Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Brain Injury

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an ongoing psychological response to the experience of stress. It may be characterized by anything from bad dreams to major behavioral changes to severe depression to violence against oneself and others. Now a new study published by researchers from the University of California Los Angeles suggests that traumatic brain injury can make a person more likely to suffer from PTSD. The study, published on February 15 in the journal Biological Psychology, comes after decades of speculation on the possible connection between these two conditions.

Some researchers have suggested that the link between the two conditions might simply be incidental, since brain injury occurs under stressful situations, but UCLA researchers sought to prove that there was a mechanistic link between brain injury and PTSD, that brain injury caused PTSD in some way or another. The study looked at the impact of brain injury on the psychological function of rats. Researchers found that rats who had acquired brain injury were more likely to develop fear under stimulus than uninjured rats.

Researchers even looked at the amygdala—the brain structure that controls fear learning–of injured rats to see how they were made more susceptible to fear after brain injury. They found that brain injury led to more receptors for excitatory neurotransmitters that promote learning in the amygdala. In other words, the brain responds to brain injury by increasing its ability to learn fear. It is unclear whether this is the result of the injury itself or a follow-up adaptation.

If you have suffered a brain injury, your acquisition of PTSD is an important part of your injury and deserves compensation. To learn whether you may be able to receive compensation, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida for a free case evaluation.

When there is a child injury at school who is liable?

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Was your child hurt at school? If so, you may wonder if the school is liable for the personal injury and might therefore have to pay for your child’s medical bills. The answer depends on many different factors, and, unfortunately, is often not the one you want to hear.

One factor is whether the activity was considered voluntary or mandatory. The school has greater liability in mandatory activities than they do in voluntary activities. Often if your child was injured during a voluntary activity, the school or its insurance company may deny responsibility.

The next important question is whether school personnel were negligent in supervising children on school property. Whether your child is involved in voluntary or mandatory activities, your child needs a reasonable level of supervision to prevent him or her from suffering serious injuries. If the school did not provide reasonable supervision, you may be able to receive compensation.

Finally, the school may be liable for injuries if these injuries are due to defective equipment on the school grounds. Old playground equipment or gymnasium equipment can all lead to serious injuries, and schools have a responsibility to replace them with safer alternatives.

If your child has suffered a serious injury at school, but the school does not want to pay for medical bills, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get the compensation your child deserves. To learn more about your legal rights in Miami, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida for a free personal injury consultation today.

How Will a Criminal Conviction Affect My Immigration Status?

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

If you are in the United States on any type of visa, you know that your status is delicate. You may not know, however, that a criminal conviction can upset that status, resulting in your deportation or detention. If you are an immigrant facing a criminal charge in Florida, it is crucial that you work with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling criminal defense for immigrants.

The problem of working with an inexperienced criminal defense attorney is that the defense strategy for immigrants is very different. In many criminal cases, pleading to a more minor charge is considered a good strategy, and is often praised as a successful criminal defense. However, for immigrants, even a very minor charge can result in a change in your immigration status. Shoplifting, petty possession, a DUI, or even underage drinking can result in deportation.

With the ongoing anti-immigrant sentiment in the US, courts do not tend to be lenient for convicted immigrants. At The Cochran Firm South Florida, we are prepared to fight your criminal charge if that is what it takes to protect your immigration status.

What if I’ve been accused of Sexual Battery?

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The most important fact to remember after being accused of sexual battery or any other sex crime is that an accusation is not a conviction. The unfortunate truth is that it may seem like a conviction once accusations hit the paper or the grapevine, but remember that you are still innocent until proven guilty. If you begin to think of yourself as guilty, you may not take the appropriate actions to prove your innocence. Remember, never speak with police on the subject without strong legal counsel present. Your defense from a sex crime charge can be won or lost on the strength of a casual word by you or your accuser. You need to be very careful about everything you say to law enforcement. Avoid angry or otherwise negative statements about your accuser as these can be turned against you in court. Your defense may also depend on the precise circumstances under which evidence is collected in your case. To protect yourself, avoid giving police permission to search you, your car, and your home. At The Cochran Firm South Florida, we have experience defending people from many types of criminal charges and may be able to help you. To learn more, please contact us for a case evaluation in the Miami area.

What If the Driver That Caused My Accident Had No Insurance?

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

One of the advantages of Florida’s insurance laws is the existence of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Your insurance is intended to cover you in the event of a car accident. So for most accidents, even those resulting in personal injury, it doesn’t matter whether the other driver was insured or not—your insurance covers you. The minimum legal coverage is $10,000 and automatically covers 80% of your reasonable medical expenses and 60% of lost wages.

Unfortunately, if you want to take full advantage of your PIP coverage, new Florida laws require that your doctor declare a “medical emergency condition” exists to merit full coverage. Otherwise, your coverage is limited to $2500.

If your injuries sustained cost you more than your PIP coverage allows, you have to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance, and if the other driver is uninsured, you should consult an auto accident attorney–you may have to seek compensation with a lawsuit against the driver.

If you have been hurt in a car accident and are having difficulty getting coverage for your injuries in Miami, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida for a free case evaluation today.

Workers’ Comp: Nerve Damage

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Workers’ Compensation, or workers’ comp for short, is a system that allows workers to receive partial wages after suffering a work-related injury. There are many different injuries that are common in the workplace, but one of the potentially most crippling is nerve damage.

Nerves are an essential part of your body—they carry signals from your brain to your muscles and sensory information back from your body to the brain. When nerves are damaged, the result can be:

  • Paralysis
  • Impaired function
  • Numbness
  • Loss of hearing or vision
  • Pain

In some cases, the symptoms of nerve damage can be so severe that you may never be able to return to work.

Nerve damage can be due to chronic strain or traumatic injury. Chronic strain nerve damage includes:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Pinched nerves
  • Sciatica

Traumatic nerve injury can result from workplace accidents or car accidents on the job. The types of traumatic nerve injury include:

No matter which type of nerve injury you have suffered, you are eligible for workers’ compensation if the cause of your injury is work-related. However, if your employer disputes the cause of your injury or interferes with your ability to get treatment, you may need the help of a lawyer to get compensation.

To learn more about your legal options in the Miami area, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida to schedule a free case evaluation.

Cosmetic Surgery Medical Malpractice

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Cosmetic surgery has increased tremendously in popularity in the last decade. The number of procedures performed grew about 5% from 2010 to 2011 alone, and overall has grown by 87% since 2000!

Unfortunately, not all these procedures are being performed by qualified surgeons, and cosmetic surgery medical malpractice has also grown. One study estimated that about 40% of all liposuction providers were not plastic surgeons. Even when performed by ostensibly qualified surgeons, errors in plastic surgery are relatively common, with some procedures having a complication rate higher than 30%!

Some forms of complication following cosmetic surgery include:

  • Poor cosmetic result including:
    • Scarring
    • Asymmetry
  • Prolonged healing
  • Lasting pain or numbness in surgical area
  • Infection
  • Breast implant complications

Complications are not limited to cosmetic surgery. Nonsurgical cosmetic procedures may also result in complications. Patients have reported lasting disfigurement after injection with dermal fillers, the spread of botulinum toxin to other parts of the body, and serious burns from laser procedures. Often these injuries are due to unskilled people performing the procedures without proper training or supervision.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of cosmetic surgery medical malpractice, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. To learn more about your rights in the Miami area, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida today for a free case evaluation.

Workers’ Compensation Web Pages

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

When employees are injured at work, they often turn to an attorney’s website to gather information about workers’ compensation laws. Injuries suffered at the workplace are typically sudden and unexpected, and an injured worker may have no idea about where to turn for help.

Helpful workers’ compensation web pages let injured employees know about next steps. After suffering possibly serious injuries, someone who was injured on the job is probably facing missed work and lost wages, and a workers’ comp webpage should be geared toward helping this person sort out how they are going to pay their bills after being injured on the job through no fault of their own.

Depending on the firm, some attorneys’ websites will not include a workers’ compensation page. If an attorney refers those cases out, for example, the attorney may or may not choose to include a page indicating this service.

In general, a workers’ comp page should be informative and include state-specific information. It should let the injured worker know how you can help and what services you offer for these types of cases. Even if you do not handle workers’ comp, you may want to include a page on it because third-party claims may arise from people searching for this type of information.