Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When it comes to concussion recovery, time is important 

A concussion is not generally a life-threatening injury.

However, according to research published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, age and sex are critical to the treatment of concussions.

The study, conducted by Michigan State University (MSU), reveals that young and female athletes take longer to recover from concussions.

Tracey Covassin, Assistant Professor at MSU, found that high school athletes performed worse than college athletes on memory tests. Similarly, female athletes were out-performed by male athletes.

A concussion does not ordinarily result in permanent damage. However, if a person suffers another concussion before the first one has completely healed, this can have devastating consequences including bleeding inside the skull, brain swelling and even death. This is known as 'second-impact syndrome' (SIS), a form of traumatic braininjury that disproportionately affects females and athletes under 25.

Covassin noted that, "Younger athletes appear more at risk of second-impact syndrome...While it is rare, there is a serious risk of brain damage, and the risk is heightened when athletes are coming back before they heal."

According to Covassin, the key message is to allow more recovery time for female athletes and high school students. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that young athletes with concussions obtain clearance from a doctor before returning to the playing field. This, Covassin points out, ensures that any head injury is fully healed.

This research appears no less relevant to those who suffer a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle collision.

If you or your loved one has suffered a concussion as a result of a motor vehicle collision or fall in a commercial establishment, contact lawyer René Gantzert, a lawyer experienced in concussion claims, to explore your legal options.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spinal Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents are Never Minor

Injuries to the spinal cord can cause permanent damage to an individual. Pain, loss of mobility and sometimes loss of cognitive abilities can result from a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries include whiplash, herniated discs and fractures. In some cases, medical therapies and treatment may be able to reduce the chance of the injury resulting in a permanent condition. However, some spinal cord injuries result in permanent paralysis.


Probably the most common injury sustained in motor vehicle accidents, whiplash is often thought of as a temporary condition that goes away with time. However, soft tissue damage can cause permanent and debilitating conditions.

Whiplash can occur when the muscles in the neck stretch and tear during an auto accident. When muscle tissue tears, it heals by creating scar tissue to mend itself. Unfortunately, this scar tissue does not grow in the exact manner as the original tissue in the neck and can protrude and put pressure on the spinal cord. This pressure can cause instances of migraines, stiffness and loss of mobility in the neck and shoulders.

Vertebrae damage

Traumatic damage to the spine can result in fractures or disc displacement. Any time a bone in the spine is damaged or a disc is herniated or bulging, it puts more pressure on the other vertebrae and discs to maintain the mobility of the spine. This weakens the spine and can cause a so-called domino effect of damage. Severely fractured vertebrae can be mended or replaced through surgery, but the spine will forever be weakened.

A herniated or bulging disc can mean a lifetime of pain and discomfort. When the cushioning disc is not in its proper place, it causes the vertebrae to be tilted and can even cause them to rub against each other as the person moves. There are treatments to temporarily relieve pain, but most disc injuries are lifetime concerns. Severe cases of disc herniation require surgery to relieve the pressure on the vertebrae.

Consult a personal injury attorney after sustaining a spinal cord injury

Spinal injuries can result in medical bills, time spent in the hospital and therapy and, in some cases, loss of employment. This can put a further strain on the patient, which can slow the recovery process. In many cases, the injuries are a result of a car accident, and the victim is entitled to legal recovery. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who has experience helping victims with spinal cord injuries.

Spinal injuries are not minor injuries. Pain can linger for months or could last a lifetime. Legal recovery to help pay medical bills and replace lost income can be an option for spinal injury victims involved in an auto accident. It is important to seek legal counsel after the accident to preserve your rights and help you get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you would like the opportunity to discuss your ICBC whiplash claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please contact René Gantzert at GantzertLaw Office for a free consultation.