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Anchorage Alaska Personal Injury Law Blog

5 signs of a brain injury

If you have recently been in an auto accident or a slip-and-fall, some of your injuries may be obvious. Perhaps you broke your arm or have a sore neck from whiplash. You may not have considered the possibility of a brain injury. You cannot always see or feel a brain injury, so how do you know if you have one? Here are five signs you should look for:

A spike in pedestrian deaths: Should changes be made?

A nationwide surge in pedestrian deaths has safety officials concerned. From 2009 to 2016, the number of pedestrians killed in auto accidents jumped 46 percent. Now the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for increased safety measures.

Will higher safety standards lower pedestrian deaths?

The NTSB is asking for national and federal safety administrations such as the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to establish new rules. The board is recommending the following increased safety measures in vehicles to reduce pedestrian fatalities:

Spinal cord injury can have life-altering consequences

Sometimes, the negligence of individuals in Alaska can cause catastrophic injuries to others. A spinal cord injury is one such injury that could be traumatic and life-changing. A sports injury, fall, automobile accident, assault or workplace accident can damage the spinal cord.

The spinal cord consists of the primary nerve bundle that carries messages or pulses from the nerve ends throughout the body to the brain and back. This cord is encased and protected by the spinal column, which consists of vertebrae. When a back injury causes harm to the spinal cord, loss of function can result. This means that the victim might lose mobility and feeling to some degree.

Slip-and-fall accidents can have painful consequences

Property owners must provide premises that are free of hazards that could cause injuries to visitors or customers. However, slip-and-fall accidents are the subject of many lawsuits in the civil courts of Alaska. Foreign substances that cause slippery surfaces typically lead to slips that result in victims falling backward. In contrast, a person who trips over a misplaced object or uneven walk surface would usually fall forward. In both these accidents, various injuries can occur, some of which can cause long-term health problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a significant percentage of traumatic brain injuries that are reported every year follow falls, most often when victims slip and fall backward, striking their heads against hard surfaces or objects. An accidental fall causes a rapid jerking motion that could cause whiplash injuries. These could affect the victim's neck, back and spinal column, and although some such injuries resolve in time, others cause chronic discomfort and pain.

Auto accidents: 2 bikes, 2 cars, 8 people involved in fatal crash

The Alaska State Troopers are investigating a crash that involved eight people. An AST spokesperson says three people lost their lives, which is not unusual for auto accidents that involve motorcycles. Traffic on Parks Highway was disrupted for almost 12 hours.

A preliminary crash report indicates that it occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on a recent Monday near Fairbanks. A Palmer woman, whose daughter, age 5, was in the station wagon with her was southbound on the highway when she veered across the center line. Two northbound motorcycles could not avoid colliding with the vehicle. One biker's wife who rode as a passenger died at the crash scene, while the other biker was airlifted with critical injuries to his lower body.

Can negligent road maintenance lead to wrongful death claim?

Truckers in Alaska expressed their concern over the lack of road maintenance of the Dalton Highway. This followed the death of an experienced truck driver on a recent Friday morning. It remains to be seen if a wrongful death claim will be filed in the aftermath of this tragedy. 

Other drivers sang the praises of the 50-year-old woman whom they said was a safe driver who would never take chances. Her piers remarked that she was a more professional driver than most others. Reportedly, the woman was hauling 9,700 gallons of fuel in a 53-foot tanker when the vehicle veered off the shoulder of the highway. The big rig rolled over as it lurched down an embankment. The driver did not survive the crash.

Wrongful death lawsuit not to be tackled without legal counsel

When an Alaska family loses a loved one in an auto crash, the financial consequences often exacerbate the emotional trauma. If the accident was caused by negligence such as distracted or aggressive driving, violations of the road rules, or poor driving skills, the surviving family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, some people do not consider this option because they feel that the loved one cannot be brought back by any amount of compensation.

However, a successful lawsuit can ease the financial burden the family may face while also rectifying the wrongdoing and giving the family closure. Navigating a legal claim could be daunting without help, and for that reason, most plaintiffs seek legal counsel to establish negligence. Even if it was a single vehicle crash, there might be a manufacturer's defect, faulty brakes or tires, or other factors like poorly maintained roads that contributed to the accident. A lawyer can ensure that all responsible parties are named as defendants.

Auto accidents: Car vs. motorcycle crash kills 1, injures 3

Many motorists nationwide, including in Alaska, fail to keep a lookout for motorcycles. When auto accidents involve motorcycles, the occupants of the bikes typically suffer severe injuries, and many even lose their lives. Authorities reported such a fatality on a recent Tuesday.

According to a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers, a report of a crash on Knik-Goose Bay Road in Mat-Su Valley came in at about 11:15 a.m. Reportedly, an SUV entered the roadway from a side road without yielding to a motorcycle carrying two 32-year-old men. The SUV was directly in the path of the bike, making it impossible for the biker to avoid a collision. A T-bone crash followed, causing the death of the passenger on the motorcycle.

Brain injury: Undiagnosed bleeding on the brain can cause death

Sometimes, motorists or their passengers in Alaska who are involved in car accidents might believe they are uninjured and refuse a trip to the hospital for a medical evaluation. However, even a low-speed collision can cause a brain injury that might only become evident hours or days later. The rapid whiplash movement of the head that is typical upon sudden impact of a collision causes the brain to smash against the inside of the skull, causing bruising or bleeding of the brain.

A bleeding brain can ultimately cause death. The blood vessels and arteries that run through the brain and between the brain and the skull can tear or rupture when they are smashed against the hard bone of the skull. The bleeding form subdural and epidural hematomas. The pressure causes the hematomas to leak, filling the space between the brain and the skull with blood.


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