brain injury accident

Few things can be worse than suffering a traumatic brain injury in an accident. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might have to deal with lifelong physical and mental health problems and might never be able to lead a normal life again.

Data from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) shows that traumatic brain injuries are responsible for more than 2,000 deaths, 112,000 emergency department visits, and 19,000 hospitalizations every year. Every day, on average, 400 incidents of traumatic brain injuries are reported in New York.

What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury can be caused by a forceful blow or jolt to the head. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries in the country are:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Getting struck by or against stationary or moving objects
  • Violent assault

What Are the Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Concussion

It is a mild injury which disrupts your brain function for a short period of time. The effects of a concussion – which include headache, nausea, the inability to concentrate, the inability to remember things, and sensitivity to noise – are usually temporary.

Coup, Contrecoup, and Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

These are focal injuries that affect a specific part of your brain.

  • In a coup injury, the part of the brain which is located directly underneath or adjacent to the point of impact is damaged.
  • In a contrecoup injury, the part of the brain which is located on the opposite side of the point of impact is damaged.
  • In a coup-contrecoup injury, the part which is underneath or adjacent to the point of impact as well as the part which is located on the opposite side is damaged.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

It is a type of traumatic brain injury in which the axons (nerve fibers in the brain) are stretched or torn.

Intracranial Hematomas

It is an internal injury that is characterized by the rupture of blood vessels, which results in a buildup of blood within the brain or in the space between the brain and the dura. The most common types of hematomas include:

  • Epidural hematoma
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Intracerebral hematoma
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Penetrating Head Injury

It is a type of traumatic brain injury in which the brain tissue is damaged by a foreign object which penetrates the skull.

Closed Head Injury

It is an internal injury in which the wound is not visible to the naked eye. It is characterized by swelling in the brain and an increase in intracranial pressure.

What are the Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Financial Costs

A severe traumatic brain injury can put you on the shelf for an extended period of time, during which you might not be able to work or earn money in any other way. In the meantime, you might have to spend a significant amount of money on your treatment, as the total cost of surgery and in-patient care is likely to exceed your health insurance coverage.

If you are left severely disabled as a result of your brain injuries, you might require a lifetime of care, which can be prohibitively expensive. Your disabilities might also reduce your earning potential to a great extent, as a result of which your family might be left without a steady source of income.

Physical, Mental, and Cognitive Impairments

Data shows that a vast majority of people who suffer moderate to serious traumatic brain injuries are unlikely to make a full recovery. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you might be left with a severe physical or mental disability, which might prevent you from leading a normal life ever again.

Traumatic brain injuries can also lead to cognitive problems in many cases. The short-term and long-term consequences might include:

  • Impaired memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Personality changes
  • Lowered IQ
  • Lack of self-control
  • Lack of self-awareness

Impact on Marital and Social Life

Research shows that traumatic brain injuries can make it difficult for the victims to have normal, healthy relationships with other people. This is one of the reasons why the divorce and separation rate among couples in which one individual has suffered a brain injury is noticeably higher compared to normal couples.

Increased Risk of Dementia and Suicide

Studies show that victims of traumatic brain injuries are at a higher risk of developing dementia and are twice as likely to kill themselves compared to normal people.

What Not To Do After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury in New York

Avoiding Medical Treatment

If you have suffered a head injury, you should seek medical attention as quickly as you can. Not doing so can prove to be a costly mistake for two reasons.

  • In many cases, the primary injury (the blow or jolt to your head) might not damage your brain right away. However, it might lead to a secondary injury, which can be fatal if left untreated.
  • If you do not seek medical attention immediately after suffering a brain injury, the at-fault party might argue that you failed to ‘mitigate damages’ (not taking steps a reasonable person is expected to take to safeguard themselves) and therefore your compensation should be reduced accordingly.

Talking to the Insurance Company

Do not talk to the representatives of the at-fault party’s insurance company for any reason. If you say anything that might be construed as an admission of guilt or liability, the insurance company will use it against you and argue that your own actions contributed to the accident to a much greater extent than the defendant’s actions.

Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, your compensation can be reduced in proportion to your degree of liability. So, let your personal injury attorney do all the talking.

What Types of Damages Can You Seek in a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim?

Under New York law, the victim of a traumatic brain injury can sue the at-fault party and seek compensation for the economic and non-economic losses listed below.

Economic Losses

  • Medical expenses, including the cost of emergency care, surgery, in-patient care, outpatient care, cost of medications, and the costs associated with diagnostic procedures and lab tests
  • Rehabilitation expenses, including the costs associated with physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric care, and psychological care
  • The cost of long-term care (residential care or assisted living)
  • The cost of mobility aids and the expenses associated with remodeling your home (in case you are left with a severe disability as a result of your injuries)
  • Lost wages
  • The expected loss of wages due to diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Funeral expenses (in case the victim suffered a fatal brain injury)

Non-Economic Losses

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive Damages

In some cases, apart from compensatory damages, you might also be awarded punitive damages. If the at-fault party is found to have acted in an exceptionally callous or egregious manner, the judge or jury might decide to award you punitive damages. 

How to Maximize the Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries

An experienced New York personal injury lawyer can build a strong case against the at-fault party and help you receive significant compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Given below is a list of steps your attorney will take to maximize your compensation in a traumatic brain injury case.

  • Collecting the documentary evidence (medical reports, prescriptions, and statements from physicians) needed to establish the severity of your injuries.
  • Getting testimonies from surgeons, general physicians, and physical therapists regarding the extent of your injuries and the level of care you require in the short term and in the long term.
  • Calculating the cost of future medical care (based on the cost of ongoing treatments) and assisted living.
  • Calculating the cost of remodeling your home to accommodate your disabilities (based on estimates from contractors).
  • Getting experts to testify on how your injuries have affected your earning capacity and the number of wages you stand to lose in the long term.
  • Getting experts to testify on how your injuries might impact your marital and social life.
  • Getting testimonies from your family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors to establish that you were loved by your family and your community since data shows that the more likable a plaintiff is, the larger settlement they are likely to be awarded.

Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in New York

The long-term costs associated with traumatic brain injuries can be enormous. This is why it is important to be represented by a skilled attorney who can fight hard for you and make sure you are adequately compensated for your brain injuries and other losses.

The TBI personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP has provided high-quality legal representation to thousands of injured New Yorkers and their families and recovered settlements and awards worth over a billion dollars.

If you or any of your loved ones have suffered a traumatic brain injury, we can take on the at-fault party on your behalf and recover the maximum amount of compensation possible under the law. To find out how our New York traumatic brain injury lawyers can help you, call us today at 1-800-660-2264 and schedule a free consultation.

We win cases because we know what a winning case looks like!

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