Brain Injuries

brain injuries

A brain injury can have a dramatic effect on the persona suffering from it. Typically, a brain injury is considered to be an injury that happens after birth and isn’t hereditary, congenital, or degenerative.  According to the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injuries can lead to  “an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning.” Since the impact of brain injuries effects are far reaching, it is important to know what makes up a brain injury.

There are two main types of brain injuries: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

Traumatic brain injuries are those that are caused by an external physical force to the head, such as a bump, a blunt force like a blow, or any type of jolt to the head.

They can break the skin and be “open” (penetrative), or leave the skin intact and be closed. These types of injuries can range from very mild (a football player getting a minor concussion on the field) or become severe (Like the rod through the skull of Phineas Gage that caused major personality changes) but in either case should not be treated lightly.

TBI can be caused by:

  • falls
  • car crashes
  • assaults
  • sports related injuries
  • abusive head trauma
  • gunshot wounds
  • domestic violence
  • child abuse
  • military trauma (blasts from explosives).  

According to the CDC  “about 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.” Beyond that, they state that incurring two or more mild TBIs in a short period of time (days or weeks) can be fatal.  

An Acquired Brain Injury is a change in brain functioning or pathology as a result of internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen for any period of time.

They can be caused by:

  • stroke
  • seizures
  • electric shocks
  • infectious diseases (meningitis, encephalitis)
  • tumors
  • toxic exposure
  • metabolic disorders
  • Neurotoxic poisons (eg. carbon monoxide or lead exposure). 

Both TBIs and ABIs can cause changes in functioning of the brain.

Common symptoms include:

  • difficulty in short term functioning of the brain such as processing effectively
  • understanding and expressing emotions
  • difficulty with language.

Long term effects can result in increased health care costs, the potential to suffer from epilepsy, increased chances of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and the risk of other brain conditions. 

If you know that you have suffered from a brain injury (or think you might have), there are several easy steps you can take to aid your recovery. The first and most important aspect is to take it easy –  give your body time to heal, and don’t rush back into your daily activities like school or work. Avoid activities that might cause you to hit your head or jolt it again.  Consult with your doctor before you operate motor vehicles, bikes, or heavy machinery again – your reactions may be slower than you realize.  You should also avoid alcohol until the injury has healed- it can affect the medications you take to reduce swelling. Beyond avoiding alcohol, you should check with your doctor before taking any over the counter medications as they can also have adverse reactions with your prescribed medication.  Be kind to yourself, often patients with brain injuries have to re-learn skills they may have once mastered, and it can be very frustrating. Many patients find it helpful to write things down, or create reminders to help them remember. 

If you are interested in finding more suggestions on how to prevent brain injuries from occurring in the first place, check out this link from the CDC:

If you have experienced any of the above types of trauma and think you may be suffering from a brain injury, you should consult with a doctor right away.  Don’t let your symptoms progress any further. Seek help today. If you sustained your diagnosed brain injury due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman. Call (937) 222-2030 to schedule your free consultation today.


Can a parent make a claim for personal injuries to a child in Ohio?

parent make a claim

As a parent, our children are our top priority. We go out of our way to safeguard their health, well being, and to secure their happiness. Yet despite our best efforts, kids have a way of getting themselves into trouble. They learn the hard way. They have accidents. It’s entirely normal and to be expected – but sometimes it is others’ negligence that causes our kids to get hurt and isn’t their fault.

In these instances, it is easy to be bewildered that harm has come to your child, and to want to protect them in every way possible. In some cases, a child  may have a right to make a personal injuries claim; however, in the great state of Ohio, it falls upon us as parents to take care of this for them. But is this legal?

Like most legal aspects of your minor child’s life, you are their legal guardian.  According to The Ohio Rules for civil procedure rule 17(b) states that a “parent or legal guardian can file suit on a minor’s behalf.” When this occurs the parent is said to be suing as “next friend” of the minor.This means that minor is not required to personally seek recovery in court, and that the minor’s parents are allowed to stand in for him or her.

So yes, a parent can file a personal injury claim for their child in Ohio.

However, the law handles cases with minors differently than they would for an adult. The following highlights the major differences when dealing with a minor’s personal injury case, and how you as a parent can resolve the case for them.

The first thing you should be aware of for your child’s case is the difference in the statute of limitations for a minor. In cases with adults, the legal time frame for filing a claim is typically within 1-2 years of the injury, depending on the type of case. When a minor is involved, the time frame does not start until  the child comes of age, at 18. This means that if your child is injured at say, age 14, you will not start the clock on the statute of limitations until their 18th birthday. So you have two years after the birthday, rather than two years after the date of the incident. 

Beyond the change in the statute of limitations, as a parent you should be aware that you are entitled to consortium.

What is consortium? Consortium is ¨an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.¨ It can also be interpreted as the time you spend with a loved one under the activity category.  So in this case, it means that you as a parent are entitled to compensation for a life-altering injury to your child. If you as a parent are forced into a new lifestyle because of the need to care for your child’s injuries, this can fall under loss of consortium, and you may be entitled to compensation as well. Like the statute of limitations, the time frame for loss of consortium begins after the minor turns 18.  While there is precedent for receiving compensation for parents with loss of consortium involving a minor, it must be thoroughly proven in the claim. The best way to make sure this is fully covered in court is to enlist the aid of an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Finally, one of the biggest differences in filing a claim for a minor in Ohio is how settlements are handled. As an adult, you have the legal authority to come to a settlement after being injured, without having to continue your suit in court. Yet as a child, this is not the case. 

Under Ohio law it is known that a child can not be considered to have legal capacity to make contracts, including settlements. Even if a parent or legal guardian is filing a claim on behalf of a minor, a settlement will still have to go to court. This is how the Ohio court system ensures that any settlement is in the best interest of the minor, by providing a forum for unbiased judgement. 

If your child has been injured and you feel you may need to file a personal injury claim on their behalf, call us today at (937) 222-2030. Our compassionate and dedicated staff will help you to handle the legal aspects of your claim so you can go back to doing what you do best – focusing on caring for you child.

Zantac Recall

Do you suffer from heartburn? Do you typically rely on the over-the-counter medicine commonly known as Zantac to relieve this pain? Have you been diagnosed with cancer? If so, you may have a case due to the Zantac recall.  

There have been some ripples in the scientific community over potentially unacceptable levels of a potential carcinogen in drugs like Zantac. On April 1st, 2020, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for various Zantac brand and generic heartburn products. If you or a loved one has taken Zantac, please read on.

Over the course of the last year, there has been concern centered on the drug ranitidine (known most commonly as Zantac) for the presence of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

What is ranitidine  or NDMA and why are they so important?

Ranitidine is a type of drug that is labelled as an H2 histamine blocker.  This drug is typically used to prevent or relieve heartburn,  and is made available in both over the counter and prescription strengths. It has also been used in the medical field to treat some stomach ulcers or lining problems.  NDMA is thought to be a probable human carcinogen.

Carcinogens are substances that can cause cancer in living tissue. So it is easy to see why the FDA would be concerned about reports of these carcinogens in such a commonly used household product.  However, it should be noted that while there is cause for concern, the studies that have led to these conclusions are based on tests done on animals, not humans. According to Harvard Health Publishing ¨Although classified as a probable carcinogen, NDMA may cause cancer only after exposure to high doses over a long period of time.¨

This first was brought to the FDAś attention when an independent laboratory test from Connecticut noted that they found the presence of NDMA under varying conditions. This report spurred the FDA to warn the public in September of 2019 that they may want to consider trying other brands of heartburn medication*, and prompted further testing. Walgreens, CVS, and other major drugstore chains started pulling the products from shelves in October 2019,  and a few major producers performed a voluntary recall.  

Health officials in Canada and France quickly issued statements recalling these products from shelves while  further testing was ongoing. Not much more was heard about the drug for a few months in the USA, then an official recall was issued for Zantac and all products containing ranitidine on April 1st, 2020.  The potential risks involved with long term use of the drugs are not entirely known at this time, but there have been possible links to pancreatic and colon cancer.

If you have taken Zantac for heartburn, you may want to consider speaking with your doctor about taking alternative medicines*, or embarking upon lifestyle changes to prevent heartburn maladies.  Beyond changing your approach to handling heartburn, you should be aware that class action lawsuits have been filed in several states. If you think you might have a case linked to your use of ranitidine, you should contact Cowan & Hilgeman for a consultation today. 

*According to the FDA,  ¨To date, the FDA’s testing has not found NDMA in famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec).¨


What Makes a Good Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer?

ohio personal injury lawyer

When you are injured in a car accident or at a place of business, it is important that you take action right away against the negligent party. This means finding a lawyer who will keep your best interests in mind, who will also get you the settlement you deserve. In order to ensure that you get everything you need out of your attorney, we have put together a list of things to look for in a great Ohio personal injury lawyer:

Find someone with plenty of experience

You need a lawyer who can prove that they have successfully handled and won cases like yours before. One of the best ways to ensure that your lawyer is someone who can be trusted is to find them through ‘word of mouth’. If you know someone who has gone through a similar situation as you are going through now, ask them who represented them and landed them the settlement that they deserved.

Find an Ohio personal injury lawyer who is passionate about helping people

If you hire a lawyer, you want to make sure it is someone who is passionate about getting you the outcome you desire. You want someone who understands what you have been through and who also have the drive to get you the results you deserve. If an attorney makes you feel as though you are just one of dozens of clients they are representing, move along.

Find someone who will stay in touch

Having a lawyer who is reliable is a must. If your representation hardly ever answers their phone or returns your calls, how will they ever render the settlement you know you are entitled to? Make sure your attorney is frequently available and eager to answer questions.

Ensure that each lawyer you consider is a specialist in personal injury.

Every Ohio personal injury lawyer was trained, at some point during their education, on the theory of personal injury law. This is very different from the practice of it, and extremely different from being able to win great results for their clients. At Cowan & Hilgeman Law, we exclusively practice personal injury law.

Find someone who is honest and respected in their field

Make sure you check reviews! We take enormous pride in the fact that we are one of Dayton’s top rated personal injury lawyers, across all review platforms. We’ve earned these ratings for a reason: because we care about our clients, and we get the results to prove it.

It can be incredibly difficult to find a great Ohio personal injury lawyer when there are simply so many to choose from. The good news is, you can speak with one of our personal injury attorneys for free, with no obligation, to see if we would be a good fit for your case. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your consultation with one of Dayton’s top rated personal injury attorneys.

Reckless Driving, Speeding and Traffic Deaths on the Rise in Ohio

car accidents

As the Coronavirus escalates, public roadways and highways have become empty in recent weeks as more people opt to stay in the safety of their homes. In an effort to reduce transmission among law enforcement officers, many police departments have also reduced the number and frequency of speed traps on highways. Many drivers appear to be taking advantage of the more open roads and lack of law enforcement, which has led to a dramatic increase in fatal car accidents nationwide.

A recent report released by the Governors Highways Safety Administration indicates a significant spike in speeding facilitated by the open highways. Many drivers have apparently completely thrown caution out the window, regularly hitting speeds of up to 100 mph. This, of course, makes the car accidents that do occur more dangerous.

The Governors Highways Safety Administration cautions every road user to adhere to set traffic safety laws, particularly during these unprecedented times where emergency response times may be longer and hospital resources are already stretched thin. The association is reminding road users to remain vigilant and follow all laws to avoid car accidents and reduce additional strain on hospital emergency rooms.

Recent car accident reports for 2020 to-date indicate that 17% of all traffic-related incidents involve pedestrians.

At the same time, the study indicates that pedestrians and bicycle riders have increased substantially in recent weeks following the decrease in motor vehicle traffic. More people sequestered at home means that more families are taking walks, going for bike rides and using our streets for entertainment rather than a means of conveyance. Drivers should be extra cautious of the increase in foot traffic.

The Governors’ Report suggest a significant increase in the number of speeding tickets issued in recent weeks.

Notably, some states have reported a reduction in crashes, but the few recorded accidents have turned out to be severe or even fatal, mainly because of over-speeding and reckless drivers. You may be tempted to put your foot down on a clear, unobstructed stretch of highway, but you should avoid this temptation at all costs.

Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, obeying traffic rules is vital to keeping our roads and highways safe and accident-free as the country grapples with fighting this national pandemic. If you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. Cowan & Hilgeman Law is one of Dayton’s top rated car accident attorneys. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your FREE, no obligation phone or video consultation. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay a penny.

Why Cowan & Hilgeman Consistently Ranks Among the Top Law Firms in Dayton Ohio

At the offices of Cowan and Hilgeman we believe that our clients are more than just a case.

When you come to our firm we will treat you with the dignity and respect that every human being deserves.
We will help you to make sense of this difficult time in your life, treating each case individually with an approach catered to your needs. 
More than that, we will dedicate ourselves tirelessly on your behalf, providing the stalwart service our clients have come to expect since 1994. 

At this firm, we have high standards, which is why we are consistently rated as one of the top law firms in Dayton.

We are an A+ Better Business Bureau rated firm, have 5 star google and Avvo reviews, and have a list of accolades that we are extremely proud to have earned.

Yet the most satisfying achievement for us is the trust our clients have in us and the satisfaction they have with our representation. We are touched that so many individuals have entrusted their cases with us, and we just wanted to thank all who have sought out our help, and taken the time to share their experiences. We could list our strengths all day, but don’t take our word for it. Listen to what your neighbors have had to say about us:

If you have experienced an injury at no fault of your own, and are unsure what steps you need to take next, give us a call at 937-222-2030 for a free case evaluation today. We’re one of the top rated law firms in Dayton for so many reasons.