Recently in Traumatic Brain Injury Category

August 22, 2013

High School Athletes in New Mexico May Suffer Concussions Despite Safety Laws

file000782197770 morguefile username fhsfootball.jpgAbout 150,000 high school athletes suffer a concussion each year across the country. In Albuquerque, approximately 15 students at each public high school reportedly sustain a traumatic brain injury while playing sports at school. Since 2010, New Mexico requires schools to offer education and safety programs designed to prevent young athletes from receiving a concussion while playing school-related sports. Still, student athletes in New Mexico suffer brain injuries every year.

A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs when the brain hits the inside of a person's skull. Despite that many concussions may seem mild, they can result in harmful and lifelong effects. Additionally, although many students are hurt while playing soccer or football, any sport may potentially cause a concussion. In fact, the third most common cause for such brain injuries in Albuquerque high schools is apparently cheerleading.

According to Rich Gerrells, Athletic Coordinator at Albuquerque Public Schools, the city's school system is currently focused on how to adequately treat a concussion after a student is hurt. Gerrells stated trainers watch high school athletes closely and stay by their side following a potential head injury. Missy Archibeck, Head Athletic Trainer at Eldorado High School, said trainers must observe injured students carefully because it is not always easy diagnose a concussion. A number of health checklists and safety protocols are also reportedly followed before a student athlete may play again.

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November 27, 2012

Two Tourists Injured in Santa Fe Pedestrian Accident

1334367_untitled%20sxchu%20username%20linder6580.jpgOn Black Friday, two tourists were hospitalized after being hit by a sport utility vehicle (SUV) in Santa Fe. According to Santa Fe Police Lieutenant Dale Lettenberger, a 62-year-old female and a 61-year-old male were struck by a Jeep Cherokee at the intersection of Paseo de Peralta and East Alameda Streets. The pair was reportedly crossing the street near dusk when they were hit by the SUV. Following the crash, emergency rescue crews transported both unconscious pedestrians to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. Although the injured woman was released the following day, the man reportedly remains hospitalized with severe head trauma.

According to the 64-year-old driver of the Jeep, she was headed south on Paseo de Peralta and passing through a green light when she collided with the two pedestrians. Lettenberger stated that neither speed nor alcohol appear to have played a role in the injury accident. The roadway was reportedly closed for several hours while police investigated the crash.

As this unfortunate case demonstrates, whenever a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle the injuries that result are frequently traumatic or fatal. A traumatic brain injury may cause dizziness, headaches, confusion, double vision, and mood swings. In addition, a serious head injury may leave a victim with lifelong seizures, slurred speech, a permanent loss of smell and taste, poor coordination, and other difficulties.

Pedestrians who were hurt by negligent, careless, or reckless drivers may be entitled to recover damages for their medical expenses, suffering, pain, lost benefits and wages, and any resulting temporary or permanent disability. The close family members of someone who was killed in a pedestrian accident may also be able to recover the costs associated with the decedent’s funeral as well as other damages. If you or a loved one was struck by an automobile while crossing the street, you have a limited amount of time during which you may file a personal injury claim. Because of this, you are advised to speak with a quality personal injury attorney as soon as you are able.

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September 18, 2012

Farmington Teen Involved in Fatal Crash Begins Rehabilitation

1114180_-_im_still_mobile_-%20sxchu.jpgMore than one month after a fatal accident killed a Farmington 18-year-old, his passenger was transferred to Carrie Tingley Hospital in Albuquerque to begin the lengthy rehabilitation process. On August 3rd, Andrew Pope was reportedly driving northbound on Butler Avenue when he allegedly attempted to turn onto Piñon Hills Boulevard in front of an oncoming vehicle. Tragically, the Aztec High School football star died at the scene of the crash. Following the collision, emergency responders transported Pope’s only passenger, 18-year-old Sheena Lemons, to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque via helicopter. Lemons reportedly suffered several broken bones and a traumatic head injury that left her in a coma for weeks. She also lost the ability to move the right side of her body.

According to Lemons’ mother, Jackie Rightmire, the teenager recently began speaking again and has regained some mobility since the crash. Despite that physicians do not yet know what the long-term effects of the crash will be, Lemons is reportedly making progress each day. Although the recent Farmington High School graduate is anxious to return home and get on with her life, it is still unclear how long she will remain in rehabilitation. At this time, her plans to attend San Juan College are currently on hold.

The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Farmington Police Sgt. Dave Monfils stated there have been 10 accidents at the deadly intersection since May 2011. According to Monfils, most of the accidents were caused by inattentive drivers who simply failed to yield. Joe Delmagori, a Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization planner, said visibility at the intersection is adequate and officials currently have no plans to make any changes to the intersection.

It is an unfortunate fact that people are regularly killed in preventable automobile collisions on New Mexico roadways. You run the risk of being hurt by an inattentive, impaired, or careless driver nearly every time you leave your home. Sometimes, motor vehicle crashes are only minor, but too often they are catastrophic or fatal. If you were hurt by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive damages for medical expenses, physical therapy, disability, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other harm. The family members of those killed in an automobile accident may also be able to recover funeral expenses. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a car collision that was caused by someone else, you should contact a capable New Mexico personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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July 10, 2012

New Mexico State University Professor Examines Brain Trauma in Rodeo Participants

837790_rodeo_bull%20sxchu%20username%20data9090.jpgSafety concerns and lawsuits over brain trauma in football players of all ages have recently made headlines. Because of this, New Mexico State University (NMSU) began collecting information regarding football player concussions three years ago. Now, a professor from the university’s Department of Human Performance, Dance and Recreation is collecting similar data on rodeo athletes. According to Mikaela Boham, Director of NMSU’s Athletic Training Education Program, rodeo participants in rough stock events such as bull, saddle bronco, and bareback riding are vulnerable to brain injury and trauma. She believes the extreme whipping motion endured by rodeo athletes as they ride animals during rough stock events is traumatic on the body and increases a participant’s risk of concussion.

Boham reportedly began collecting impact data on NMSU rodeo participants in 2011 after she realized no previous long-term rodeo safety studies existed. Since then, she has used cognitive tests to collect baseline impact information on 75 rodeo athletes at NMSU. According to Boham, about 75 percent of the riders examined have described symptoms associated with a concussion such as mental fogginess and difficulty sleeping. She said baseline measures are necessary in order to fully assess the impact rodeo participation may have on an individual’s cognitive skills. Although at this time Bohman’s research is only designed to track the cognitive function of rodeo athletes for a period of four years, she hopes to have the ability to follow some participants for 10 to 15 years.

Professor Boham believes her NMSU rodeo athlete study is important because rodeo participants at the school normally major in a wide variety of programs. She believes it is essential to ensure students do not suffer from long-term cognitive impairment as a result of their rodeo participation and are able to follow any career path they may choose. Unfortunately, a traumatic brain injury often makes many aspects of life more difficult. In the future, Bohman hopes her research will be used to create better safety equipment such as helmets and neck rolls for rodeo participants.

Any brain injury can be devastating and should always be taken seriously. In addition to sports such as rodeo events or football games, traumatic brain injuries are often caused by bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian, or car accidents. Brain trauma can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, double vision, and mood swings. Serious head injuries may result in seizures, slurred speech, a loss of smell and taste, poor coordination, and difficulty managing finances. The victim of a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else may be able to recover compensation for pain, suffering, disability, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and other damages. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

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November 22, 2010

Rio Rancho Motorcycle Rally Goes Wrong

Rio Rancho hosted a motorcycle rally recently to help raise money for a Toy Drive. Sadly, Rio Rancho also hosted a Rio Rancho motorcycle accident. While it is difficult to determine exactly how many motorcycles were involved in the accidents, initial reports seem to suggest numerous people were injured.

The remarkable fact about the Rio Rancho motorcycle accident story is that within the past few years Rio Rancho has also seen other New Mexico motorcycle accidents occur during motorcycle rallies. In some of those prior cases it has been alleged that Rio Rancho did not properly permit the event and allow for sufficient police escorts. While it is unclear what caused the numerous motorcycle accidents at this recent Rio Rancho rally, one has to begin wondering just how good the city and organizers protect riders that participate for the most respected of reasons.

October 29, 2010

Defective Airbag Cases - Preservation is the key

Airbags are now common place throughout the nation. We rely on airbags to protect us when the unthinkable happens. However, defective airbags can be just as harmful, if not more dangerous than no airbag at all.

Defective airbag lawsuits generally involve a limited series of claims. The airbag deployed with too much force, too little force, or it failed to deploy under the appropriate force. An experienced airbag attorney (not meant as a slur) is aware that such cases are often very technical and usually require an expert to study the vehicle as soon as possible to provide an opinion regarding what caused the airbag to deploy defectively, or fail to deploy all together.

Given the high costs that an attorney must front in defective airbag cases, the severity of injury is a major factor for product liability attorneys selecting which cases to pursue. However, if you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective airbag, it is wise to contact an attorney experienced in defective airbag litigation before allowing the vehicle to be moved, inspected, or repaired by an insurance company.

October 22, 2010

A Homerun!!! - For New Mexico Premises Law

New Mexico premises liability, or New Mexico slip and fall cases, whatever name they go by, they generally involve injury of a customer or guest that the property owner is responsible for. Most often these cases involve dangerous conditions or hazardous obstacles that cause injury. Generally, in these cases, it is necessary for the plaintiff to prove that the owner failed to keep the property reasonably safe for use by the visitor.

The New Mexico Supreme Court recently applied premises liability law to America’s pastime, a trip to the ballpark. The case arose when a young child was seated in a picnic area and was struck by a ball during batting practice. Although errant foul balls are commonplace in American ballparks, the plaintiff argued that the stadium should be held responsible for constructing an unprotected picnic area where people sit facing away from the field.

Initially, the District Court judge stated that what is affectionately known as the “baseball rule” applies requiring in limited duty of only screening out the areas immediately behind home plate. Accordingly, the case was dismissed.

On appeal, the New Mexico Supreme Court held that a baseball stadium is not allowed to simply protect the fans behind home plate to satisfy its legal obligation to spectators. At the same time, the Supreme Court did not say that the conduct by the baseball stadium was in fact negligence. Rather the court said that New Mexico’s typical approach to premises liability cases should apply to injuries at the ballpark. This means that the duty owed by this stadium is that of ordinary care to keep the premises reasonably safe for the visitor regardless of whether or not a dangerous condition his obvious. More importantly, the Supreme Court opinion means that this is an issue worthy of discussion before a jury.

As a baseball fan, I’m admittedly mixed. Alarmists will suggest that now all stadiums will be enclosed in glass, and that it is another example of plaintiff’s avoiding personal responsibility. By the same token, it seems reasonable to allow a jury to decide if it is negligent to hold parties where backs are turned to batting practice bombs flying over walls.

Wither way, the Supreme Court decision places additional value on premises liability analysis and law, and if anything limits property owners’ ability to avoid taking resonable action to protect visitors.

January 15, 2010

Preventing Bicycle Traumatic Brain Injury

It is hard to find good that comes out of New Mexico drunk driving accidents. Similarly, there is little positive that can emerge from a New Mexico traumatic brain injury. However, a Carlsbad New Mexico man, George Methola, is doing just that. According to a recent newspaper article, Methola, after suffering his own traumatic brain injury has found an impressive way to turn his misfortune into a positive impact.

Working with the Brain Injury Association of New Mexico, and the Carlsbad Brain Injury Support Group, he is working to minimize traumatic brain injury for New Mexico bicyclists by raising money to supply helmets.

Although one of New Mexico’s main recreational activities, bicycling can also result in serious and catastrophic injuries when things go wrong. Despite the Child Helmet Safety Act, many young New Mexico bicyclists do not wear helmets and are thus exposed to a substantial risk of injury. Methola is doing his part, learning from a traumatic brain injury, and working to increase the number of New Mexico bicyclists using helmets.

November 26, 2008

More Attention to New Mexico Traumatic Brain Injuries

Each year many New Mexicans suffer serious brain injuries. As any experienced New Mexico brain injury lawyer could tell you, or a jury, the effects of such brain injuries are serious and far reaching. Even though they are sometimes difficult to diagnose, traumatic brain injuries, or TBI's are some of the most catastrophic injuries one could suffer.

Recently, the causes and effects of traumatic brain injuries are being explored by national groups. One such group has begun focusing on traumatic brain injuries due to their increased frequency in our returning troops. According to one statistic, one in five returning soldiers has experienced a TBI. The study revealed that although the nature of a traumatic brain injury varies from victim to victim, generally, that occur after a period of unconsciousness and is capable of producing short or long term disability.

Although there is nothing to celebrate regarding the increase of traumatic brain injuries, many scientists and medical providers are optimistic that increased attention to TBI's will help develop new treatments and methods of diagnoses. Until then, New Mexico traumatic brain injury lawyers must remain up-to-date on the constantly developing science behind the devastating injury.

November 17, 2008

New Mexico Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children

New Mexico traumatic brain injuries have some of the most far-reaching, life-changing, and packets on accident and injury victims. Often times they are difficult to diagnose medically, although they are obvious to the victim and their friends and family members. These New Mexico traumatic brain injuries become more troubling when the victims our children rather than adults. Not only does this make it more difficult to diagnose, but also allows the possibility of more prolonged impact throughout the injury victim's life.

Scientists have recently been exploring the connection between ADHD and traumatic brain injuries. Although they found that children who sustained traumatic brain injuries are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD later in life, the question regarding why was not answered.

Recently, scientists in England have concluded that traumatic brain injuries in children are just as likely to increase susceptibility of ADHD as our burns. In the study, they took over 62,000 children and divided them into those who had been seriously burned, and those with dramatic head injuries. They found that the uninjured and unburned children had a 1.5% risk of being diagnosed with ADHD. The children who had sustained a brain or head injury had an 11.3% chance of the same diagnosis.

In many ways, this study highlighted the connection between a child's traumatic brain injury and the subsequent development of ADHD. However, the reason has not yet been fully explained.

From a New Mexico traumatic brain injury lawyer's perspective, this study highlights the need to ensure that injured children are fully evaluated and all aspects of their case are taken into consideration. Failure to account for risk of subsequent illness or disability may leave the injured child shortchanged.