Traumatic Brain and Spinal Injuries

Palumbo & Kosofsky

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New York Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Palumbo & Kosofsky
New York City Bronx New York New York State

brainTraumatic brain and spinal injuries are often permanent. Such injuries may involve permanent paralysis and are often caused by the fault of others. It may be due to surgical error, playground accidents, construction site accidents, injury at birth, automobile, truck or motorcycle accidents, exposure to chemicals and other toxins, a defective product, or a machinery failure. The New York law firm of Palumbo & Kosofsky has expertise to obtain full compensation for those who have sustained such devastating brain and spinal cord injuries. Brain and spinal injured victims, need lawyers that understand the medical, physical, economic and psychological impacts of traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

Bronx New York lawyers Mark Kosofsky and Michael Palumbo understand that brain injury and spinal trauma result in long-term consequences. When you have a traumatic brain injury and / or traumatic spinal cord injury your lawyers should be well versed in the fields of neuroanatomy, medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, neurology and neurological injury, and orthopedics.

Where brain spinal injury is the result of someone else's negligent, reckless, or wrongful conduct, call attorney Mark Kosofsky, your brain and spinal cord injury attorney. He will investigate, file suit, and prosecute your claim. New York City brain and spinal cord injury attorneys Palumbo & make certain that you or your family member obtain full compensation, including pain and suffering, medical expenses and rehabilitation, lost wages, and other out of pocket expenses.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are different types of traumatic brain injuries that cause different disabilities. Injuries to the occipital lobe, in the rear portion of the brain, affect vision. Symptoms include inability to locate objects, identifying colors, inability recognizing words / objects, reading & writing problems, general vision defects, hallucinations, and blindness.

The temporal lobe of the brain is positioned just behind the frontal lobe. It sits within pockets of the skull that allow it to shift. This room makes this part of the brain more susceptible to diffuse brain injury and closed head trauma because brain moves back and forth against the bone of the skull.

The temporal lobe is primarily involved in the assimilation of sensory information and is important for the recognition of language and memory. A traumatic brain injury to the temporal lobe can cause permanent disability, including prosopagnosia (trouble recognizing faces), Wernicke's aphasia (trouble understanding spoken words), and trouble identifying and describing seen / observed objects. temporal lobe injuries also cause attention deficit between seeing and hearing, as well as short-term memory loss and interference with long-term memory.

The frontal lobe is in the front portion of the brain and sits within a pocket-like bone in the skull. The frontal lobe is responsible for higher-level thinking such as planning, personality, judgment, motor control of the body, and the motor processes required for speech. If the Broca’s area within the frontal lobe is injured, the injury may cause expressive aphasia, or the inability to form words despite understanding language.

Injuries to the frontal lobe can be devastating. Frontal lobe injuries include they loss of the ability to move (paralysis), loss of critical thinking, loss of the ability to complete a simple task, inability to be spontaneous, and the persistence of singular thoughts.

The parietal lobe sits above the temporal lobe and is less understood than the other lobes.  The parietal lobe is important for visual spatial processing and for assimilating sensory information.  The primary sensory cortex sits on the front end of the parietal lobe.

An injury to the parietal lobe leads to reading and object-recognition problems, inability to focus visual attention, loss of awareness of one’s body, math deficits, and an inability to tell left from right.

The brain stem connects the brain to the spinal cord. It is composed of several structures:  the medulla, pons, fourth ventricle, midbrain, thalamus, hypothalamus, and subthalamic region.

At the top of the spinal cord, the brain stem is an important nerve center. The brain stem serves as the connection between brain and body, but it also performs fundamental functions such as the breathing and controlling the heartbeat. The brain stem also interprets sensory information such as the localization of sounds heard.

Brain stem injuries can cause death from respiratory and/or cardiac arrest. Other Brain stem injuries cause difficulties swallowing food (dysphagia), perceptual problems, balance / movement problems, dizziness, nausea, and sleeping difficulties. Further, whenever the Brain stem is injured there is the potential that the spinal cord was injured as well.

Closed head injuries / Trauma are common when a blunt object strikes the skull. Such closed head trauma ranges widely, from a mild concussion to death, and anything in between such as feeling dazed, momentary losses of consciousness, blurred vision or headaches, loss of consciousness from hours to days, and seizures. Closed head trauma can lead to permanent neurological deficits.

Closed head trauma can be severe because of brain swelling and inflammation. In the case of a closed head injury the skull is not fractured and cannot expand. Therefore, the swelling brain builds up pressure causing neural damage as it compresses the brain against the skull.

 Traumatic brain injuries can also cause the victim to develop a seizure disorder. This can be epileptic or non-epileptic. Traumatic brain injury causes epilepsy, a disorder in which the brain abnormally discharges electrical impulses. Onset is usually in the year following the traumatic brain injury. The prognosis when a seizure disorder is developed following traumatic brain injury is that the risk remains for years to come. A non-epileptic seizure disorder may also follow traumatic brain injury.

Severe traumatic brain injuries often result in a coma, which is a profound, inalterable unconsciousness resulting from trauma. The severity of a person's coma depends on the severity, location, and cause of the underlying traumatic brain injury. While many coma patients emerge from their coma in two to four weeks, some slip into a persistent vegetative state whereby the victim has lost thinking abilities and awareness of surroundings. The prognosis is bleak, and they need continual care to avoid such disorders as pneumonia, physical therapy, which can help prevent permanent muscle contractions.

Other types of traumatic brain trauma injuries include diffuse axonal injuries, penetrating head injuries, recurrent brain injuries, and toxins causing brain damage and brain injury. Anoxic brain damage can result from obstetrical malpractice. Erb’s palsy can result from negligence in delivery after shoulder dystocia was encountered. Infant brain damage can as a result from failing to timely diagnose fetal distress, terminate labor, and perform a Cesarean Section. Failure to timely diagnose and treat a cerebral aneurysm can cause a stroke that leads to brain injury.


Young children are the most susceptible victims of traumatic brain injuries. Pediatric and obstetric traumatic brain injuries result from tripping and falling around the home, being shaken, or mistakes during delivery or prenatal care. Infant and young survivors of even moderate traumatic brain injuries must often bear lifelong disabilities such as limitations in bathing, dressing, and walking.

Causes and Types of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries

Usually a sudden blow to the head or neck results in a vertebral fracture, dislocation, or contusing, which impacts or severs the spine. Once spinal damage has occurred there is no cure. Because a spinal cord injury is permanent, devastating and costly, New York victims must have attorneys Palumbo & Kosofsky, who understand spinal cord anatomy, mechanism of spinal cord injuries, and types of care required in the future.

With complete spinal cord injury there is no sensory or motor ability below the level of the injury. However, in the case of an incomplete spinal cord injury, some nerve impulses are conveyed, allowing limited sensory and motor function.

The Spinal Cord is the nerve fibers that transmit information in electrical form to and from the brain. The Cervical Spinal Nerves (C1-C8): are associated with the back of the head, the neck and shoulders, the arms and hands, and the diaphragm. The Thoracic Spinal Nerves (T1-T12) are the 12 pairs of thoracic nerves are associated with the chest, some back muscles, and parts of the abdomen. The Lumbar Spinal Nerves (L1-L5): supply the lower parts of the abdomen and back, the buttocks, and parts of the legs. The Sacral Spinal Nerves (S1-S5) associate with the thighs and lower parts of the legs and the feet.

Damage at any level of the spinal cord affects all those areas below that level. The severity of the trauma, as well as its placement on the spine anatomy, determines how extensive the resulting paralysis will be. Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia is complete paralysis of the body from the neck down. Hemiplegia is Paralysis that affects one side of the body. Paraparesis is partial paralysis of the lower limbs. Paraplegia is complete paralysis of the lower half of the body.

How the spinal cord has been damaged is important when evaluating an injury. There are two types of injuries: complete and incomplete. A complete injury causes complete loss of muscle control and sensation below their level of injury. An incomplete injury may result only in muscle paralysis, weakening, or impaired sensation.


Sensory loss varies depending on the level and severity of injury.  A sensory examination is completed through testing of the dermatomes on both sides of the body.  Two sensations are examined: sensitivity to pinprick and light touch.  Abnormal sensations and neuropathic pain may be experienced.  Neuropathic pain is described as “burning” or “pressure” involving areas that have little or no sensation. The degree of motor function loss following a spinal cord injury depends on the level of injury, and whether the injury was complete or incomplete.  The level of injury is the spot where the spinal cord injury has occurred. The nerves at each level are grouped into four different areas: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral areas of the spinal cord.  The location of damage to the spinal cord directly determines how groups of muscles, organs and sensations will be affected.

 Symptoms of spinal cord usually occur immediately after injury, but sometimes gradual swelling, fluid accumulation, infection or tumors cause symptoms can develop slowly. The degree of symptoms will vary depending on the location and nature of the injury. For example, victims of whiplash type injuries often suffer undiagnosed cervical fractures. If a whiplash victim suffers neck pain, weakness and sensory loss, he may also have an undiagnosed spinal cord injury. Delayed diagnosis of spinal cord injury can result in permanent neurological deficits which would otherwise not occur if timely diagnosed and treated. Symptoms of spinal cord injury include poor coordination, weakness or paralysis, tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation, loss of bowel and bladder control, breathing difficulties and spasticity (hyperexcitable reflexes). Cervical or thoracic spinal cord injuries cause blood pressure fluctuation, severe sweating, and inability to maintain / regulate body temperature.

Call Bronx, New York brain and spine traumatic injury attorneys Palumbo & Kosofsky today for a free, no obligation consultation at 1-800-323-3266. We collect no legal fees unless we recover financial compensation on your behalf.


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