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Published by the American Bar Association (ABA), Head Trauma and Brain Injury for Lawyers is the fourth book in the ABA Medical-Legal Guides series. This guide provides in-depth medical-legal information regarding injury to the brain – that critical control center for the entire body, as well as the spinal cord and those structures surrounding these components of the central nervous system.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) disrupts brain functioning and can result from a significant blow or jolt to the head, or by a penetrating injury to the head, such as from a bullet. Not all cases of head trauma, however, cause a traumatic brain injury, which is why this book is titled Head Injury and Brain Trauma. The severity of the consequences of head trauma may vary from “mild” with a brief episode of confusion to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of loss of consciousness, or amnesia or significant neurological deficits from the trauma or intracranial bleeding. Fortunately, the majority of cases of head trauma result in only mild concussions.
The text is divided into five parts:
Part one provides basic medical and legal discussions of head trauma. Chapters in this section will include discussions of terminology, anatomy of the head and neck, the pathophysiology and mechanism of head trauma such as skull fracture but excluding brain injury.
Part two of the text addresses specific neurological consequences of head and neck trauma including the concepts of traumatic brain injury, contusion, bleeding, coup vs. contrecoup injury, shear and axonal injury; evaluation and treatment of head injury; concussion; and long term consequences of brain injury, such as paralysis, epilepsy, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Both adult and pediatric populations are discussed.
Part three of the book focuses on neuropsychological evaluation and rehabilitation, including vocational issues and return to work.
Part four examines injuries and issues resulting from specific causes including athletics (e.g. football, soccer, boxing), military, workers' compensation, and motor vehicle and bicycle accidents.
Part five of the book presents head injury from both plaintiff and defense positions. The issue of disability claims will also be examined.
Throughout the book, examinations of legal cases on the topic are offered along with various legislative and professional organizational initiatives on head trauma. The book contains chapter contributions from recognized professionals of different disciplines, discussing the topics within their expertise.
This is a rapidly evolving topic in both the medical and legal realms. By the nature of theses changes, some aspects discussed in the various chapters may be out of date at the time of publication of this book. However, the basic concepts discussed in these chapters will not change.