Carmichael Brain Injury Lawyer

brain injury

In the past few years, a tremendous amount of research has been done on many of the different injuries that people sustain in car accidents; however, brain injuries continue to remain among the most devastating traumatic injuries that people can suffer. Many of the complications that stem from brain injuries can remove a patient’s ability to care for themselves. Furthermore, these comorbidities can become chronic and lifelong, leaving that patient’s family to care for their loved one.

The Definition of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Many people are curious about the differences between traumatic brain injuries and other types of neurological damage. There are many different forms of brain damage that someone can suffer and a brain injury sustained through trauma is somewhat different than other mental deficits. For example, some people may suffer brain damage through dementia while other people could develop mental deficits as a result of continuous seizures through a disorder such as epilepsy. A traumatic brain injury is neurological damage that results specifically from a traumatic event. This means that an outside force acted on the patient’s skull in a physical manner and damaged the brain tissue inside. Trauma can damage brain tissue in a number of ways, including:

Cerebral Contusion: The traumatic force knocks the brain into the skull. If the skull comes to a sudden stop, such as when the head strikes the dashboard, the brain continues to move inside the skull and collides with the hard surface. This can create a bruise on the brain, just as in other areas of the body.

Spinning Forces: It is possible for a traumatic event to take place from a violent spinning motion. If the brain spins at high speeds inside of the skull, it can “shear,” or tear, the neurons, creating brain damage. This type of injury is referred to as diffuse axonal injury.

Pressure Damage: Bleeding and brain swelling create a form of pressure damage. The brain is encased in the skull, meaning that the space it occupies is set. If bleeding starts to occur inside of the skull, the blood takes up space and can squeeze the brain. This can lead to something called a herniation, a brain injury with severe consequences.

Types of Brain Herniations

As alluded to above, brain bleeding can lead to a herniation. A herniation is where a portion of the brain is squeezed across various structures in the skull as a result of extra fluid or pressure, typically blood, taking up space in the skull cavity. When the brain herniates along structures in the skull, the brain tissue being forcibly moved in this manner is, typically, irreparably damaged. There are several different types of herniations, including:

Tonsillar Herniation: A tonsillar herniation results when the cerebellar tonsils, a portion of the cerebellum, protrude out through the foramen magnum (where the brainstem typically exits). When this happens, the cerebellar tonsils compress the upper part of the spinal cord, known as the cervical region. This injury results in skyrocketing blood pressure, a plummeting heart rate, cessation of breathing, and places the patient into a coma.

Subfalcine-Cingulate Herniation: This herniation results when brain tissue under the falx (in the middle the brain) is displaced to one side. This is the most common type of herniation. This leads to an extreme headache, small pupils, and paralysis of the leg on the opposite side of the herniation.

Uncal Herniation: In this herniation, the medial portion of the temporal lobe pushes through the posterior fossa, placing pressure on the middle portion of the brainstem. The pupil on the same side of the herniation becomes dilated. The eyes become paralyzed. The opposite side of the body from the side that is herniated becomes markedly weaker. Patients typically fluctuate in and out of consciousness.

Neurosurgeons: Preventing Herniation

When imaging studies such as CT scans and MRIs show bleeding within the skull cavity, the neurosurgeons can act quickly and prevent herniation from occurring. The neurosurgeons will remove a portion of the skull temporarily to allow some of the pressure in the skull cavity (from the blood and from the swelling of the brain) to build up and release naturally. When the skull is removed, the brain and skull cavity has room to expand because the skull cavity is no longer enclosed by the skull. Once the bleeding has stopped and the brain tissue has stopped swelling, the skull can be placed back in its normal location without having any of the consequences of herniation.

Novel Medical Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury

Recent research has demonstrated that lithium, a first-line treatment for patients with bipolar disorder, can be used to protect neurons in traumatic brain injury. In a traumatic brain injury, glutamate (an amino acid and chemical signal) is released and damages neurons, some of them permanently. Medical research has shown that lithium may prevent glutamate from being released and damaging the neurons, a potential breakthrough and novel application for a battle-tested drug. The potential of this medication to help people who have suffered brain injuries in traumatic accidents still remains to be seen but offers some hope for injuries that are among the most devastating that people can suffer.

Compassionate Advocate for Brain Injury Patients in Carmichael

I’m Ed Smith, a Carmichael Brain Injury Lawyer. Among the possible injuries that can be sustained in an auto accident, traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. Those calling from outside of the local area may call me free of charge at (800) 404-5400.

I am a member of the California Chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This is a group of injury lawyers who have been rated among the top attorneys in the country. Each member of our group has settled cases or won verdicts in excess $1 Million Dollars.

Some of my verdicts and settlements can be viewed here.

My client reviews and ratings are located on Avvo, Yelp, and Google Plus.

Image Credit: Patrick J. Lynch, a medical illustrator by way of Wikimedia Commons

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Client Reviews
  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
    Sincerely, Alex & Dinah M. ★★★★★
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation. Beverly ★★★★★
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything. Annie T. ★★★★★
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime. Jeremy M. ★★★★★
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone. Shannon D. ★★★★★
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury. David M. ★★★★★