Avoiding and Mitigating Head Injuries

 a - brain injury claims

Our 10 lawyer Pittsburgh firm litigates — and thus sees firsthand — the profound consequences of head injuries from slip and falls, car, motorcycle accidents, bicycle-related injuries, and more.

Our success in Pennsylvania impels us to give back and share with you information about how to prevent or mitigate serious injuries in the future.  Such injuries are often referred to as traumatic brain injuries (“TBIs”), which may result in loss of memory, impaired mental function, speech problems, erratic changes in sex drive, and even death.


Every head injury should be taken seriously.  You may have heard about Natasha Richardson, the wife of actor Liam Neeson.  She fell during a ski lesson for beginners in Canada.  Although her head came in contact with the ground, she remained lucid afterward.  In fact, she was able to speak, talk, and act normally.  She refused medical treatment twice but experienced a head ache within three hours of the fall.   She died the next day; the cause of death: “epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head.”

She had not been wearing a helmet while skiing.

Any “bump” on the head can cause internal bleeding and a cascade of events that – over a few hours – can lead to permanent brain damage, including loss of memory, loss of mental function, speech impairment, and even death.  The most common cause of head injuries is falls, followed by vehicle and other accidents as other leading causes.

We also see serious TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries) in the context of automobile, trucking, and motorcycle accidents.  Early medical evaluation is crucial.

You can help avoid or mitigate a head injury by:

1. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

2. Going to the emergency room (or Med Express at least) if you have sustained any kind of impact to your head causing any symptoms such as: a head ache, blurred vision, or inability to focus or concentrate.

3. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:

Riding a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;

Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;

Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;

Batting and running bases in baseball or softball, or

Riding a horse.

 4. Making living areas safer, by:

Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;

Making sure that your deck can support the number of people invited to any party at your location; and

Using lawn furniture that is sturdy and positioned in an uncluttered yard or deck.

5. Making living areas safer for children, by:

Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and

Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around

6. Making sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

7. If you have any home renovation done this spring (a new driveway, deck, pool, roof, or other renovation), keep the walkways clear and free from debris.  As the renovation takes on a life of its own, you will be tempted to cut corners when juggling the responsibilities of overseeing a contractor, but be alert.  It is not uncommon for home owners, and their children (and even pets) to get injured during the performance of home renovations.

8. Make sure you carry adequate disability (loss of wages) insurance, which covers lost  wages in the event you are incapacitated, which is often the case with head  injuries as those may involve long periods of rehabilitation in the form of speech  therapy and cognitive therapy/rehab.  In the case of vehicle accidents, your vehicle  policy (car/motorcycle) will not  necessarily cover your claim for lost income. Yes, you may sue the other driver  if that person is at fault, but what if you are at fault?  And what if you are  involved a single vehicle accident from wet or icy streets for example?  Read  your policy carefully; it may be woefully inadequate to cover for lost  wages.  Likewise, if you slip and fall on your own property, you will  bear the brunt of your claim for lost wages and there will be little if any  coverage for your medical expenses or lost wages.  Do not assume you will get government assistance.  You should always  consider carrying a separate disability policy that covers you for lost wages from an accident.

Our lawyers are members of the Brain Injury Association and receive updates concerning the newest treatments available for TBIs.

Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on the topics of:

What to do when you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident (and how to prepare for it), and

What do if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog (and how to prepare the that eventuality).

Our firm offers a free consultation for personal injury (including highway and work injuries), breach of contract, and construction law cases.

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Mr. Elliott has personally recovered over $1,000,000 for injured clients during the past three years alone (not including recoveries by other lawyers in our firm).