Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Why Football Players Are At Risk for CTE

In 2012, a study showed ALS (Lou Gehrig ’s disease) and Alzheimer’s Disease to be four times more common in former NFL players than the rest of the population.

Considering how much higher the chances are for these football players to get one of these brain diseases (along with the fact that they are constantly being slammed in the head), it cannot be a coincidence that they get ALS or Alzheimer’s more often; this fourfold increase in risk is not just happenstance.
This is a direct result of the constant hitting and tackling that all too often results in being struck in the head.

ALS and Alzheimer’s are not the only diseases that affect football players; Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is another disease that is problematic for footballers.

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that slowly debilitates the victim.  CTE may initially present with motor weakness and muscle twitches but eventually people affected with CTE experience severe emotional and cognitive issues.

Currently,  CTE is only diagnosable after death, but is it fairly easy to surmise as a person becomes less and less functional. Researchers have categorized CTE into four identifiable stages based on symptomology; below is a sample of some of the symptoms.

Long before the other, more obvious symptoms become apparent, a victim may have trouble with atrophy and motor weakness:
• Stage 1 – headaches and issues with attention begin to appear.
• Stage 2 – problems with depression and short-term memory start to arise.
• Stage 3 – cognitive problems with judgment and organization take effect.
• Stage 4 – the final stage, a victim of CTE will show “evidence of full-blown dementia.”

It is very important to ask this question: is the thrill of being under those Friday night lights for a few years worth losing the ability to think or function for the rest of your life?

As your Ohio brain injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Concussions: Understanding the Science Behind Them

When trying to comprehend concussions, nothing is more important than understanding the science behind them. Because of this, I want to take a minute to discuss the brain itself and the lobes of the brain that are most affected by concussions.

The frontal lobe (the part of the brain located at the front of the head) and the temporal lobes (located around the temples) typically incur the most damage from concussions.

But why is this? Wouldn’t the way the head is hit determine which parts of the brain get hurt?
Actually, the answer to this question is no and this is why.The front of the head, where the frontal lobe sits, and the sides of the head where the temporal lobes exist are not braced for impact and thus most susceptible to movement and injury. As a result, the front and sides of the head gain the most speed when the head swings on the neck and strikes the skull with the most force.

When a person is struck in the front of the head, the facial bones act almost like an airbag to cushion the blow to the back of the head, making the front of the brain the biggest issue. When the head is struck in the back, the head swiftly stops but the brain keeps moving (in the same way that you hit the side of the car when it turns quickly), causing the brain to hit the back of the head. However, the problem often lies in the front, as this relocation to the back of the skull causes decompression in the front, which may result in brain leakage or hemorrhage in the frontal lobe. As a result, even though the back of the brain made initial contact, the frontal and temporal lobes (which are both towards the front of the brain) sustain the damage.

Now that the area of effect is clear, it is important to understand just what both the frontal and temporal lobes do:

• The frontal lobe is responsible for an individual’s personality. It is in charge of qualities such as decision making, emotions, and verbal expressions.
• The temporal lobes primarily take care of memory functions. They manage qualities such as spoken word, identification, categorization, and facial recognition.

Once again, the risk is clear; we all know how important both personality and memory are in our daily lives, so the mere thought of losing them is chilling. I urge you to once again ask yourself, “Do I want to compromise my individualism and memories for a couple nights of glory out on the football field?”

Personality and recollection are two crucial parts of the human experience; the way we interact with others, and the way we recall those interactions that make up who we are as people. I truly hope that anyone who plays football or knows someone who plays football will recognize this and will take the time to think about that choice.

If you experienced a concussion as the result of someone’s negligence, you have to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373 to discuss your injury. If your traumatic brain injury could have been prevented, I will help you get the answers you deserve.

As your Ohio brain injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Helmet Safety: Can Helmets Truly Reduce Closed Head Injuries?

One thing I find particularly concerning about the many public misconceptions regarding contact sports is the belief that an expensive, top-of-the-line helmet, will significantly reduce or completely eliminate the risk of a closed-head-injury.

Many athletes, at all levels, believe that because they are wearing a fancy helmet it is safe to use their head as a battering ram. This cannot be farther from the truth. Football is such a fast-paced game that no two hits are the same and there are infinite ways a player can be tackled or brought to the ground.

With this in mind, studies show that our modern helmets are, in many ways, no more effective than the leather caps worn by players almost a hundred years ago.

This is because football helmets protect their wearers from linear force blows, while rotational force blows (those that involve the head and brain rotating on the neck due to impact) are the hits that cause concussions and other more severe closed-head injuries.

Recent research indicates that football helmets only reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by 20% in comparison to wearing no head protection.

Additionally, the helmets that are considered to be the ‘best on the market’ for reducing the risk of a skull fracture are actually the worst at preventing concussions. This is why there are an estimated 250,000 concussions in football each year, affecting 47% of all high school football players each season; making matters worse, 35% of the 47% experience multiple concussions in a single season.

I know just as well as anyone else that these numbers are simply too high. Something must be done to decrease the number of concussions in football; we only get one brain and it is, unfortunately, often impossible to fix once badly injured.

I will continue to speak about various concussion-related topics over the next couple of weeks, and I look forward to spreading important information to the families, coaches, and friends of players along with the players themselves so that they may rethink their decision to play this dangerous sport.

As your Ohio brain injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice if I Signed an Informed Consent Form?

Imagine you’ve just found out you need emergency surgery. You’re anxious, scared, and emotional. The nurse comes in and hands you some documents. You are instructed to read the forms and sign your name. As you start to read the paperwork, your brain is in a million places. You’re thinking about your family members, your condition, what would happen if you never woke up from your surgery, whether you’re going to be in pain afterward, whether surgery is going to work to correct your medical problem.

You can’t concentrate on the document. You don’t know what it says. You can’t even understand it, as it full of legalese. The document you’ve been given is an informed consent form. Signing that form before going into surgery means you are stating that you know, understand, and accept all of the risks of your surgery.

Doctors have a duty to disclose, in a reasonable manner, all significant medical information that a patient may need in order to decide whether he or she should undergo surgery.

It has become common place for doctors to disclose this information through an informed consent form, but some question whether that type of disclosure should be considered “reasonable.” The truth is that signing an informed consent form does not always mean that you were truly informed. Statistics show that only 40% of patients throughly understand what they read on an informed consent form. That means that 60% of people agree to operations without understanding the risks.

If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373, so we can discuss your situation. I will help you determine whether your doctor informed you of the risks of your surgery in a reasonable manner, and whether you provided your doctor with informed consent.

It is important to know that signing an informed consent form does not preclude you from pursuing a medical malpractice claim for lack of informed consent. The following factors may render your signed informed consent form invalid:

  • You signed the form after you were given medication that altered your ability to make decisions.
  • You were unable to discuss the form with your doctor.
  • The form wasn’t explained to you.
  • You weren’t informed of all risks.
  • A “reasonable” doctor would have informed you of additional risks.

Even if you sign an informed consent form, you are not consenting to medical malpractice. If a doctor’s treatment falls below the accepted standard of practice by a reasonable physician and causes injury or death to the patient, an informed consent form will not prevent a claim for medical malpractice.

Determining whether you have a claim for medical malpractice is complicated. I have been working with victims of medical negligence for almost four decades. I have the experience and resources necessary to help you navigate the legal process. Call me right away, and we can meet at a time and place that is convenient for you.

As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email http://misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/  or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Medical Malpractice in Ohio: How much time do I have to sue my doctor?

Most people do not realize you only have one year to file a claim for medical malpractice if you’re the victim of a medical mistake in Ohio. Sadly, I’ve had to turn people away more times than I can count because they waited too long to call me. It breaks my heart every time to meet someone who desperately needs to be made whole again after being injured as the result of a doctor’s mistake, but I can’t help them because the law says too much time has gone by.

This legal time-limit is formally known as the statute of limitations. Medical malpractice claims are some of the most complicated cases, but they have the shortest statute of limitations. Often, people assume they have two years to pursue a claim for medical negligence, just as they would for an ordinary negligence claim. However, once they realize that is not the case it may be too late.

If you or someone you love was injured as the result of a medical mistake, you have to call me immediately, so that we have time to investigate your medical malpractice case before the expiration of the one-year statute of limitations.

It is common for the one-year statute of limitations to begin from the date the medical malpractice occurred, but there are instances when the statute of limitations’ clock for medical malpractice is delayed.

In Ohio, the medical malpractice statute of limitations’ clock can start based on the following dates:

  1. The date of the incident, assuming the patient was or should have been aware of his or her injury and/or the medical mistake.
  2. The date the patient discovered that he or she was the victim of medical malpractice. Medical mistakes aren’t always immediately apparent. That is why the law accounts for situations when patients aren’t aware of their injury and/or the medical mistake. As soon as the patient experiences what the law describes as a “cognizable event,” by which he or she should have been made aware of the medical malpractice, the one-year time limit immediately starts running. This is known as the discovery rule.
  3. The date you terminated your relationship with the doctor who caused you injury through medical malpractice. For example, if you continue seeing the doctor who caused your injury in an attempt to correct the problem, but then realize that the doctor is doing you more harm and you terminate the relationship, that would be the date the clock starts to run. Additionally, if your doctor’s treatment for a prolonged period of time is considered to be medical malpractice, the date you realize that and terminate the relationship would be the date the statute of limitations countdown begins.

Other important points to note about the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Ohio include:

  • When a child is the victim of medical malpractice, the one-year statute of limitations begins running when the child turns 18.
  • If you determine that you want to file a claim for medical malpractice very close to the expiration of one year, the law allows you to send the defendant something called a “180 Day Letter,” expressing your desire to further investigate your claim prior to filing a lawsuit. As long as the defendant is noticed in writing prior to the expiration of one year, you will get an extension.
  • If you are required to file a lawsuit before you are ready simply to avoid being barred by the statute of the limitations, Ohio law lets you dismiss your case one time and refile it within one year.

These rules and exceptions surrounding medical malpractice laws in Ohio can be incredibly confusing. It is important to consult an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice claims to help you navigate the complicated process. I have the knowledge and resources necessary to get you the compensation you need and deserve after your injury.

Don’t fall victim to the statute of limitations. Call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Closed Head Injuries and How They Led to a Young Athlete’s Death

Having represented the injured victim throughout the US for over three decades, I can tell you first hand that a closed-head injury is a life altering injury.

As you know, a closed head injury is commonly described as a trauma in which the brain is injured as a result of a blow to the head, or a sudden, violent motion that causes the brain to knock against the skull.

Closed head injuries are the number one problem in contact sports, but very very little attention is given to this issue.

What concerns me is that our national attention is drawn to such topics as whether or not Kevin Love will resign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, whether Tiger Woods will make a comeback, and whether Johnny Manziel will redeem himself and become an NFL Star.

With that being said, it was with great delight that I read the lead story in yesterday’s New York Times Sports section. 

The story chronicled a young man; Curtis Baushke suffered supernumerary concussions throughout his high school soccer career which ultimately led to his death.

I found it to be particularly ironic that directly above this lead story on concussions was a banner containing three photos introducing related stories within the sports section. Two photos, one on each end had to do with baseball, and the picture in the middle depicted a Women’s Cup soccer player deftly deflecting a soccer ball with her head.

Brazil Soccer Image

Although the fans probably went wild for her stunning play, every neurosurgeon that watched her head-butting the ball undoubtedly cringed in horror. 

Tragically, participants, coaches, fans, and media really have no idea just how prevalent and profound brain injuries are for footballers, soccer players, and cyclists.

This is why I have embarked on a personal crusade to educate as many people as possible regarding the “real consequence” of a blow to the head.

We have all heard sportscasters trivialize a brain injury by saying, “wow, he just got his bell rung!”, “I bet he is seeing cobwebs right now,” “Nothing a little smelling salt won’t fix,” or “he’s up and walking around, and that’s a good sign!”

It is my goal to use every means possible to disseminate this critical information so that all athletes, particularly high school football players, can make intelligent and informed choices when they weigh the long-term, permanent consequences of brain injuries versus the thrill of participating in a contact sport.

The information available on football-related brain injuries is increasing in rapid fashion. Research studies from a variety of academic sources have concluded that the occurrence of concussions is exponentially higher than anyone thought and that the long term effects, i.e. memory loss and mood swings are permanent in nature.

In the weeks and months to follow, I look forward to sharing fascinating information that will lead to a spirited debate.

As your catastrophic injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Wrongful Death Cases: How to Prove Damages in Ohio

When someone is injured as the result of negligence, they have the option of pursuing a personal injury claim in order to recover compensation for the damages they suffered. But what happens when someone dies as the result of negligence? Who recovers damages for the loss?

In Ohio, if someone dies as the result of negligence, the family members and/or loved ones of the deceased may be compensated through a wrongful death action

However, when the law considers damages, the focus shifts away from the damages suffered by the victim and instead takes into account the damages suffered by the family members of the victim because of the victim’s death.

In other words, assuming negligence led to the victim’s death, the law will compensate the surviving family members for the following losses:

  • Medical bills of the deceased
  • Lost wages of the deceased
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of companionship/support
  • Loss of benefits, such as healthcare
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering of the family

The above-listed damages are compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are measured by actual loss. Determining compensatory damages requires examining the losses suffered by the Plaintiff, who in a wrongful death lawsuit, is the family member of the victim.

Punitive damages take into account the actions of the negligent party. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer. However, punitive damages can only be awarded if the Defendant is found to have acted with actual malice. Negligent behavior is not enough.

Proving damages in a wrongful death case can be complicated and requires the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, and you don’t have to face it alone. If your loved one was killed as the result of someone else’s negligence, you need to call me at 1 (877) 944-4373. I can help you navigate the legal process and get you the compensation you need to support your family after a tragic loss.

As your Ohio Wrongful Death lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Wrongful Death v. Workers’ Compensation: Fatal Workplace Injuries

In the United States, 4,600 people are killed at work each year. Every day, we wake up and go to work, taking for granted the reality that we might not ever come home.

Losing a loved one as the result of a workplace injury is emotionally devastating, and in the process of working through your grief, you have to sort through the financial implications for your family.

If a loved one was killed at work as the result of someone’s negligence, the victim’s family could be awarded the following damages in a wrongful death suit:

  • The value of the deceased’s future earnings
  • Death expenses (including medical and funeral)
  • Loss of care, support, and companionship to the family members
  • Loss of potential benefits caused by the untimely death
  • Pain and suffering

It is important to remember that receiving workers’ compensation benefits as the result of the death of loved one does not bar your family from filing a wrongful death claim.

The workers’ compensation system protects employers and employees from the complications of lawsuits. The efficiency of the process allows those with work injuries to bypass the courts and receive compensation for their injuries regardless of fault.

However, sometimes works injuries are caused by third-parties who are not protected by the workers’ compensation system. With proper investigation by an experienced attorney, you may find that your loved one’s death was caused by a negligent property owner, driver, manufacturer, and/or faulty equipment.

Should that be the case, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will use my experience and resources to fight for you because you and your family should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

As your Ohio Wrongful Death lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Medical Malpractice in Ohio: What You Should Know

As much as we don’t want to believe it, doctors are human, and they make mistakes. Despite this universal truth, we still have to put trust in our healthcare providers. We have to trust that they will provide us with the level of care required to keep us safe.

When a mistake is made and you or someone you love is injured because of a doctor’s negligence, your only recourse may be to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Here are some things you should know about medical malpractice claims in Ohio:

  • In 2012, medical malpractice claims hit an all-time low in Ohio at 2,733 claims filed.
  • The average payment for successful medical malpractice claims in Ohio is $307,852 per claim.
  • 4 in every 5 Ohio malpractice claims result in no compensation for the claimant.
  • Improper treatment, including the failure to treat or delayed treatment, was the cause of the greatest number of medical malpractice claims in Ohio.

The following are some interesting facts of medical malpractice across the country:

  • As many as 444,000 people die each year from medical errors.
  • Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death.
  • Many physicians believe that patient volume is the cause of medical errors.
  • The greatest number of malpractice claims come from anesthesia mistakes, obstetrics, misdiagnosis, and surgical mistakes.
  • Over 95% of malpractice claims are settled out of court.

Despite doctors’ best efforts, medical mistakes can’t be prevented. If you or a family member was the victim of medical malpractice, you have to call me at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I have the knowledge and resources to fight for you, and get you the compensation you need despite the obstacles that have been placed in your way.

As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Should I stop to help an injured stranger? Ohio Good Samaritan Law

Imagine you’re driving down the road and you see someone stranded all alone after an accident. It appears to have been a hit and run, and no one is there to help the injured victim.

Your first instinct is to stop and help. The person is in need and you would want someone to help you if you were in the same situation. But then you think, “What if something goes wrong? What if I can’t help them? Would I be the one to blame? Could I get in trouble? Could they sue me?”

In Ohio, there is a law called the “Good Samaritan” law that provides protection from lawsuits to people who give first aid and/or other emergency care or treatment to someone suffering from an injury or sudden illness.

The “Good Samaritan” law only applies outside of a hospital or medical facility. Once you enter a medical facility the good samaritan is no longer protected, as it is assumed someone more qualified would be available to help. For example, the “Good Samaritan” law applies in parks, restaurants, businesses, homes, streets, and highways, but not hospitals or doctor’s offices.

Because the “Good Samaritan” law was created to protect volunteers, it does not protect anyone who is being paid to perform the volunteer, emergency services or anyone expects to be paid to perform the services. What does this mean for off-duty doctors and nurses? A doctor or nurse, outside of a medical facility, is protected as long as he or she is does not expect to be paid for their work.

Volunteer emergency services are protected by the “Good Samaritan” law as long as they are within the scope of reasonable.

“Good Samaritan” law limits its protection if someone is proven to have acted “willfully or wantonly,” or in other words, with intentional or malicious misconduct. For example, if the good samaritan steals money from the victim or is inappropriate in his or her actions, that behavior is not protected by the law.

If you see someone in need of help on the road after an accident, don’t be afraid to lend a hand. You are safe from liability and you just might save a life.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.