Articles Posted in Brain Injuries


A 22-year-old woman from Crystal River was killed in an early-morning motorcycle crash Tuesday.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the woman died in a crash on West Fort Island Trail in Citrus County.  

Troopers said the woman was a passenger on a 2012 Yamaha motorcycle just after midnight when the driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve, went off the road and collided with a tree.  

The 30-year-old Homosassa man driving the motorcycle suffered critical injuries and remains at Bayonet Point Hospital.

The woman died at the scene.

Troopers said neither the woman nor the driver were wearing a helmet.

One in every five motorcycle crashes reported results in head or neck injuries. Head injuries are just as severe as neck injuries and are actually a lot more common. Research shows that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of neck or head injury. You are three times more likely to suffer an injury or death than those wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Florida laws are more lenient when it comes to helmet rules. A person over 21 may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing a helmet if they are covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.

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Toyota issued a statement on Thursday regarding a recall for 2.9 million sports utility vehicles, including more than 1.1 million in the U.S., because of seat belts that might fail in a crash.

The recall covers RAV4 SUVS from the 2005 through 2014 model years, the RAV4 electric vehicle from 2012 through 2014, sold in North America, and the Vanguard sold in Japan from 2005-2016, the Japanese automaker said.

According to Toyota, it is possible that the belts in both second-row window seats could come in contact with a metal seat cushion frame in a severe frontal crash. If that happens, the belts could be cut and would not restrain passengers.

The company said it will add plastic covers to the metal frame at no cost to customers.

The recall also affects 625,000 vehicles in Europe, 434,000 vehicles in China and 177,000 in Japan.

It is universally known that the use of seat belts saves many lives each and every day. In fact, according to a study by James Madison University, when properly used, safety belts reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent.

And while the benefits of seat belts are undeniable, a defective seat belt can lead to disastrous consequences. If a person is involved in an accident with a flawed seat belt, and that belt fails at the moment of impact, serious injuries, including death, can occur. Sadly, seat belt defects are all too common, as this recall highlights.

Accidents involving defective seat belts can lead to various injuries, including bruises, lacerations, broken and fractured bones, brain injuries and wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, and you have reason to believe that a defective seat belt may have contributed to the injuries, you may have a legal right to financial compensation for the harm suffered. With that said, it is crucial that you explore all of your legal options as soon as possible as there are limitations placed on how long you have to pursue your legal rights.

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall last week of Elmira Hydraulic residential hydraulic elevators last week after these products were sold with a significant defect – the elevator can actually operate while the gate door is open, posing a crushing hazard.

7197347554_833ca52c66_mThese elevators have been installed in many homes with multiple floors.

The distributor, Coastal Carolina Elevators, received three reports of incidents with the elevators, including a catastrophic brain injury to a 10-year-old boy from Baltimore, Maryland, according to reports.

Dangerous products manufactured and sold for use in home environments where young children are expected to be living and playing account for numerous deaths and injuries every year. Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge parents and caregivers to always be on the lookout for dangers in the home. It is very important to carefully inspect the operation of home appliances and products. Never assume that just because a product is made or sold in the United States that it is automatically safe. As this case demonstrates, the required safety standards are not always followed by manufacturers.

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A new Clinical Pediatrics study shows that shopping cart injuries are on the rise, sending more than 24,000 children under the age of 15 to hospital emergency rooms every year.

This translates to 66 children per day suffering injuries due to shopping carts.

The new study highlights the number of shopping cart-related head injuries that have continued to increase, leaving researchers to believe that the current voluntary standards for shopping cart safety are not adequate.

The study shows that the number of concussions and closed head injuries are on the rise.

Shopping cart injuries are on the rise, sending more than 24,000 children under the age of 15 to hospital emergency rooms every year.

Shopping cart injuries are on the rise, sending more than 24,000 children under the age of 15 to hospital emergency rooms every year.

While falls from a shopping cart accounted for the most common cause of injury, the head was the most commonly injured part of the body, representing 78.1 percent of injuries. Over the course of the study period, soft tissue injury was the most common kind of head injury. However, the number of concussions and internal head injuries rose consistently between 1990 and 2011, increasing from 3,483 injuries to 12,333 injuries.

The Clinical Pediatrics study suggests that the current safety standards for shopping carts are not enough to protect kids from injuries. As it exists now, shopping cart safety standards are voluntarily implemented by manufacturers. While certain safety changes were made in 2004, the number of injuries has not declined, but has actually had an opposite effect.

According to the study, the most common shopping cart injuries happen when:

Kids fall out of the shopping cart – accounting for 70 percent of all injuries

Children run into or fall over the cart – accounting for 8 percent of all injuries

A shopping cart is tipped over – accounting for 6 percent of all injuries

Kids become trapped in the shopping cart – accounting for 6 percent of all injuries

The study’s researchers point out that while parents should always keep an eye on their children while in a store using a shopping cart, slight modifications to a cart’s design could protect kids from such dangerous injuries. Small things, like placing the child seat closer to the ground to avoid high falls and shopping cart safety belts could result in fewer injuries.

If your child has suffered a shopping cart-related injury, there are certain steps you can take. Under premises liability laws, store owners have a duty to make sure their store is relatively safe for all customers. This includes a responsibility to ensure their shopping carts are safe for use. In addition to the store owner, the shopping cart manufacturer could be liable for injuries if the cart was in any way defective. Defects can include errors in the manufacturing process, flaws in the shopping cart’s design or even ineffective warning labels that fail to highlight the cart’s risks.

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With Christmas right around the corner, many children will be waking up Christmas morning to a new skateboard, bicycle or even a scooter under the tree. Equally as important to unwrap is a new helmet to use with their new wheels.

Helmets often get overlooked, but the reality is that they can help prevent catastrophic injuries. Nearly 50 percent of children under the age of 14 are hospitalized for bicycle, in-line skating and skateboard-related injuries and diagnosed with a brain injury, but by using a proper helmet, many of those injuries could have been prevented. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, wearing a helmet while riding a bike can reduce the risk of a head injury by as much as 85 percent.

Helmets come in all different shapes and sizes. Different sports and activities require various types of helmets. It is important to pick out the proper type of helmet for the activity your child will be taking part in. Equally as important is to make sure the helmet fits and is worn properly. If not, then it will offer less protection. A helmet should fit comfortably, but also be snug. The helmet should sit level on your child’s head, not too far forward or back. Moreover, a well-fitting helmet should not move in any direction when adjusted and fastened properly.

child helmet betch.jpgHelmets should always be maintained and kept in decent shape. Even though helmets are designed to take blows, they should be replaced if you have been involved in a serious accident. Many sporting goods shops will inspect helmets for free, so if you are in doubt about the shape of your helmet, take it in to the professionals.

As a parent, you should make sure to set a good example for your kids. When you are riding your bike with your children, wear a helmet so that they can see that wearing one is the right thing to do. Not only will you be leading by example, but you will protect yourself at the same time. Be firm with your kids about wearing a helmet at all times when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard. Start them at an early age so that they understand that helmet use is important when they are “on wheels,” so that they continue this safe behavior as they get older.

Watch out for your children’s safety. Death and traumatic brain injuries can happen unexpectedly. Taking unnecessary risks only increase these odds. This Christmas, when your kids want to take their new skateboard, bike or scooter out for a first ride, make sure they have on a properly fitting helmet.

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A three-year-old who went missing from his Inverness home earlier in the day was discovered in a canal near his home on Tuesday.

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to the boys home on Apopka Dr. after the toddler was reported missing. Once they arrived at the house, the three-year-old child had been pulled from the canal.

Officers performed CPR on the boy and he was transported to Citrus Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies are currently investigating this tragedy to determine exactly what happened.

canal 2 betch.jpgMany Florida homes are located near lakes, rivers, beaches, canals and swimming pools. Being so close to the water makes drowning accidents particularly common. When children are not properly supervised, they are especially susceptible to drowning. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of death among toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4. When a drowning accident takes place, brain damage can occur in a matter of minutes due to lack of oxygen. Sadly, when a person suffers brain damage the results are often fatal or can lead to a lifetime of serious physical impairments.

A drowning death can occur virtually anywhere, from swimming pools at hotels to wave pools at theme parks. Any type of accidental drowning death should be fully investigated. In many cases, drowning fatalities could have been prevented. While dealing with the aftermath of a drowning death can be devastating, and no amount of money can replace what you have lost, you still may need to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to recover any financial losses as well as hold all responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions.

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A new study concerning youth head-injury statistics shows there has been a 90 percent surge in the number of children being treated in emergency rooms for sports-related head injuries since 2001.

This new study focused on nine years, 2002-2011, and analyzed ER rates at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in order to gain a better grasp of what was causing child concussions and how severe the cases were.

Concussions have been a leading cause for concern as more research has found that these types of head blows can be linked to other health problems later on in life.
Additionally, further research has concluded that children may need longer recovery periods following concussions, which has increased concern among physicians since their brains are still developing.

skateboard betch.jpgThe Cincinnati study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that of the 25,000-plus children who were treated in an emergency room following a TBI over the last decade, nearly 15 percent, or almost 3,900 cases, were caused by sports. Roughly three-quarters of those treated were males.

While the study showed a 92 percent spike in the number of TBI-related ER visits among children, researchers did not see an increase in the number of children who had been admitted to the hospital following the visit, which implies more children are not getting seriously hurt.

In fact, the researchers involved reported a drop in scores related to injury severity as well as the length of hospital stays.

The sports-related injuries that brought most children in for hospital admittance were skiing, sledding and rollerblading or skateboarding.

Concussions as well as other TBIs have been connected to a variety of permanent medical conditions, such as fatigue, depression, sleep disorders and increased risk of stroke. Furthermore, statistics show that a person who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to endure a second concussion at some point, which only increases a child’s risk for suffering learning disabilities and other neuropsychological problems.

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