Brien Roche Law http://www.brienrochelaw.com Sun, 01 May 2016 18:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Personal Injury – Social Media http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/personal-injury-social-media/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/personal-injury-social-media/#comments Sun, 01 May 2016 18:00:35 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9497 Personal Injury – Social Media from Brien Roche Law

Social media can be a game changer in regards to personal injury claims.  That can apply to both sides in a trial.  It’s not unusual that sometimes witnesses for the other side may make postings on social media that can … Continue reading

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Personal Injury – Social Media from Brien Roche Law

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Personal Injury-Social Media

Brien Roche

Social media can be a game changer in regards to personal injury claims.  That can apply to both sides in a trial.  It’s not unusual that sometimes witnesses for the other side may make postings on social media that can be used against them on cross-examination.  For instance if a defense medical expert posts on a Facebook page that he would never testify on behalf of a plaintiff because he believes the entire tort system should be abolished, that could well be relevant for purposes of cross-examination.

Personal Injury-Social Media:Retention

Social media content not only can be harmful based upon the content but it can also be harmful if in fact that social media is destroyed after the claim arises.  In Virginia a spoliation inference may be applicable when at the time the evidence was lost or destroyed a reasonable person in that person’s position should have foreseen that the evidence was material to a potential civil action.  As such it is important to retain all social media once the claim arises.

The attorney should not rely upon the client to preserve that social media content.  Likewise it’s important for the attorney to keep in mind that some people are literally addicted to social media.  Any cautions that may be made by the attorney to cease using social media may be disregarded.

Personal Injury-Social Media: The Public Domain

The content of social media generally is discoverable because it is out in the public domain.  There is no right to privacy or privilege that protects it from disclosure.  Even content that is maintained as private may be subject to disclosure.

Attempts at the discovery of social media from opposing parties consisting of broad requests for all social media content are overly broad.  Likewise requests for the production of all social media content using an internal archive feature may be overly broad.  The request for social media content must be narrowly tailored and not constitute a fishing expedition.

In order to request all of the client’s social media content there must be some factual predicate for doing so.  That is, there must be a showing based upon facts already in the record that there is a reason to infer that additional discoverable information exists in the non-public social media account.  For instance information contained in the publicly available portion of a user’s profile may form the basis for further discovery.  As such the starting point in terms of social media discovery may be informal discovery.  That informal discovery should consist of searching all publicly available information for that person.  This can be done through Google, Facebook, Instagram and the other social media pages.  After exhausting all publicly available information then formal discovery tools may be appropriate.

Personal Injury-Social Media Discovery

Some things that typically cannot be obtained through discovery are:

  • Login credentials.
  • Direct subpoenas to the social media services.  The Stored Communication Act found in 18 U.S.C. § 2701 forbids providers “from disclosing the contents of an account to any nongovernmental entity pursuant to a subpoena or court order.

In the case of James v. Edwards, 85 Va. Cir. 139 (2012) the plaintiff alleged severe injuries after an auto crash.  His Facebook page contained a photograph of him binge drinking and attending parties.  Defense counsel moved to compel his Facebook user name and password along with complete copies of the contents of the Facebook account.  Although the court refused to compel disclosure of user name and password it did permit the defendant to access the plaintiff’s Facebook account under supervision of plaintiff’s counsel.

Settling simply for screen shots of social media content typically should not be acceptable.  An extensive amount of content is missed with simple screen shots and in addition there is no meta data that is provided.

Likewise resorting to “internal archive functions” may not always be adequate.  In particular a forensic collection tool would reveal not only what was posted but would reveal precisely when it was posted and from where it was posted.  That type of information may be especially relevant if the postings occurred moments after a collision and at the site of the collision.

Personal Injury-Social Media: More Information

For more information in regards to Personal Injury claims see the other pages on this site.  For more information on social media see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/meeting-your-personal-injury-lawyer/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/meeting-your-personal-injury-lawyer/#comments Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:00:32 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9496 Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer from Brien Roche Law

Potential clients may be nervous about meeting a personal injury lawyer for the first time.  Many people have never met a lawyer in a business context before.  Personal injury attorneys do not necessarily enjoy the best of reputations. Injury Lawyer-The … Continue reading

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Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer from Brien Roche Law

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Meeting With Your Injury Lawyer

Brien Roche

Potential clients may be nervous about meeting a personal injury lawyer for the first time.  Many people have never met a lawyer in a business context before.  Personal injury attorneys do not necessarily enjoy the best of reputations.

Injury Lawyer-The Initial Meeting

In terms of preparing for your first meeting with your personal injury lawyer it’s probably worthwhile to do some homework.  Checking out the attorney online may give you some idea at least as to how well established the attorney is.  One indicator in that regard is whether or not the lawyer has an actual physical office.  The absence of a physical office may suggest that the attorney is not well established.

If your contact with the injury lawyer is through a representative who tries to get you to sign a Retainer Agreement, that may well be a clue that the attorney is not someone that you want to deal with.  You want to deal directly with the attorney.

In terms of the first appointment with the attorney there are several things that you need to bring with you:

  • Everything that relates to the incident.
  • Your own auto insurance policy if in fact this is an automobile collision.
  • Any and all information you have about the other driver and/or that driver’s insurance carrier.
  • A complete description of the incident.
  • The police report.
  • Any information card that you received from the police at the scene.
  • Any bills or records relating to any healthcare treatment that you’ve received subsequent to the injury.
  • Any and all health insurance coverage that you have.  You need to be aware that under most health insurance policies that the health insurance carrier has a right to subrogate/recover any monies that they have paid out on your behalf.  There may be some deducts from that.
  • Any and all correspondence that you’ve had with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
  • Any information that you have about any other injuries that may in any way be related to this injury.
  • Any and all property damage estimates.
  • Names and phone numbers of all witnesses.
  • All pictures of the vehicle and of the scene.
  • Any receipts for towing or storage of the vehicle.

The reason that your insurance information is important is because your auto insurance coverage may provide coverage for you.  In particular if the other driver is uninsured then your uninsured motorist coverage may be your only source of recovery.  Likewise if you have medical payments coverage, that may provide coverage for you up to the limits of that medical payments coverage.  That type of coverage typically will reimburse you for any treatment that your insurance company deems to be reasonable and necessary.

Injury Lawyer-Ask Questions

Finally if there are any questions that you think of before the meeting with the attorney, be certain to write those down so that you don’t forget to ask them during the course of the meeting.   A common question that is asked is “What is my case worth?”.  Most attorneys will simply tell you that they don’t know.  Evaluating a personal injury case is something that is going to be a product of the extent of your medical treatment, the extent of any lost time from work, the extent of your pain and suffering and the overall duration of the injury.  Those are all factors that any realistic attorney is going to have to disclose to you and will not be able to give you a reliable estimate as to what your case is worth until you’ve made either a full recovery or achieve what is called “maximum medical improvement” i.e., you’ve gotten as well as you’re going to get.

For more information on Personal Injury matters see the other pages on this site and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

 

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Tractor Trailer Crashes http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/tractor-trailer-crashes/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/tractor-trailer-crashes/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:00:43 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9494 Tractor Trailer Crashes from Brien Roche Law

Tractor trailer crashes account for approximately 500,000 vehicles accidents in the United States each year.  Drivers of these large trucks are ten times more likely to be the cause of a car crash than any other factor.  Those other potential … Continue reading

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Tractor Trailer Crashes from Brien Roche Law

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Tractor Trailer Crashes

Brien Roche

    Tractor trailer crashes account for approximately 500,000 vehicles accidents in the United States each year.  Drivers of these large trucks are ten times more likely to be the cause of a car crash than any other factor.  Those other potential factors may be such things as weather, road conditions or vehicle performance according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    These massive vehicles can weigh up to 40 times more than your typical car.  When these trucks are fully loaded with approximately 80,000 pounds and traveling at 60 miles per hour they can demolish anything in their path.

    Tractor Trailer Crashes-Trooper Killed

    An Illinois state trooper on March 28, 2013 was hit by a tractor trailer.  He was parked on the left shoulder of Interstate 294.  The driver of a United Van Lines truck pulling a trailer loaded with household goods came at him in the left lane.  That driver had already worked a 12 hour shift loading that huge truck.  He then drove for another 4 hours.  He fell asleep at the wheel.  His truck went off the road crashing into the trooper’s vehicle.  The trooper was engulfed in flames.  He died of those burn injuries.  The 26 year-old truck driver was criminally charged.  The moving company was fined for breaking federal law prohibiting a driver to be on duty for more than 14 hours without getting rest.  The suit that was eventually filed against United Van Lines settled for over $10 Million.

    There are an estimated 2 million tractor trailers on the road nationwide.  The primary cause of tractor trailer crashes are:

    1. The use of drugs which affect a driver’s reaction time account for approximately 26% of tractor trailer crashes.
    2. Speeding or traveling too fast account for approximately 23%.
    3. Being lost or driving in unfamiliar areas accounts for approximately 22% of crashes.
    4. Use of over-the-counter drugs contributes to 18% of crashes.
    5. Failure to check blind spots and carefully observe all sides of the truck before making a turn account for 14% of crashes.
    6. Fatigue accounts for 13% of crashes.
    7. Failing to use a turn signal or making some other illegal maneuver accounts for about 9% of crashes.
    8. Driver inattention accounts for approximately 8% of the crashes.
    9. Poor evasive action accounts for approximately 7% of the crashes.
    10. Aggressive driving accounts for approximately 7% of crashes.

    One of the main difficulties in driving a large truck is the fact that these trucks tend to have large blind spots.  Drivers should avoid these blind spots at the rear of the truck and the side of the truck.  Likewise the connecting point between the truck and its trailer may well be a blind spot.  If you can’t see the driver in the driver’s side mirrors then that means the driver can’t see you and you may want to get out of that particular location on the roadway.

    Tractor Trailer Crashes-Tips

    Some other tips in terms of avoiding tractor trailer crashes are:

    • If you plan on passing a tractor trailer make sure you use your turn signal and make sure that you’ve given the driver sufficient warning so that he is on alert.
    • Keep a safe distance.
    • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends a 4 second gap.  You can calculate this gap by starting to count when you see the rear of the truck ahead of you pass a fixed object.  If the road conditions are dangerous then that gap needs to be increased.

    For more information about truck accidents see the other pages on this site and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Personal Injury-Bankruptcy:  Two terms that most people would think have nothing to do with each other.  In fact they do.  An injured party who has filed bankruptcy may not own that injury claim.  If that injured party has innocently or … Continue reading

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    Personal Injury-Bankruptcy from Brien Roche Law

    Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Personal Injury-Bankruptcy

    Brien Roche

    Personal Injury-Bankruptcy:  Two terms that most people would think have nothing to do with each other.  In fact they do.  An injured party who has filed bankruptcy may not own that injury claim.  If that injured party has innocently or otherwise failed to report that injury claim on the bankruptcy filing then there may be considerable complications.

    Personal Injury-Bankruptcy:Innocent Non Disclosure

    As part of any bankruptcy filing it is necessary to disclose all property interests.  Property interests include potential claims.  Even personal injury claims.  That claim in most instances is the property of the estate if it arises before the bankruptcy.  In the case of a Chapter 13 filing, claims that arise after the bankruptcy filing are also part of the bankruptcy estate.  As such Chapter 13 filings are especially dangerous.

    The injured party’s oversight in failing to report the claim is not an excuse.  In fact it may be a bar to that party even pursuing the claim.  In the case of Kimberlin v. Dollar General Corp., 520 Fed. Appx. 312 (6th Cir. 2013) a debtor was fired shortly before making her final payment to the Chapter 13 trustee.  She did not amend her schedule so as to reflect a potential claim for unlawful termination.  After she received her discharge she filed suit against the former employer alleging unlawful termination.  The court held that the debtor was barred from pursuing that claim because if she had notified the court of the claim prior to the discharge then the bankruptcy court could have modified her plan in order to increase the payout to the creditors.

    In regards to bankruptcy matters there also exists the issue of standing.  That is, your client may lack standing to file a suit because that claim was not properly scheduled and therefore it had not been abandoned back to the debtor by the trustee.  Only the Chapter 7 trustee has standing to pursue a claim but if the claim was not properly scheduled and therefore the trustee is unaware of it, no proper lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations and therefore whatever claim was filed by the debtor may not stop the statute of limitations from running.

    In contrast with a Chapter 7 case, there is no risk for Plaintiff’s counsel filing suit for a Chapter 13 debtor.  Chapter 13 debtors retain standing to pursue their own claims.

    Personal Injury-Bankruptcy:Chapter 13

    As soon as a Chapter 13 debtor does file a separate suit in pursuit of a claim it then becomes necessary to determine whether or not the proper exemptions have been asserted.  To do that the debtor should amend his schedule to fully disclose the claim, correctly evaluate it and then exempt the highest allowable value.  Otherwise the trustee may retain an interest in the claim.  In addition there may be medical providers who have a secured claim against any recovery in the form of a lien.

    There are additional personal injury-bankruptcy considerations to be kept in mind in regards to plaintiffs that are also Chapter 13 debtors.  The rule to keep in mind is that clients that either are now or have been in bankruptcy need to be carefully counseled as to what their rights are in regards to a personal injury claim.

    Personal Injury-Bankruptcy: More Information

    For more information about personal injury matters, see the other pages on this site.

    For more information on bankruptcy, see the pages on Wikipedia.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/traumatic-brain-injury-treatment/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/traumatic-brain-injury-treatment/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 18:00:00 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9498 Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment from Brien Roche Law

    Traumatic Brain Injury treatment typically has been fairly simple:  rest.  Lots of rest is thought to give the brain an opportunity to heal. Although rest may well be a significant component of any treatment mode, there is now emerging thought … Continue reading

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    Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment from Brien Roche Law

    Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment

    Brien Roche

    Traumatic Brain Injury treatment typically has been fairly simple:  rest.  Lots of rest is thought to give the brain an opportunity to heal.

    Although rest may well be a significant component of any treatment mode, there is now emerging thought that rest alone may well promote depression and an overall worsening of symptoms.

    Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment: New Mode of Treatment

    There is a current mode of thought that first a clear diagnosis needs to be made as to what component of the brain or vestibular system is injured and then treatment needs to be tailored to that injury.

    The vestibular system is a network involving sensory organs in the inner ear with connections to various areas of the brain, the eyes and muscles throughout the body.  In regards to concussion or traumatic brain injury treatment, doctors have typically focused on vestibulo-spinal system treatment.  That is the system that helps control posture and maintain balance.

    Some concussions however may affect the vestibular-ocular system which allows us to maintain stable vision while moving our heads.  Injury to this system causes dizziness, nausea and other symptoms.  Other concussions may simply involve the vision system.  The vision system is what allows us to track moving objects effortlessly.  Injuries to this part of the brain can cause blurred vision, headache, difficulty reading and difficulty walking in a crowded area.

    Many brain injuries involve all of these systems.  As such treatment may need to include balance exercises along with activities requiring focus on moving objects along with gaze stabilization exercises designed to improve vision while moving the head.

    Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment:Fairfax Family Practice

    Fairfax Family Practice in Fairfax, Virginia has a comprehensive concussion center providing traumatic brain injury treatment which follows the philosophy that sometimes the brain has to be taxed a bit in order to encourage it to heal and adapt.

    The traditional testing of someone who has potentially suffered a concussion is to assess their balance in multiple positions i.e., standing on two legs, standing on one leg, on the ground and then on a foam board and then with eyes open and eyes closed.  Eye movement and the ability to track a moving object are also measured and a determination is made as to whether or not symptoms seem to worsen with any of these tasks.

    Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that can damage cells. They can cause chemical imbalance.  They can disrupt the brain’s normal functioning in a number of ways.  Although rest, staying in a dark room, turning off screens, limiting movement and cutting out activities that require attention or concentration have been the traditional modes of treatment, that theory is beginning to change.  Although rest is still critical especially in the first days after an injury, if there is not a fairly prompt recovery then there may be a need for more aggressive intervention.  That aggressive intervention as part of traumatic brain injury treatment is designed to pinpoint the problem and prescribe targeted therapy.  There are some studies that have shown positive effects of single therapies such as exercise or vestibular therapies.  Just as every stroke patient is not treated the same way, traumatic brain injury treatment does not necessary follow a cookie cutter approach.  If the patient has a language problem, trouble with their eyes, trouble with their gait, then those things need to be measured and those specific problems need to be treated.

    The Center for Disease Control estimates that 2.5 million people in the U.S. suffer a traumatic brain injury every year.  That of course doesn’t count the many people who don’t even report these types of injuries.

    The idea of exercise therapy in terms of treating these injuries is becoming more accepted.  Carefully monitored exercise may help promote recovery.  The thinking had been that if you stressed the brain with physical exertion you may worsen the symptoms.  The thinking now is that after several days of complete rest there may be some logic in getting the patient back moving using the symptoms as a guide as to the level of activity.  There is some thinking that concussions can affect the flow of blood to the brain and thereby disrupt what is called the autonomic nervous system which controls such involuntary functions as heart rate and blood pressure.  Controlled exercises may help correct any of these disturbances.

    Headaches are a frequent symptom associated with traumatic brain injury.  The headache may be due to injury to the vision system.  Such headaches may respond to vision therapy.  Some headaches may be due to neck injury.  Medication or physical therapy may help with those neck injury systems.

    At this point there are a number of unanswered questions as to when traumatic brain injury treatment should begin after an injury, how quickly it should proceed and will this more active approach produce a better result.

    At this point there are no clear cut answers to those questions.

    For more information on traumatic brain injury, see the other pages on this site and see the pages of Wikipedia for information on traumatic brain injury treatment.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Measuring Pain http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/measuring-pain/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/measuring-pain/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 18:00:05 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9489 Measuring Pain from Brien Roche Law

    Measuring pain is difficult to say the least.  Pain and suffering claims comprise a substantial percentage of personal injury actions.  Typically a large component of the plaintiff’s loss is the past pain and ongoing pain.  The question is how does … Continue reading

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    Measuring Pain from Brien Roche Law

    Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Measuring Pain

    Brien Roche

    Measuring pain is difficult to say the least.  Pain and suffering claims comprise a substantial percentage of personal injury actions.  Typically a large component of the plaintiff’s loss is the past pain and ongoing pain.  The question is how does one go about measuring pain?

    Measuring Pain-Functional MRI

    In an Arizona case that arose several years ago a truck driver was sprayed with 300o tar causing first and second degree burns to his arm and face.  He was treated for the pain with several doses of morphine. Although the burns eventually healed, the truck driver continued to feel pain in his right arm which prevented him from working.  In the claim that he eventually filed the defense asserted that the truck driver was faking.  The truck driver’s chronic pain manager eventually mentioned the possibility of an fMRI brain scan as a way of measuring pain.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has been used to measure activity in the brain.  What it does is detect blood flow to that particular area of the brain.  The blood flow is portrayed by the fMRI in that the scanner’s magnet tracks the blood oxygen levels.  Joy Hirsch was contacted by the plaintiff’s attorney in the above referenced case about the possibility of performing an fMRI.  At the time she was a professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Radiology and Psychology at Columbia University.  One of her specialties was mapping the brain for neurosurgeons.  Neurosurgeons use this service in order to avoid damaging essential functions during surgery.  Plaintiff’s counsel in that case felt that maybe she could map the level of pain in the truck driver’s right arm.  In fact she was able to do so through an fMRI.

    The Institute of Medicine projects that as many as 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.  It costs society $635,000,000,000.00 per year in terms of healthcare expenses and lost work productivity.

    Measuring Pain-Beyond the Traditional

    The traditional way in terms of measuring pain is on a scale of 1 to 10.  That scale is purely subjective.  One person’s 5 may be another person’s 10.

    What Hirsch did was to take images during tests wherein the truck driver squeezed a rubber ball using his injured hand and then also his non-injured hand.  When the truck driver squeezed the rubber ball the pain in his injured hand rose to a level of what he described as 9.5.  He felt no pain in his left arm when he squeezed the ball with that arm.  Hirsch was able to detect increased blood flow activity when the truck driver squeezed the ball with his right hand.  That increased blood flow activity was seen in the bilateral superior frontal gyrus and the bilateral cingulate gyrus.  She described those as being a component of a well-known pain mediating neural circuit.  Her eventual readings on the scans were consistent with the truck driver’s rating of pain intensity when he squeezed the ball with his injured hand.  That is, squeezing the ball with his injured hand caused pain which was indicated on the brain scan.  Squeezing the ball with the non-injured hand did not indicate activity on the brain scan.

    In the past, thermography has been used to measure pain.  Thermography however has a high rate of false positives and somewhat mixed results in terms of being admitted into evidence.

    Although some people maintain that a person can cheat the scan by imagining pain, Hirsch maintains that cheating is not possible because recreating sensation in the mind is all but impossible.

    Another researcher by the name of Vania Apkarian at Northwestern University has also used the fMRI to document pain.

    A Ridgefield, Connecticut-based company known as Millennium Magnetic Technologies advertises, among other diagnostic services, brain scanning to validate the presence of pain.  Dr. Steven Levy, the company’s CEO, maintains that the scans can be used to quantify the amount of pain.  The procedures used cost $4,850.00 and include three (3) scans.  The scans are taken before, during and after the staff induce pain in the patients’ troubled areas.

    Although there are functional MRIs in the Fairfax, Virginia and Northern Virginia area there are none that are currently known of by the undersigned that actually deal with measuring pain.

    For more information on pain and suffering see the other pages on this site.See also the pages on Wikipedia on pain and suffering.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Traumatic Brain Injury Testing http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/traumatic-brain-injury-testing/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/traumatic-brain-injury-testing/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 00:22:23 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9488 Traumatic Brain Injury Testing from Brien Roche Law

    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) testing has always been somewhat controversial.  Most of the tests currently employed are quite subjective.  They consist of such things as determining whether or not a person can follow the tester’s finger, whether the person knows … Continue reading

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Traumatic Brain Injury Testing from Brien Roche Law

    Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Traumatic Brain Injury Testing

    Brien Roche

    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) testing has always been somewhat controversial.  Most of the tests currently employed are quite subjective.  They consist of such things as determining whether or not a person can follow the tester’s finger, whether the person knows where they are, whether the person knows what time of day it is, whether the person knows who the President of the United States is.  A Boston start-up by the name of SyncThink has developed a product known as Eye-Sync.  That product has recently gotten FDA approval.  It uses virtual reality goggles to diagnose concussions.  The medical device itself is an eye tracking device that produces a numeric result to determine whether or not the person has had a concussion.

    Traumatic Brain Injury Testing-Eye Sync

    The company’s founder is Dr. Jamshid Ghajar.  He is the director of the Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center at Stanford University.  He is also the President of the Brain Trauma Foundation.  Dr. Ghajar says that the eye is a part of the brain that can actually be seen and therefore tested.  SyncThink was launched back in 2009.  It developed Eye-Sync with funding from the Department of Defense.  Up to this point the device has been used to test thousands of U.S. military members and also many school-age and college athletes.

    The device consists of virtual reality headgear.  The headgear is placed over the eyes.  The viewer then sees a point of light.  That point of light rotates in a clockwise fashion.  The device tracks how accurately the human eye follows the light.  It then produces a chart.  That chart tells the tester whether the person’s eyes were off track while following the light.  If the person’s eyes were off track while following the light, that would indicate that there is a synchronization problem.  What that means is that the eye and the brain are not synchronized i.e. not operating on the same time schedule.

    Traumatic Brain Injury Testing-Beyond the Traditional

    The traditional traumatic brain injury testing is quite subjective.  Whether or not a person can follow a pencil or someone’s finger with their eyes is subjective.  Feeling lightheaded or dizzy could be due to a concussion but it could also be due to a number of other problems.  Such things as neck pain, dehydration or lack of sleep can cause lightheadedness or dizziness.

    On the other hand, Eye-Sync measures the eye movements and quantifies those eye movements.  The headgear fits over the eyes.  It actually tracks the eyes without head movement in any way changing the results.

    SyncThink believes that it will be able to imbed this technology in other virtual reality headgear including devices such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift.

    Doctor Ghajar is based at Stanford University.  The Stanford University football team and 36 other sports teams at the university have done baseline studies for 900 Stanford athletes.  Those baseline studies can be then compared against studies conducted after a potential concussion to determine whether or not there is in fact any change or deterioration.  That change or deterioration would be a further indication of the existence of a concussion.

    The availability of this traumatic brain injury testing equipment at this point is somewhat limited.  Certainly in the Fairfax, Virginia and Washington, DC area it may well quickly become available.  This type of traumatic brain injury testing could well have a significant impact in terms of providing objective evidence in TBI cases.

    For more information on Traumatic Brain Injury  see the other pages on this site and also see the traumatic brain injury pages on Wikipedia.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Product Liability: Electric Blanket Fires http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/electric-blanket-fires/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/electric-blanket-fires/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 01:46:51 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/ Product Liability: Electric Blanket Fires from Brien Roche Law

    Electric blanket fires and electric mattress pad fires are frequently the result of a product defect. These types of product liability claims require prompt investigation constituting recovery of the evidence and expert examination of the evidence if it is not in the … Continue reading

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    Product Liability: Electric Blanket Fires from Brien Roche Law

    Electric blanket fires and electric mattress pad fires are frequently the result of a product defect. These types of product liability claims require prompt investigation constituting recovery of the evidence and expert examination of the evidence if it is not in the hands of the local authorities.

    These types of warming devices have a heating element in them which, in theory, conduct less current as the material becomes warmer.  The less current it conducts the less heat it produces.  Under this theory the heating wire is “self-limiting”, i.e. the wire should not overheat to the point of causing fire.  That theory, however, does not always comply with practice and as a result fires occur.

    The major manufacturer of heating blankets is Sunbeam

    There is a wealth of litigation material available in regards to Sunbeam claims wherein historically they have admitted that a fail-safe circuit is needed in its electric blankets.

    With over 30 million owners of electric blankets and thousands of fires occurring per year throughout the world these products are potentially dangerous and must be treated as fire traps for the user’s own safety.

    Electric Blanket Safety

    While there are certain measures you can take to minimize the likelihood of injury or death as a result of a fire from an electric blanket, there certainly are many cases where a faulty or unsafe product is the cause. If you believe you have sustained injuries as a result of an unsafe electric blanket, contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

    The City of Fairfax has some educational material available with recommendations on the safe operation and care of electric blankets. Some of their recommendations include:

    • Only use electric blankets that have been approved by nationally recognized testing agencies (like Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.).
    • Always buy new electric blankets; second-hand blankets may not be safe.
    • Replace all electric blankets that are more than 10 years old. Most fires caused by electric blankets are caused by those older than 10 years.
    • Replace any electric blanket that is worn or torn, where the electric cord is frayed, or where the temperature control is damaged.
    • Turn your electric blanket off when not in use. Many older models have no internal temperature control to shut the blanket off when it gets too hot; if your blanket has no such internal control, consider replacing it with a newer model.
    • Turn your electric blanket off before you go to sleep (unless the blanket is made specifically to be used all night).

    Should You File A Product Liability Claim?

    There are many considerations to take into account when considering to file a claim of product liability against the manufacturer of an electric blanket or heating pad.

    Brien Roche is an experienced product liability attorney with over 35 years of experience serving the injured and their families. Brien Roche can provide guidance and resources for the thorough investigation into the product or electrical defect that caused the fire or injury.

    Contact one of our offices to discuss your situation.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Propane Heaters Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Injury http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/propane-heaters-can-cause-carbon-monoxide-injury/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/propane-heaters-can-cause-carbon-monoxide-injury/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:49:42 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/ Propane Heaters Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Injury from Brien Roche Law

    Propane heaters can cause carbon monoxide injury as reported by injury attorney Brien Roche. These heaters are intended for outdoors usage by campers but can be a source of serious carbon monoxide injury.  Many of these heaters contain no warnings … Continue reading

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Propane Heaters Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Injury from Brien Roche Law

    Propane heaters can cause carbon monoxide injury as reported by injury attorney Brien Roche. These heaters are intended for outdoors usage by campers but can be a source of serious carbon monoxide injury.  Many of these heaters contain no warnings that if the heaters are used in an enclosed area they can cause injury.  The whole advertising concept that such a propane heater is an outdoor instrument is a bit of an oxymoron.  These heaters are not commonly used outdoors.  Propane heaters are commonly used inside a tent, recreational vehicle, or other enclosed space to warm the area.  Many propane heaters do have warnings stating that there is a need for adequate ventilation.  That again is inconsistent with usage in a tent, RV, or other enclosed space.

    There are a number of different potential theories of liability relating to propane heaters injuries:

    • When a propane heater is used in a restricted space the heater sucks up available oxygen while at the same time producing levels of carbon monoxide.  There are ways  to design these types of heaters so that the user is audibly warned if the oxygen level is being depleted below a certain level.  In addition, there are “flame out” features that will actually cause the heater to turn off if the carbon monoxide level gets too high.
    • The failure to warn by manufacturers can be another theory of recovery.  That failure to warn may come in the failure to advise the user of the carbon monoxide hazard, its consequences and how to avoid the hazard.  The warning should be unambiguous as to the consequences from the use of such a heater in a confined space where oxygen is being depleted and carbon monoxide is being produced.  The consequence can be death.

    If you or a loved one  has been injured as a result of a propane heater, contact us. Brien Roche is an experienced personal injury lawyer serving clients in Fairfax County, Virginia as well as Maryland and Washington, DC. Brien Roche has over 35 years of trial experience. He has achieved substantial compensation for clients. Let Brien consider the unique factors involved in your situation to determine the most appropriate course of action to represent your case.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Medical Record Metadata http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/medical-record-metadata/ http://www.brienrochelaw.com/blog/medical-record-metadata/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 18:00:09 +0000 http://www.brienrochelaw.com/?p=9472 Medical Record Metadata from Brien Roche Law

    Medical record metadata can be critical in terms of evaluating when changes were made to medical records and who made them.  Metadata is that data that is recorded electronically to reflect when a document is changed and how it’s changed. … Continue reading

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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    Medical Record Metadata from Brien Roche Law

    Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Medical Record Metadata

    Brien Roche

    Medical record metadata can be critical in terms of evaluating when changes were made to medical records and who made them.  Metadata is that data that is recorded electronically to reflect when a document is changed and how it’s changed.

    Medical Record Metadata-The Big Picture

    The actual medical records themselves that are visible to a viewer either in printed form or on the computer screen do not necessarily show all of that information.  In addition metadata may show what options the user is presented with before making changes to the record.  That becomes especially important to know what different diagnoses or so-called “differential diagnoses” are presented to a physician before choosing the appropriate diagnosis or diagnoses.

    Medical Record Metadata-Who, When and How

    All of that metadata can be important in terms of getting the complete picture as to who made changes to the record, when they were made and why they were made.

    For more information on medical records and medical malpractice see the other pages on this site.For more information on metadata see the pages on Wikipedia.

    for more personal injury news and views visit, Brien Roche Law

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