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Skull Fractures: Important Information for Attorneys

Video Description: New York Brain Injury Lawyer Michael V. Kaplen discusses skull fractures and brain injury.
Published On: 7/22/10

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Video Transcript: Skull Fractures: Important Information for Attorneys

Michael V. Kaplen: In reviewing a client’s brain injury case, what important information does an attorney derive from knowing that a skull fracture was sustained?

In representing a person who has sustained a traumatic brain injury, it is important for a lawyer to know whether a skull fracture took place since the force of impact necessary to cause a fracture to the skull implies severe brain damage most probably has taken place.

The brain injury attorney needs to carefully consider and investigate for all possible injuries to obtain proper compensation for his or her client.

Skull fractures frequently result from high speed car crashes, from falls on ice and uneven surfaces where the individuals strikes their head on the ground, in accidents where pedestrians being struck by an automobile fall and strike their heads on the roadway, in individuals being struck on the head by falling objects and in falls caused by unsafe walkways and surfaces.

There are some types of skull fractures which are not easily detectable by routine skull x rays yet do present classic signs that a skull fracture took place that the brain injury attorney needs to be aware of.

One such sign is known as “Raccoon Eyes” which are black and blue marks around the eyes. This injury is caused by a basil skull fracture, a fracture at the base of the skull and represents damage to the thin bone that separates the skull from the nose area called the cribriform plate

Another sign of a skull fracture is the presence of black and blue marks over the neck area. This is known as a “Battle Sign” and is associated with a unique type of fracture known as an ipsilateral skull fracture.

A person who has sustained a skull fracture has a far greater chance of sustaining bleeding within the brain and damage to nerve cells far away from the point of impact.

This damage to brain nerve cells requires careful assessment by neuropsychological testing to determine what cognitive deficits have resulted.

An attorney representing a person who has sustained a skull fracture needs to know that that their client has an increased risk of developing a seizure disorder or traumatic epilepsy.

The presence of a skull fracture also increases the chances that the victim has sustained damage to the nerve cells that control the sense of taste and smell. These senses are often not tested as part of a standard neurological examination and are often missed by lawyers and doctors who do not understand traumatic brain injury.

Another problem that often develops as a result of skull fractures are difficulties processing sounds and increased sensitivity to loud noises. Often patients with a skull fracture develop a condition known as tinnitus where constant ringing in the ears takes place or hyperacusis which is sensitivity to loud noise or background noise that can’t be blocked out. Dizziness must also be investigated after a skull fracture.

To properly represent an individual who has sustained traumatic brain damage, a lawyer needs to know the full extent of the brain damage sustained by their client. Only through careful questioning of the client and careful evaluation of the client’s hospital and medical records and radiological studies can a full understanding of all brain injuries be obtained.

The proper representation of a client with brain damage takes both skill and patience.

 

If you or a loved one is a victim of the silent epidemic of traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries.

If I can assist you with your brain injury case, you can contact me at:

Phone: 1-866-272-4652
Email: michael@brainlaw.com
Web: http://www.brainlaw.com

© 2014 De Caro & Kaplen, LLP

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Our Credentials

Michael Kaplen

Professorial Lecturer in Law
The George Washington University Law School

Past Chair
New York State Traumatic
Brain Injury Coordinating Council

President
American Academy of Brain Injury Attorneys

Vice President
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

3 Term President
Brain Injury Association of
New York State

Past Chair
Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation
Group: American Association
For Justice

Past Chair
Motor Vehicle, Highway, Premises
Liability Section: American Association
For Justice

National Advisory Board
Association of Interstate
Trucking Lawyers of America

Past Co-Chair
Tort Section, New York County
Lawyers Association

Board of Directors
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice

Board of Governors, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

Board of Directors
New York Academy of Trial Lawyers

Editorial Board
Neurolaw Letter

Board Certified
Civil Trial Advocate
National Board of Trial Advocacy*

Board Certified
American Board of Professional
Liability Attorneys
Medical Liability*

Sustaining Member:
American Association for Justice
Public Justice Foundation

Member:
N.Y.S. Trial Lawyers Association
Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers
Southern Trial Lawyers
Association-Fellow
North American Brain Injury Association

Graduate of Marquette University, College of Health Sciences, in Neuro Anatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord

Honors & Awards:

New York Super Lawyer
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Admitted to practice:
New York
Florida
District of Columbia

Top 100 New York Trial Lawyers -
American Trial Lawyer Association

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
Public Achievement Award

Board of Trustees, Melvin M. Belli Society

Shana DeCaro

Chair
Traumatic Brain Injury Group: American Association for Justice

1st Vice President
American Academy of Brain Injury Attorneys

Board of Trustees, Secretary
Civil Justice Foundation

Board of Directors
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Fellow
American Association for Justice

Fellow
Melvin M. Belli Society

Editor
Law Update
New York Academy of Trial Lawyers

Amicus Counsel
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Honors and Awards

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
Public Achievement Award

President’s Award
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Who’s Who in American Women

Who’s Who in American Law

Top 100 New York Trial Lawyers-American Trial Lawyers Association

Elite Lawyers Of America

Graduate of Marquette University, College of Health Sciences, in Neuro Anatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord

Member:

New York Academy of Trial Lawyers

New York State Trial Lawyers Association

Brain Injury Association New York State

North American Brain Injury Association

Member:
Nursing Home Litigation Group
American Assoc. for Justice

Interstate Trucking Litigation Group
American Assoc. for Justice

Brain Trauma Litigation Group
American Assoc. for Justice

Ask The Expert
Contributing Author
BrainLine

Advisory Board, Acquired Brain Injury Program, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Washington, D.C.

Admitted to Practice:
New York State
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
United States Federal District Courts:
Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
United States Tax Court
United States Court of International Trade
District of Columbia

 

* The National Board of Trial Advocacy and the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys are not affiliated with any government authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law in the State of New York and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.