ER Reports Increase in Traumatic Brain Injuries


The L.A. Times reports the number of patients seeking treatment for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or concussions in U.S. emergency rooms is growing.  Between 2006 and 2010, the number of visits by patients seeking treatment for such injuries grew by 29.1% while total ER visits during that period only grew by 3.6%, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School wrote there may be an actual increase in the number of head injuries or the figures may be a sign that Americans are taking these injuries more seriously.  The report notes both factors may be contributing to the increase.  There is no question our society is more aware of these injuries due to the exposure of head injuries suffered by professional athletes and our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

This heightened awareness is a good thing, because a brain injury/concussion should never be taken lightly or ignored.  By definition a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).  However those terms can be misleading as research shows the effects of a MTBI are often anything but mild. The Brain Injury Association of America explains the term “mild” is in reference to the severity of the initial physical trauma that caused the injury.  It does not indicate the severity of the consequences of the injury.  Duration of symptoms from a concussion or MTBI can be days, weeks, months or even longer in some cases. 

MTBI victims likely will have negative CT or MRI results and such results are not determinative of whether someone has or has not suffered a MTBI.  The current understanding of these injuries shifted away from focusing on physical or anatomical damage to an emphasis on cognitive dysfunction and other symptoms.  Clinical signs or symptoms of MTBI include: headaches, nausea, balance or vision problems, memory issues/forgetfulness, reduced processing speed, confusion, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, changes in sleep patterns, dizziness, irritability, increased emotions or anxiety. Often these symptoms are aggravated physical or mental activity.

Obtaining a timely and accurate diagnosis of TBI can be critical to the potential outcome and long-term effects of such injuries.  Many times victims of brain injuries will not receive the proper diagnosis in the emergency room because attention is devoted to more life threatening or acute injuries.  Once a CT or MRI is done and it is verified that there is no bleeding in the brain then the head injury can often be overlooked. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from the symptoms noted above or discussed in greater detail in the Centers for Disease Control Facts About TBI or has been diagnosed with a concussion or other head injury it is important they seek medical treatment for that injury. 

If the injury resulted from an accident it is also important to contact a qualified personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about brain injuries and how to handle such cases.  The personal injury attorneys at Maschka, Riedy & Ries have represented many victims of brain injuries and their families and have the knowledge and resources to ensure fair compensation in such cases. Our attorneys have represented clients throughout the State of Minnesota and the United States in such cases.  Please contact us today for a free consultation.

Maschka, Riedy & Ries participated in the Girls on the Run 5k


jennifer5kOn April 26, Maschka, Riedy & Ries participated in the Girls on the Run 5k. Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a self-esteem building, non-profit program for 3rd through 6th grade girls in our community. GOTR inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.


YWCA Girls on the Run combines training for a non-competitive 5k walk/run event with healthy living education. The sessions instill self-esteem through health education, life skills development, mentoring relationships, and physical training -- all of which are accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community.


The GOTR 5k event is a fundraising event for the GOTR program. With the support of the community, this event raised $13,000 in 2013, with all proceeds going directly back into the program to benefit area girls. This is also the end of the season celebration for girls enrolled in the Girls on the Run program. All women, men, children and families were encouraged to attend. MRR had five adults and three kids running in the 5k. We also had some great cheerleaders attend as well!


This year's theme was "Super You." All participants are encouraged to dress in attire that makes them feel SUPER! A "Super Outfit" was anything that you feel comfortable in and makes you feel strong and empowered.


Jennifer Lurken, a partner at MRR & Co-Chair of the GOTR Advisory Committee, dressed as “Super Lawyer & Mom”


For more information about the program and to register for next fall’s GOTR program check out:


YWCA Girls on the Run of Greater Mankato is an Affiliate Council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of 200+ locations across the United States and Canada.



1 injured in 2-vehicle accident in Mankato, Minnesota


When you're driving, you could be involved in an accident at any time, which is why it's vital to pay attention to the roads and the other vehicles. Despite the fact that you could be monitoring your surroundings well, an accident can still happen if you are struck by another driver who isn't paying attention. In this accident, for example, one person was injured when he was struck in his Honda Accord by a Ford Focus. The driver had allegedly not seen the other car coming, resulting in the impact.


According to the news from April 3, the 59-year-old man who became the victim was driving his Honda Accord heading south when he was struck on Highway 22. It was around 8:50 a.m. at the time of the accident, and his vehicle sustained the impact on the driver's side door. The Ford Focus' driver that had been headed west on the highway had failed to yield to the Accord.


The man who was injured was in fair condition following the accident, according to the news, and he is expected to recover. He had to be taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, according to reports. The other driver was not reported as being injured in the accident.


In this particular case, the driver of the Ford Focus claimed that he had not seen the Honda, although it's not clear why. Because of this, he failed to yield to the vehicle, which would have had the right-of-way on the highway and through the intersection. The police have not reported if he will face any charges for this accident yet.


When someone suffers injuries in an accident that was not his or her fault, compensation may be sought in civil court for losses and damages. Experienced personal injury attorneys can provide advice and guidance on how to pursue such civil claims.


Source: The Mankato Free Press, "One injured in broadside accident in Mankato" No author given, Apr. 03, 2014

3 injured in pickup-SUV crash in Lake Crystal, Minnesota


According to The Mankato Free Press on May 4th, three people from Dundee, Minnesota were injured when the westbound 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe they were in rolled over after colliding with a 2012 Dodge Ram. The Minnesota Highway Patrol reports that Peter Jones of Le Sueur, the driver of the Ram pickup, collided with the Tahoe as he attempted to cross the westbound lanes of Highway 60 in Lake Crystal, Minnesota. Sheila Bos, one of the occupants of the Tahoe, was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester as a result of her injuries and is reported to be in fair condition.


Often times in motor vehicle crashes, factors other than another driver’s negligence can be a factor in the seriousness of the injuries suffered by those involved. In this crash, it is likely that one of the drivers was a contributing factor to the crash but anytime a vehicle rolls over there is an increased risk of injury due to a seat belt failure or deformation of the roof or other vehicle structures causing an occupant to be fully or partially ejected.

It is important to seek immediate assistance from an attorney who specializes in products liability cases, as well as motor vehicle crashes if you or someone you know has been injured in a crash. Experience is crucial to spotting potential claims in addition to establishing any potential negligence of another driver. Time is often critical in documenting and protecting critical evidence that could make or break a potential claim for compensation. Experienced personal injury attorneys can provide advice and guidance on how to pursue such claims and take immediate action to protect the rights of injured people and their families. The personal injury attorneys at Maschka, Riedy & Ries are adept at analyzing all potential sources of liability and recovery for their injured clients.

Source: The Mankato Free Press, "Three injured in pickup – SUV accident " No author given, May 5, 2014

2-car crash in Minnesota sends 6 to the hospital


The investigation is still ongoing in a two-car accident that happened recently in St. Paul, Minnesota, which sent six people to the hospital. No one has been arrested, but according to a member of the St. Paul police department, alcohol may have been a factor for the collision between two cars at Maryland Avenue and Johnson Parkway. The accident occurred near a busy area at around 8:30 p.m.


Police are quick to say that they are still awaiting the results of a toxicology test, but at the moment it appears a car driven by a 23-year-old man and containing a female passenger rear-ended another car being driven by a father traveling with his three children, ages 6, 10, and 12. All six victims were admitted to local hospitals.


According to a witness, she heard a loud crash and noticed the driver of one car lying on the pavement and the eldest child lying nearby on some grass. The witness says that people routinely speed and run through the traffic signal at the intersection.


It is important not to jump to conclusions and assume that the driver who struck the car full of kids had been drinking and driving. The toxicology test has not been returned, despite the police officer's own hunch. However, if the driver in the rear of the traffic accidentis found to have been impaired he will not only have the criminal charges to answer for, but he will also incur a civil liability.


The father of the children is still in serious condition. His three children are also still receiving medical treatment. That family has a right to recover the costs of their expenses, time lost from work, repair or replacement of their vehicle, and other compensatory damages. They should know that the law provides a way for them to offset their losses.


Source: CBS Minnesota, "6 Hospitalized After 2-Car Collision In St. Paul" Rachael Slavik, Apr. 10, 2014