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Westlake Village Personal Injury Blog

Diffuse Axonal Injury - Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a common and usually severe form of traumatic brain injury. The brain moving back and forth within the skull at high speed causes it, rather than a blow to the head. When the brain suddenly accelerates or decelerates, damage can occur over a widespread, or "diffuse' area. Although the amount of damage may vary in severity, DAI is a leading cause of death related to traumatic brain injury.

Car and motorcycle accidents, shaken baby syndrome, falls and sports injuries can all cause diffuse axonal injury. The part of the brains nerve cells, known as axons, are sheared from tissue sliding over tissue, causing lesions to form, resulting in unconsciousness. Swelling of the brain may occur as brain cells die. The increased pressure from the swelling may cause a reduction in blood flow, leading to additional injury.

What is Mesothelioma and Why Are There So Many Late-Night Commercials About It?


Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that effects the mesothelium, the tissue that surrounds the organs in the body. This tissue provides fluid which aids the smooth movement of the organs. There are three different forms of the disease, but 75% of all cases originate in the chest cavity as the pleural form. There is a single recognized cause for pleural mesothelioma which is exposure to asbestos in large amounts or over an extended period. Asbestos fibers cause scarring and damage to tissue cells surrounding the lungs, leading to the production of cancer cells. The cells divide rapidly and create tumors which build up fluid and thicken membranes.

Mesothelioma will stay dormant in the body for many years before symptoms become apparent. The patient is often in the advance stages of the disease before diagnosis is made. These latent cells may not appear for 20 to 50 years' post exposure to asbestos. The disease is frequently misdiagnosed in its early stages as bronchitis, the flu or pneumonia. A dry or painful cough, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss are some of the symptoms. Other signs may mimic pneumonia, such as shortness of breath or breathing difficulty.

If You Are Injured in a California Rideshare Accident


Rideshare companies, also known as transportation networking services, have become a popular option in metropolitan areas around the country. Several of these companies including Uber and Lyft originated in California and are flourishing in major metropolitan areas across the state.

These rideshare companies offer several unique benefits to their customers. They are accessed though a smartphone app where the nearest available driver is dispatched to the passengers location using a GPS. They offer discretion, unlike taxis that often appear like rolling advertisements. They are usually less expensive than a taxicab ride, depending on the level of the ride.

Cause and Prevention of California Tailgating Accidents

Tailgating in California, and everywhere else, is not only distracting and irritating to the driver being followed too closely, it is very dangerous. Tailgating is a contributing cause in more than one third of all motor vehicle accidents, according to research by the Highways Agency. If you are one of the many people injured in California tailgating accidents every year, it is important to seek the aid of a skilled accident attorney who will recover the compensation you deserve.

Tailgating is defined by California Vehicle Code section 21703 as following another vehicle "more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of the roadway." Most driving manuals recommend keeping a distance of one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed. That will allow a safe stopping distance should the car in front suddenly brake. Anyone who has driven on California's congested highways knows that in a heavy and fast flow of traffic, an aggressive driver from another lane will quickly fill a six car-length gap at 60 mph. That means the six length space is quickly shortened. How close is too close? The phrase "more closely than is reasonable and prudent" seems to be rather vague and open to interpretation.

To be ticketed for tailgating in California in two factors must be true.

1. There was another vehicle in the same lane as you

2. You were following the vehicle more closely than reasonable, given the road conditions.

Why You Need the Right California Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a serious California motorcycle crash, it is imperative that you retain the services of an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney. The injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash are often severe and can lead to medical bills that far exceed the amount offered by the negligent party's insurer. You may also experience loss of income over a lifetime as well as long-term rehabilitation expenses. Only an attorney with vast knowledge of California motorcycle crash litigation is qualified to recover the true value of your damages and loss.

When you are involved in a motorcycle crash, the only protection you have is your helmet and any protective clothing. While helmets reduce the severity of head injuries in many cases, they do not prevent them. Sudden jolts or head rotation can lead to serious traumatic brain injury. A poorly designed or improperly fitting helmet offers little protection compared to a quality full-faced model. Other injuries may be spine and neck injures, broken bones and damaged internal organs.

Motor Vehicle Accidents are the Leading Cause of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, extending downward from the base of the brain. It is made of soft tissue and surrounded by small bones called vertebrae. The spinal cord consists of nerve cells and groups of nerves called tracts, which runs to different parts of the body. Messages are carried by these tracts from the brain to the rest of the body. The tracts are separated into two groups. Sensory tracts carry messages related to heat, cold, pressure, pain and the position of limbs. Motor tracts carry messages from the brain to control muscle movement.

Damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or discs of the back can result in spinal cord injury. A sudden trauma to the spine, causing fracture, dislocation, compression or crushing of the vertebrae, can result in a traumatic spinal cord injury. A penetration, from a knife wound or gunshot, may cut the spinal cord.

The Importance of Cell Phone Records to a Distracted Driving Case


It is an unfortunately common experience to see a driver drift over the lane marker or onto the shoulder of the highway, only to notice his eyes are on a cell phone, a taco or some other form of preoccupation. When you consider that a car at 55mph travels the length of a football field in the time it takes to read an average text message, it is no wonder that distracted driving is a leading cause of death and injury on our nations highways.

Each day in the U.S. an average of 1,161 people are injured in crashes involving distracted driving. In the same day, a distracted driver kills over 8 people. Yet, despite increased public awareness of the problem, distracted driving continues at a disturbing pace.

The Cause and Effect of Increased Intracranial Pressure


Every year 1.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) according to the Brain Injury Association of America. It is estimated that 50,000 of these injuries are fatal. Life altering impairments can result from these injuries, affecting an individual's professional, social and family life. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans are living with conditions that are a result of TBI, such as neurological impairment. Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) is the cause of many of these conditions.

Intracranial Pressure Defined

The amount of pressure applied by the cranium on brain tissue, blood flowing in the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid is known as intracranial pressure. Brain trauma is a leading cause of increased intracranial pressure, especially injuries that result in hematoma and cerebral edema. Brain tissues may be killed when brain structures shift. This tissue death may be localized or diffuse, adding cerebrospinal fluid to the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. An intracranial pressure of 25mmHg or higher is usually fatal in adults. Children have a greater tolerance for increased longer lasting pressures.

ICP Symptoms, Causes and Prognosis

Some symptoms of increased intracranial pressure are headaches, nausea, vomiting, distorted levels of consciousness, visual impairment as well as erratic and unusual breathing patterns. The symptoms of concussion may be the same in some cases. Any person displaying any of these symptoms should be taken for proper emergency medical treatment immediately.

Head trauma, such as a skull fracture or diffuse axonal injury is severe in most cases. The entire central nervous system may suffer irreversible damage and with more severe cases, death can occur.

Aside from head injury, the most likely cause of increased intracranial pressure, there are other causes such as stroke, brain tumor, subdural hematoma, hypertensive brain hemorrhage, meningitis, encephalitis, ruptured aneurysm, intraventricular hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage and status epilepticus.

Different people are affected in many different ways by traumatic brain injury, depending on how severe the injury and the elapsed time before the person receives proper diagnosis and medical treatment. The time frame of recovery for severe TBI can be very long, involving years of rehabilitation. There are treatments that have proved to be helpful but in many cases complete recovery is not a possibility.

How Can Airbags Injure When They Are Supposed to Save Lives?

Anyone who has access to the news is aware of the massive recall of vehicles due to defective Takata airbags. A report issued by the NY Times, in December of last year, indicated that 11 deaths and 184 injuries had occurred in just the US from exploding airbags that propelled shrapnel into the chests of vehicle occupants. Over 92 million vehicles from multiple auto makers were recalled.

When considering those figures, it seems like a very small percentage of deaths and injuries compared to the number of installed airbags, but even one death is too many. In addition, there are many other airbag related injuries that occur each year that are unrelated to the spontaneous explosions. The supplemental restraint systems (SRS), installed in motor vehicles for the safety of drivers and passengers, in many cases can be the cause of severe injuries for several reasons. Despite being uncommon, airbag injuries are often severe and may include neck and spine injuries, traumatic brain injuries and internal injuries.

Large Truck Crashes are Common but also Preventable

The results from truck accidents are far more devastating on average than other motor vehicle accidents. In the U.S. one person is killed or injured in a truck crash every 16 minutes. 98% of the fatalities are occupants in the smaller vehicles, as opposed to those riding in the trucks. Despite these numbers truck drivers, on the average, are patient and safe drivers.

When truck accidents occur involving an automobile, it is at least partially the fault of the automobile driver in 75% of all cases. Only 16% of truck accidents can be attributed to the driver of the truck. Why do truck accidents happen and how can they be prevented?

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