Saturday, 24 of June of 2017

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New Rule Should Make It Easier For Veterans With TBI To Receive Disability Benefits

By Randy Appleton, VA/NC Brain Injury Lawyer

What Happened:

Thanks to a recent rule change by the Department of Veterans Affairs, those veterans who have suffered brain injuries will soon have an easier time receiving disability benefits for illnesses that relate to their traumatic brain injury.

Under the proposed new rule, five illnesses will be accepted as secondary disorders related to traumatic brain injury. These five include: Parkinson’s, unprovoked seizures, dementia, depression and certain hormone deficiencies.

Changing how these diseases are categorized means that veterans who can establish that they suffered a brain injury in the line of duty no longer have to prove that the head injury caused the secondary illness. This little change means that thousands more troops will now be able to receive disability benefits.

The only caveat to the new change is that service members will have had to suffer what is described as either moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. Many patient advocates hope the VA eventually changes these rules to include all who have suffered any TBI, regardless of the severity.

The recent attention surrounding brain injuries in the military has become more pronounced after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Many have said that TBI is the signature wound of both battles due to the high number of roadside bombings. The Congressional Research Office reported in 2010 that there had been 178,876 cases of TBI reported since 2000. Of those, 137,000 were deemed only to be mild.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are at risk of changes to many aspects of their lives, from personality and mood to impulse control. These symptoms may be temporary or could last a lifetime. It is important that those suffering from a traumatic brain injury receive immediate medical attention and continue to follow-up with therapy as needed.

Given that this condition could be very long lasting, those living with a traumatic brain injury may incur significant medical expenses. If you or a loved one have suffered this type of injury, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Virginia traumatic brain injury attorney to determine if you should file a lawsuit for financial compensation.

Helpful Info:

If you or a member of your family has been affected by traumatic brain injury, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options to file claims for compensation by downloading this free guide.

Have Questions?

You can learn even more by reading through our online library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding head and brain injury lawsuits

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About the Editors: The VA-NC brain injury lawyers at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Our head injury attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Check out our other case results to see our track record of success in brain injury and other lawsuits. We have offices in Virginia Beach and Hampton, Virginia (VA), along with an office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive. To get more information about traumatic brain injury law and what to do after an accident, take a look at this free consumer guide written by a brain injury attorney who is licensed in VA and NC.


Important Information Regarding Children And Traumatic Brain Injury

By Randy Appleton: Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

What Happened:

Head injuries are not something to take lightly. The CDC estimates that 1.7 million people in the country sustain a traumatic brain injury every year, and these injuriescontribute to a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States.

Children, especially those between the ages of 0 and 4 and the ages of 15 and 19, are the most likely to sustain these injuries, which is why education about the dangers ofhead injuries is so important. Because of the long-term effects that head injuries can have, parents should learn all they can about this common childhood injury.

In children, head injuries often occur while they are playing. Falls on the sports field, tumbles while riding a bike and trips while climbing outdoors are all common causes. For this reason, children should wear protective helmets whenever possible. Parents need to make sure that helmets are being used when their children participate in rough sports events or when riding wheeled toys, such as bikes, scooters and roller skates.Head injuries also frequently occur as a result of car accidents, especially whenchildren are not properly restrained. Proper use of child safety seats can help protectchildren against serious brain injury in a car accident.

Though head injuries affect all children, a recent Reuters article mentioned the findings of a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine which shows the treatment for such injuries may not be uniform across the different races. Researchers looked at brain injuries and treatment of children and discovered differences based on the race of the injured child.

According to the research, white children get CT scans more often following minorhead injuries than the children of the other races. The study found that 42% of whitechildren brought in for minor head trauma got CT scans while only 28% of black and Hispanic children brought in for minor head trauma received such scans.

Some may think this means that hospitals are giving better treatment to white children, but the results indicate that unnecessary CT scans can actually be dangerous to thechildren receiving them. In this case, more treatment is not better treatment and can actually lead to medical mistakes and dangerous radiation risks.

So what’s the reason for the gap? Researchers are not sure, but think that parental anxiety levels play a role in the rate of CT scans given to children. Such anxiety is understandable given that what makes head injuries so scary is the fact that you cannot see what is going on inside your child’s head.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Given the terrible, life-altering risks associated with traumatic brain injury, especially inchildren, it is important that those suffering from a traumatic brain injury receive immediate medical attention and continue to follow-up with therapy as needed. What may appear to be a minor fall could actually be the start of a serious brain injury. That is why all head injuries should be checked by a skilled doctor, just to make sure there are no long-term effects. If another individual caused the injury, parents should also consider talking to a lawyer about any further steps they need to take to protect theirchild’s rights.

Given that this condition could be very long lasting, those living with a traumatic braininjury may incur significant medical expenses and loss of income. If you or a loved one have suffered this type of injury, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Virginiatraumatic brain injury attorney to determine if you should file a lawsuit for financial compensation.

Helpful Info:

If you or a member of your family has been affected by traumatic brain injury, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options to file claims for compensation bydownloading this free guide.

Have Questions?

You can learn even more by reading through our online library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding head and brain injury lawsuits.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC brain injury lawyers at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Our head injury attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Check out our other case results to see our track record of success in brain injury and other lawsuits. We have offices in Virginia Beach and Hampton, Virginia (VA), along with an office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive. To get more information about traumatic brain injury law and what to do after an accident, take a look at this free consumer guide written by a brain injury attorney who is licensed in VA and NC.


NHTSA: Seat Belts on School Buses Unnecessary

By Kevin Duffan, Bus Crash Injury Victims’ Attorney

A House subcommittee meeting has put school bus safety in the spotlight once again. Testifying at the meeting was National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s head administrator David Strickland. He recommended additional safety features, including seat belts, should not be considered for school buses, as they are already the safest mode of transportation for children.

Strickland cited a “handful of deaths” each year involving school buses, but he argued that many of these accidents occur just outside the bus.  Only a couple of students are killed inside a school bus each year, compared to the thousands of children who are injured and killed in car accidents in regular vehicles.

Though seat belts would only further cement the idea that school buses are safe vehicles, Strickland acknowledged their expensive costs to school districts. “Adding the belts on the buses may actually decrease the number of buses available for children to ride, which would actually increase the number of fatalities of children who would be forced to take passenger cars,” he said. Local governments should decide on their own whether the upgraded safety measures would justify the cost, Strickland recommended.

It’s difficult for me as a Virginia (VA) school bus accident attorney to hear NHTSA speak out against seat belts. While it is great to hear that school bus crash fatalities are low, it’s frustrating to know that a few more lives might have been saved had school districts shelled out the money for seat belts. When it comes to protecting our children, no price is too high.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC brain injury lawyers at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Our head injury attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Check out our other case results to see our track record of success in brain injury and other lawsuits. We have offices in Virginia Beach and Hampton, Virginia (VA), along with an office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive. To get more information about traumatic brain injury law and what to do after an accident, take a look at this free consumer guide written by a brain injury attorney who is licensed in VA and NC.


Head On Collision Sends NC Motorcyclist to the Hospital

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Personal Injury Attorney

We all know that motorcycles can be incredibly dangerous, but if their riders lose sight of the road for even a moment, motorcycles can be deadly. A Boone, NC man was airlifted to the hospital after he crossed the center line and hit a car head-on. To learn more, visit our blog. Head On Motorcycle Crash Injures One

About the Editors: The VA-NC brain injury lawyers at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Our head injury attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Check out our other case results to see our track record of success in brain injury and other lawsuits. We have offices in Virginia Beach and Hampton, Virginia (VA), along with an office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive. To get more information about traumatic brain injury law and what to do after an accident, take a look at this free consumer guide written by a brain injury attorney who is licensed in VA and NC.


Baby High Chairs Recalled Due to Faulty Safety Buckle

A faulty buckle can lead to babies falling out of the chair and suffering injuries.

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Virginia Child Injury Attorney

When it comes to products our children use, we want to make sure they’re safe and effective. Ikea is recalling high chairs after reports that a faulty buckle can lead to babies falling out of the chair and suffering injuries. To learn more, visit “IKEA Recalls Baby High Chairs Over Fall Risks.”

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About the Editors: The VA-NC brain injury lawyers at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Our head injury attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Check out our other case results to see our track record of success in brain injury and other lawsuits. We have offices in Virginia Beach and Hampton, Virginia (VA), along with an office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive. To get more information about traumatic brain injury law and what to do after an accident, take a look at this free consumer guide written by a brain injury attorney who is licensed in VA and NC.


Adverse Effects of Concussions and Head Injuries May Last a Lifetime

By Jim Lewis, Carolina Brain Injury Lawyer

My Carolina personal injury law firm colleague Kevin Duffan has posted a blog about brain injury warnings involving concussions and how head injuries may cause mental illness or death.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. Our injury lawyers also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services. While not every brain injury case meets our criteria, if you or a loved one is thinking about taking legal action against a possibly at-fault person or company that caused your injury, call our office at (800) 752-0042 for a free consultation. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, be sure to leave a voicemail. We will return your call.


Balcony Accident Injures Toddler; Third Case in Hampton Roads in 2011

Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA, have been the sites of multiple balcony fall injuries and deaths during the summer of 2011

By Richard Shapiro, Norfolk, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA, have been the sites of multiple balcony fall injuries and deaths during the summer of 2011. The latest accident occurred at a Ramada off Military Highway in Norfolk. The injured boy remains in critical condition. Falling from outdoor decks and balconies almost always results in serious injury or death, so this spike in balcony accidents in Hampton Roads, Virginia, is truly chilling. Visit our main law firm website to learn more about the disturbing trend at Hampton Roads hotels.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. Our injury lawyers also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services. While not every brain injury case meets our criteria, if you or a loved one is thinking about taking legal action against a possibly at-fault person or company that caused your injury, call our office at (800) 752-0042 for a free consultation. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, be sure to leave a voicemail. We will return your call.


Student Football Player Committed Suicide After Suffering Concussion

As awareness increases into the potentially fatal effects of concussions, schools and health care providers have to recognize the warning signs.

By Rick Shapiro, Virginia Tramatic Brain Injury Lawyer

The death of a 17-year-old college-bound student from Virginia (VA) two days after he suffered a concussion has renewed concerns about the links between traumatic brain injuries and suicide.

Austin Trenum of Nokesville, VA, had planned to enroll in James Madison University. Those plans became irrelevant, though, when he sustained a concussion in his final high school football game and, two days later, hanged himself. The Associated Press reported that Trenum’s parents are convinced a concussion that wasn’t taken seriously enough led to their son’s death and are donating his brain for research.

The death raises new questions about concussion awareness in sport, an issue our experienced Virginia TBI lawyers have written about in-depth. It is also the latest in a spate of suicides that have followed concussions in sport. Last year an autopsy on 21-year-old Owen Thomas, a captain of the University of Pennsylvania football team who committed suicide, revealed brain damage.

“We know that a concussion can be followed with depression,” Dr. Robert Cantu, clinical professor of neurosurgery and co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy told  the AP. “And depression can be serious enough that hospitalization is required in a small number of cases.”

BU researchers found that the college football player, Thomas, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is also called dementia pugilistica because it’s associated with career boxers who have suffered repeated blows to the head. Earlier this year we reported on how CTE was diagnosed  in NFL football star Dave Duerson, who also took his life.

As awareness increases into the potentially fatal effects of concussions, schools and health care providers have to recognize the warning signs. In the case of Austin Trenum, staff at a hospital told his parents to “make sure their son had 24 hours of restful activity,” AP reported.

His parents later learned he should have had no stimulation at all. Failure to take these concussion related injuries seriously could leave hospitals and schools open to lawsuits. Earlier this year I reported on a $2.5 million lawsuit brought by a camper at a Virginia Tech basketball camp in Blacksburg, VA, who claimed inadequate facilities and supervision contributed to a severe head injury.

High schools and youth sports leagues in North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), and Virginia recently brought in new rules intended to prevent head-to-head contact, returning too early from concussions, and limiting injuries from balls, bats and other equipment.

Other agencies, such as police departments, need to be aware of the dangers of head injuries. Recently we reported on how a lawsuit seeking $35 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages has been filed by the wife of a former Norfolk, VA, police recruit who died in training. The lawsuit alleges his death was the result of “repeated, violent blows to the head” by instructors that produced bleeding in the brain.

Our Virginia head and brain injury lawyers have handled many TBI cases including a 2001 case in which we secured $365,000 for a CSX locomotive engineer who suffered mild traumatic brain injury after he was hit on the head by a valve in an explosion.

Our firm obtained the largest personal injury verdict in Virginia history as of 2000 – $46 million – in the case of a gas station attendant who suffered a brain injury and other injuries when he was pinned inside a partly demolished gas station when a Norfolk Southern train derailed due to an incorrect switch position.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. Our injury lawyers also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services. While not every brain injury case meets our criteria, if you or a loved one is thinking about taking legal action against a possibly at-fault person or company that caused your injury, call our office at (800) 752-0042 for a free consultation. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, be sure to leave a voicemail. We will return your call.

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Operation Dry Water 2011 a Success in Reducing Drunken Boating in Virginia

Operation Dry Water, a nationwide anti-drunken boating effort aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents among boaters, was a success during the 2011 July 4th weekend.

By Kevin Duffan, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

In his latest post to our VA personal injury attorneys’ website, my colleague John Cooper reports that Operation Dry Water, a nationwide anti-drunken boating effort aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents among boaters, was a success during the 2011 July 4th weekend.  John notes that a boating accident can result in serious injuries or death. If a boating accident is the fault of anyone, an individual may need the assistance of VA personal injury lawyers to file a case against the responsible parties to recover any losses.

LC

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. Our injury lawyers also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services. While not every brain injury case meets our criteria, if you or a loved one is thinking about taking legal action against a possibly at-fault person or company that caused your injury, call our office at (800) 752-0042 for a free consultation. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, be sure to leave a voicemail. We will return your call.


UVA Advancing Traumatic Brain Injury Research

University of Virginia researchers are creating a hand-held ultrasound machine that can be taken to the battlefield to early diagnose soldiers with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

By John Cooper, VA Brain and Head Injury Attorney

A TBI is a traumatically induced structural injury or disruption of brain function caused by an external force, and usually results from car crashes, drowning, and slip and falls. Funded by $6 million in grants from the Department of Defense, University of Virginia researchers are creating a hand-held ultrasound machine that can be taken to the battlefield to early diagnose soldiers with TBI, according to Apria Healthcare.

Since 2000, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Washington, 202,281 service members have been diagnosed as having some form of TBI.  The University of Virginia technology would let a combat medic pull someone off the field to check them for traumatic brain injury.

This TBI research project involves developing probes to look at the brain at a cellular level and determine at a cellular level whether someone has TBI. Currently, the standard methods for detecting TBI are through magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans.

The UVA research could determine brain tissue stiffness links to brain injuries and whether ultrasound technology can be used to detect tissue stiffness. The researchers are studying medical scans of soldiers who come into contact with high-impact blasts.

Treatment of TBI is on a case-by-case basis. The UVA research should hopefully prompt brain injury professionals to study ways to treat TBI for those who suffer brain damage from car wrecks, slip and falls and other accidents. If you or a loved one suffer TBI resulting from an accident, you may need the assistance of Virginia personal injury lawyers to recover justice against the responsible parties.

To learn more about brain damage and head injuries, check out our FAQ on the subject.

LC

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling traumatic brain injury and general head injury cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys achieved the largest verdict in Virginia’s history for a brain-damaged client in 2000. The initial award of $46 million rose to $60 million with interest when an appeal was settled confidentially. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. Our injury lawyers also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services. While not every brain injury case meets our criteria, if you or a loved one is thinking about taking legal action against a possibly at-fault person or company that caused your injury, call our office at (800) 752-0042 for a free consultation. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, be sure to leave a voicemail. We will return your call.