s functional areas may be affected. Fortunately, a majority of those with brain injuries see a full recovery. Some common types of resulting injuries include:

Anoxic brain injury. This occurs when brain cells do not receive the oxygen they need to function and survive. It can be caused by blood that is not carrying enough oxygen, or by toxins or metabolites that block oxygen from being used.

Concussion. The most common type of brain injury, a concussion is caused when the brain receives trauma from a blunt impact against the skin or a sudden movement change. The blood vessels in the brain may stretch and cranial nerves may be damaged. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport such as football or soccer.

Contusion. Sometimes a blow to the head can cause bruising (bleeding) of the brain. Large contusions may require surgery.

Coup-Contrecoup. This is essentially a double bruise on the brain, on opposite sides. It occurs when the force impacting the head is not only powerful enough to cause a contusion at the site of impact, but also moves the brain, causing it to impact the opposite side of the skull.

Diffuse Axonal. Instead of an injury to a specific area of the brain, a diffuse axonal injury impacts a more widespread area. It usually results from violent movement of the brain within the skull, such as during vehicle accidents, falls, shaken baby syndrome, or sports-related accidents. Axons, parts of nerve cells that facilitate messages between the nerves, are damaged in diffuse axonal injuries. This occurs in about 50 percent of all severe brain injuries.

Hypoxic brain injury. This happens when the brain gets some, but not enough, oxygen, such as during a drowning, choking, suffocation, or cardiac arrest. Brain cells without enough oxygen will begin to die after about four minutes.

Locked-in Syndrome. Caused by damage to the pons — a part of the brainstem that relays information to other areas of the brain — locked-in syndrome involves complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except for the muscles of the eyes.

Penetrating brain injury (open head injury). This type of injury happens when an object, most commonly a bullet, penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Brain penetration injuries almost always require immediate life-saving medical intervention.

Second Impact Syndrome. When a person suffers a second concussion or blow to the head, and has not yet healed from a prior concussion, he or she is at risk of Second Impact Syndrome, characterized initially by rapid and severe brain swelling. In order to prevent SIS, many sports organizations have adopted guidelines to prevent athletes from returning to competition before a head injury has fully healed.

Shaken Baby Syndrome. This is also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome describes the damage to a child’s brain cells from forceful shaking. The lack of oxygen caused by shaking can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Skull fracture. Skull fracture occurs by breaking of the bones surrounding the brain. A depressed skull fracture is one in which the broken bone exerts pressure on the brain.

A Law Firm That Listens

Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the top rated personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S., having won many of the largest jury verdicts and settlements ever obtained for injured people in Maine. Our trial lawyers have won thousands of claims on behalf of those injured in a car accident, and each year we build on that successful track record. Our attorneys and staff members will take the time to listen to you, work to understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved. We help you recover and make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries and loss.

We'll Take Care of the Heavy Lifting

Attorney Mike Bigos Discusses a TBI Case

How common are brain injuries, and what are the different types of injury?

Each year, approximately 2 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury. More than 50,000 people are killed, and about 250,000 are hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, a majority will fully recover. But thousands more face lasting difficulties and longterm medical care. All brain injuries are unique, depending on the type and amount of force involved.

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    Diffuse Axonal

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