Traumatic Brain Injury

Your Brain Injury Attorney
The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around” said Thomas Edison. This 3 pound organ which makes up 2% of the average human’s total body weight is the part of the body that makes up 100% of who we are.
Anthony J. Baratta

What Is a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)

According to the CDC, a traumatic brain injury is a Brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head. Traumatic brain injury often occurs as a result of a severe sports injury or car accident. Immediate or delayed symptoms may include confusion, blurry vision, and concentration difficulty. Infants may cry persistently or be irritable. Treatment may involve rest, medication, and surgery.

TBI Case Background

Medical science does not yet have the tools to show all brain injuries.  Many of these life-long injuries exist at the cellular level which cannot be picked up by CT scans and MRI studies and these types of traumatic brain injuries are often called “invisible injuries.”   

Our goal is to make visible to a jury the invisible, to show that these injuries are  real, and that they can be devastating and life-altering, even if an MRI looks normal. We evaluate the mechanism of injury-has the skull made impact with some object causing bruising to the brain at the impact point and opposite the impact point? Or is the mechanism caused by a rotational, twisting force that disturbs the cellular connections between the white and gray matter? We determine what type of testing will best reveal the injury. We speak to many people in your life to understand the differences in your activity level and personality before and after the injury. 

We hire experts to explain your injury, how it was caused and the injury’s effect on your life.

The trial team of Baratta, Russell and Baratta has won justice for brain injury survivors for more than 20 years. If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, please consider our team to fight for you.

Traumatic Brain Injury Frequently Asked Questions?
There are three types of brain injury:

1. Closed head injury in which the brain is injured by the soft brain being rocked back and forth inside the hard bony skull. The injury can be caused by the brain making direct contact with the inside of the skull or by rotational forces.

2. A penetrating injury in which the skull is fractured and the brain injury to the brain is direct as in a gunshot wound.

3. A blast injury, most commonly seen in soldiers, in which the cells of the brain are disrupted by the shock waves of the blast.
First responders will measure the Glascow Comma Scale (“GCS”) to assess the severity of the injury at the scene. It is from this scoring that brain injuries are determined to be mild or severe by the medical treaters. This scoring has historically created problems for brain injury survivors scored as a mild brain injury at the scene of an accident.

Such labelling implies that the injury is not serious when many times the injury labelled as mild can have life lasting effects. The GCS is merely a method to allow appropriate triage at an emergency department.

At the emergency department a CT is often taken to rule out a brain bleed or brain swelling. Brain bleeds or swelling may be a surgical emergency requiring removing a portion of the skull called a craniectomy to allow the brain to swell without the crushing force of the skull pushing the brain into the brain stem which would cause death.

Once the surgical emergency is ruled out, the injury is diagnosed based upon symptoms. Many closed head injuries cannot be seen on an MRI film. The damage to a brain occurs at the cellular level which is too small to be seen by most modern diagnostic studies.

Most medical insurance carriers will not pay for more sensitive brain scans such as Diffusor Tensor Imaging (“DTI”) or functional MRI (“fMRI”) as such tests are deemed unnecessary for treatment purposes. But, such tests can be paid for by your lawyer as part of the work-up of your case.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI’s contribute to 30% of all injury deaths in the United States, there are 2.5 million TBI-related emergency room visits, approximately 288,000 hospitalizations and nearly 57,000 deaths related to TBI.
Individuals who suffer mild TBI are more likely to eventually recover than someone who has suffered a severe TBI. But, many persons diagnosed with mild TBI don’t recover. For those who don’t, the symptoms suffered may include cognitive dysfunction (attention and memory problems), motor function (impaired coordination and balance), sensation (impaired hearing or ringing in the ears, impaired vision) and behavior issues (depression, anger, personality changes).
If the careless act of another caused your injury, the answer is absolutely yes. A lawyer can help accumulate evidence that may be lost, help ensure your medical bills are paid to help ensure you get appropriate and timely care, and to obtain for you damages caused by disability and the loss of your life as you knew it.
We get many calls from clients who are already represented by lawyers. Remember, it’s your case and your future at stake so you have the right to choose your lawyer.  Because many of our clients come to us referred by other lawyers who do not specialize in brain injury representation, we can accept the case from your present lawyer as a referral.
It is of course imperative that you are treated by an excellent team of doctors. In Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, there are many great rehab centers for brain injury including Moss, Bryn Mawr and Magee. A standard course of treatment might include occupational therapy (OT) to help you resume activities of life like driving, cooking, etc., physical therapy (PT) to help your body overcome weakness, and speech therapy (ST) to help with memory and concentration.
An insidious consequence of tort reform efforts has been to make victims feel guilty about pursuing justice.  Many of our clients tell us that they are not the kind of people who pursue lawsuits, as if seeking justice for the damages someone carelessly caused you is wrong.

You have every right to seek money damages for personal injuries caused you by another’s negligent conduct.  We only take cases in which our investigation shows the defendant acted negligently or to cause your harm. Your decision to seek justice, to hold the careless person accountable, makes the world safer for everyone else. It also places the responsibility for payment of damages on the bad actor, not society, not other people and not your family.
List of Verdicts/Settlements for Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
Baratta, Russell & Baratta Testimonial:
tony baratta
Anthony J. Baratta, Esq.
Andy Dipiero
Andrew E. DiPiero Jr, Esq.
kim Kutler
Kim Palavoy Kutler, Esq.
heather feenan
Heather Feenan
diana wojtylak
Diana Wojtylak
gabrielle sobel
Gabrielle Sobel
Victoria Freedman-Holland
Recognized as Top Lawyers in their field:

Anthony J. Baratta (“Tony”) has been recognized by Philadelphia Magazine as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 15 years since 2006. He has received the highest possible rating amongst his peers by Martindale-Hubbel (AV Preeminate), is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, is a Member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, and a winner of the AVVO Choice Award for client recognition.

Andrew E. DiPiero Jr. has been recognized by Philadelphia Magazine as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 16 years since 2005. He has received the highest possible rating amongst his peers by Martindale-Hubbel (AV Preeminate), and he is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

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