Boston Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
When people think of brain injuries, most think of devastating accidents that cause visible injuries and can often end in fatalities. While these accidents may cause severe brain damage and injury to their victims, many other, less serious accidents also exist that can still cause life-threatening brain injuries.
A brain injury can happen to anyone at any age, and following an accident, you should visit a doctor to ensure that you get an evaluation for possible brain injuries. Seeing a doctor soon after your accident will also help your legal claim should you choose to pursue one. You may not yet know the full impact a brain injury can have on your life. An attorney can evaluate your case and injuries to understand the compensation that you may qualify to pursue.
Jacoby & Meyers LLP—Hire a Boston Lawyer to Protect Your Rights After a Traumatic Brain Injury
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we strive to protect our Boston community from the actions of negligent parties that cause you harm. If you suffer injuries in an accident and sustain a traumatic brain injury, you may qualify to pursue compensation under the law. Many accidents stem from the negligent actions of an individual or party that has caused your injuries.
Our team of attorneys and staff will work with you to protect your interests and rights after a traumatic brain injury accident. We understand the challenges you face and the future needs that may arise because of your injuries. We will fight for maximum compensation against the parties responsible for your damages. The sooner you seek assistance from an attorney, the better your chances of a successful recovery.
Successful Result for Clients of Jacoby & Meyers LLP
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we have experience representing individuals who have sustained traumatic brain injuries in Boston and sought compensation. We take pride in our successes.
Some of our recent results include:
- $8.3 million settlement for the family of a child born with cerebral palsy due to the negligence of a medical provider.
- $3.5 million settlement for an individual who suffered a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident.
- $2.5 million settlement for a victim of a car accident that resulted in a penetrating traumatic brain injury.
High-Risk Areas for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Boston and Surrounding Areas
You may come across hidden dangers each day that can increase your risk of a brain injury. During your commute on the roadways, while walking through the city, while engaging in your afternoon exercise, or even during your daily errands, an accident can happen in an instant that can change the course of your life. In a metropolitan area, such as Boston, with a larger population and many options for activities and work, certain locations come with an increased risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
Locations in or near Boston where a negligent accident can happen include:
- Boston roadways and neighborhood streets
- Theme and amusement parks
- Trampoline parks
- Shopping malls
- Retail stores
- Public spaces and parks
- Private property
About Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) directly affects the brain and the way it operates. Over time, researchers have discovered that even seemingly minor injuries to the head and neck can result in serious impacts on the function of the brain. It is not uncommon for brain injury victims to believe they have not suffered an injury until the symptoms and signs become too much to bear.
As the human brain constitutes an integral component of an individual’s central nervous system, any interruption in function caused by an injury can result in disability and impact every aspect of how a person acts, functions, and feels.
Traumatic brain injuries can range in severity and affect the life of a person. While minor injuries can cause discomfort and inconvenience in the short term, more serious injuries can cause irreparable long-term consequences and damage to the victim. Brain injuries are often categorized as occurring in two ways: (1) closed or (2) penetrating. Each of these injuries qualifies as a TBI, but the manifestation of symptoms as well as the signs of injury can prove drastically different. Regardless of the type of brain injury involved, any damage to the brain can affect a person’s functions and life if not properly treated.
Closed Brain Injuries
In this type of brain injury, some external force will have a direct impact on the brain of a victim, but closed injuries do not involve a break or penetration of the skull. These injuries can take time to develop and may not seem immediately apparent after an accident occurs, but can still prove life-threatening.
Examples of closed brain injuries include:
- Diffuse axonal injury
Penetrating Brain Injuries
A penetrating brain injury involves an injury to the brain that results from an open head injury. In this type of traumatic brain injury, something pierces the skull and exposes brain tissue due to the penetration of an external object or force. Penetrating brain injuries involve visible injuries to the head.
Examples of penetrating brain injuries include:
- Blunt force trauma
- Gunshot wound
- Stab wounds
- Other objects or debris that penetrate the head
Accidents That Can Result in a Traumatic Brain Injury
TBIs constitute relatively common preventable injuries that stem from accidents. The human brain is especially vulnerable to drastic changes in force and momentum. Sudden accidents create a high risk of brain injury. In many instances of an unexpected accident, a victim cannot sufficiently brace for impact or protect the head and neck from the forces at play. Any accident can lead to a traumatic brain injury. Whether an individual faces a high risk of a brain injury can depend on various factors, such as the age and health condition of an individual, the direction of the force of the accident, the location of impact on the body, as well as the severity of the accident itself.
Common accidents that can cause a traumatic brain injury to the victim include:
- Motor vehicle-related accidents – Accidents that involve a vehicle and another vehicle, a motorcycle, a pedestrian, and/or a bicyclist constitute the most common cause of TBIs. Vehicular accidents often involve great force due to the size and speed of the vehicles involved. While penetrating brain injuries can result from these accidents, closed brain injuries more commonly result from car accidents.
- Slip and falls – When an individual trips, slips, or falls to the ground due to an unforeseen danger, the person will likely strike his or her head on a nearby object or the ground itself. The direct impact of the head on a hard and unforgiving surface puts the victim at high risk of suffering a TBI.
- Animal attacks – Many people consider bites as the biggest danger of an animal or dog attack. However, falls from being pushed or dragged put victims at increased risk of damage to their heads, necks, and brains.
- Explosions or blasts – TBIs have long been linked to the injuries sustained by war veterans from the effects of bombs and other explosives. While war-related blasts don’t occur regularly in the U.S., several situations could create an explosion or blast that may lead to brain injuries in victims.
- Recreational activities – Accidents during sports and other recreational activities, such as ATVs, boats, ziplines, rafting, and snow sports, can all result in TBIs. Young children, adolescents, teens, and young adults face a particular risk of sustaining recreation-related brain injuries.
- Debris or objects that strike the head – Any situation in which an object or debris impacts your head is likely to result in a brain injury. The severity of the injury can depend on the speed and size of the object as well as the location of the impact on your head.
- Medical procedures – The deprivation of oxygen to a patient during anesthesia and routine medical procedures constitutes a serious concern and risk for the development of a traumatic brain injury. If you have suffered symptoms of TBI after a surgery or procedure, your healthcare provider may have acted negligently in your care and directly caused your injury.
- Work-related accidents – Construction sites, warehouses, factories, and other worksites are dangerous places. Heavy materials, machinery, and cargo can put workers at risk of suffering injuries, particularly brain injuries. If you sustain an injury while on the job and develop symptoms or signs of a brain injury, you may qualify to seek compensation from those responsible for your safety.
- Defective products – The design and manufacturing process for products can create dangerous flaws that put consumers and users of these products at risk of brain injury.
The Costs of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs have impacts on an individual’s health, abilities, and overall well-being. The aftermath of a traumatic brain injury may prove more than just financially costly but may also come with personal costs that many victims will never recover from. The effects of a TBI can catch victims by surprise. While many expect some inconveniences and difficulties as a result of the injury, they often underestimate the hold these injuries can take on their ability to live their lives to the fullest.
TBIs constitute one of the few conditions after an accident that can progressively worsen rather than improve. In a survey conducted by the CDC, TBI victims reported their experiences 5 years after their initial diagnosis. Astonishingly, only a quarter of the patients reported an improvement. Almost 30 percent reported worsening conditions and more than 20 percent passed away from their injuries. This exemplifies the far-reaching impacts a brain injury can have on a victim’s future, well beyond the immediate aftermath of the accident. For this reason, you should always pursue compensation with an understanding of the future costs that you may have to face.
For survivors of TBI, the medical costs for care and treatment can reach quite high levels. These injuries often prove slow to develop and can cause complications and conditions to arise over time that require long-term care and guidance. For severe TBI injuries that require hospital stays and rehabilitation, the costs can climb even higher. Many victims turn to insurance policies to cover their costs, but many times victims may max out these policies, and the damages can exceed the limitations, leaving many victims with piles of future medical bills and costs without the means to pay for them.
TBIs can debilitate a victim and cause permanent disabilities in some cases. The portions of the brain affected by the injury can influence an individual’s ability to function and meet their own basic needs. TBIs can affect injured individuals’ mobility, speech, thought process, and motor skills. Therapies and rehab will likely prove necessary and may involve grueling aspects. For many victims, they must work hard to make small strides in their recovery and in the hopes to gain back some of the strength, abilities, and skills lost after the accident.
Physical impacts of a traumatic injury can include:
- Painful headaches and discomfort
- Impacts to senses, such as sight and hearing
- Memory loss
- Loss of reasoning ability
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Impacts to brain processes on making decisions and sound judgment
Psychological and Emotional Impacts
The link of TBIs to mental health disorders and conditions has gained attention in recent years. Traumatic brain injuries can change the chemical makeup of your brain and cause drastic changes in a person’s mood and behaviors. Victims of brain injuries often feel frustrated and find it difficult to control their own impulses and actions as they could before an accident occurred.
Common mental and emotional conditions caused by TBI include:
- Panic disorders
- Aggressive behavior
- Mood disorders
Strains on Relationships
Living with a traumatic brain injury can prove exhausting, and family members and loved ones may struggle to relate and understand fully the struggles involved with recovering from this type of injury. This can put a strain on personal relationships and with loved ones that want nothing more than to see you get better and improve. Family dynamics may alter to adapt to the care you require, and financial pressures can place additional stressors and obstacles during recovery.
Traumatic brain injuries constitute serious injuries that can change your life. If you sustain a traumatic brain injury in a preventable Boston accident that someone else caused, you may wonder what these injuries entail and what rights you have under the law.
Hidden Dangers That Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many of the hazards that you encounter daily could cause you an injury. Threats to your safety can lurk in your home, at work, and other locations you may frequent throughout your day. Any accident that occurs due to a forceful impact can result in a traumatic brain injury.
Dangers that can cause a traumatic brain injury in a victim include:
- Dangerous conditions on the property – Private property owners must provide a safe environment for their guests. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury while on the property of another, you may qualify to pursue compensation under the law.
- Loose animals or dogs – Animals can attack or bite an individual that they know or a stranger while loose in public. A dog can attack a person for many reasons, but if a dog bites or attacks unprovoked, an owner may face responsibility for the injuries you have suffered. Traumatic brain injuries can occur during a dog attack if the dog pushes you down or drags you during the commotion.
- Negligent drivers – If a car strikes you while in your vehicle, as a pedestrian, or on your bicycle, you face a high risk of a traumatic brain injury. If a negligent motorist causes your accident and injuries, you can seek compensation for your damages from the responsible party.
- Negligent business owners – Owners of businesses and recreational activities must provide a safe atmosphere for patrons to enjoy their business offerings. Even in risky endeavors, owners must provide the necessary safety equipment and instruction to adequately prepare their clients. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury due to the failure of a business owner to provide a safe environment, you may qualify for compensation for your injuries.
- Reckless operators – Operators of amusement parks and theme parks must routinely maintain their rides and attractions to keep their guests safe. If you sustain an injury in a theme park accident and suffer a traumatic brain injury, you may qualify to pursue compensation under the law.
How Do You Know If You Have Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury?
After an accident, you may feel unsure of whether you have suffered a traumatic brain injury. If you have visible injuries, like bleeding from your head or bruising, you should visit an emergency room immediately for care and further evaluation of your injuries. However, traumatic brain injuries may not always prove noticeable in the immediate aftermath of an accident, and doctors may fail to diagnose TBIs initially. Closed brain injuries, a type of traumatic brain injury, can take time to develop and may not appear immediately in imaging or cause symptoms in a victim.
It can prove disconcerting to feel unsure about whether you have suffered a traumatic brain injury after an accident. However, certain indicators exist that can help you determine whether you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, and you should keep a close eye on your health to seek emergency medical attention if necessary.
If you know your head struck an object, you should seek a medical evaluation as a precaution, even if symptoms have not yet developed. If you lose consciousness at any point, no matter how brief, you should visit the emergency room. This constitutes an indication that a serious injury to your brain may have occurred.
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The moments after an accident often prove adrenaline-filled and chaotic. This chaos, combined with the scare and realization of the accident, may cause you to feel uninjured, even if you actually sustained injuries. You may think that a dazed or confused feeling is simply the culmination of the events taking place rather than possible indications of a brain injury. If at any point you feel unwell, you seek immediate medical attention to rule out any serious complications.
Warning signs to look out for after an accident that can indicate a traumatic brain injury include:
- Impaired senses
- Loss of consciousness
- Out of body feeling
- Trouble with concentration or memory
- Sudden onset of depression or anxiety
- Changes to your mood
- Nausea and gastrointestinal issues
- A feeling of pins and needles
- Trouble with coordination
- Speech impairments
Keep in mind that a traumatic brain injury can manifest itself differently in each individual. If you begin to experience an onset of worrisome symptoms even days or weeks after an accident, it is likely related to the impact you suffered. Do not assume that you are in the clear after just a day or two. A traumatic brain injury can develop slowly and worsen over time. The sooner you can seek medical intervention, the better your chances for recovery.
Can You Fully Recover From a TBI?
No one can predict how your recovery will go following a traumatic brain injury. Serious to severe injuries can have lasting effects and impacts that go years into the future. Even minor traumatic injuries, such as a mild concussion, can take weeks and months to heal and eliminate all of your symptoms. Some injured individuals may never heal. Brain injuries can cause permanent damage and disability. The healing and recovery process can take years and requires dedication to therapy and treatments to improve the chance to fully regain function or ability.
TBI victims will often describe the recovery process as slow and filled with ups and downs. Many TBI victims and their families describe the recovery process as two steps forward and one step back. Every significant milestone may involve days and weeks of frustration and rehabilitation. Your recovery may not always follow a linear path and can require changes in treatment plans; complications and new symptoms commonly pop up, as well.
Your recovery process from a TBI can play an important role in determining the damages that you may pursue. A knowledgeable and experienced traumatic brain injury attorney understands that your costs, expenses, and impacts may vary from those of other individuals that sustain similar injuries. You must take this into account when negotiating with at-fault parties and their insurance companies. Acceptance of a low or inadequate early settlement offer can leave you facing future medical bills and losses that you may feel financially unprepared to handle due to your condition.
The right injury attorney can make a significant difference in the damages that you ultimately receive. Insurance companies do not want to pay the maximum damages and losses you have suffered or will suffer in the future. An attorney can help you establish your case and your losses to fight for compensation that covers the full cost of your injuries.
What Compensation Can You Seek for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries can have lasting impacts on your ability to live and enjoy your life. The damage suffered in an accident that causes a traumatic brain injury can prove burdensome and difficult to manage. The amount of compensation that you may pursue for your losses will depend on the extent of your injuries and how your injuries will affect your life currently and in the years to come. Oftentimes, TBIs focus on their immediate medical expenses and how to pay them. However, legal damages in a negligence action for a traumatic brain injury extend far beyond just the economic losses you face. A lawyer can help you fight not only for the costs associated with your care, but also the losses and potential earnings you would have made in the future.
Damages in a traumatic brain injury accident can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future expenses for medical and income losses
- Compensation for loss to quality of life
- Compensation for pain and suffering related to the accident
- The losses related to the wrongful death of a loved one that dies due to a TBI
Why Do You Need a Lawyer if You Suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A lawyer may prove necessary after a traumatic brain injury that occurs due to the negligence of another party. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury involves an intensive process and requires your full dedication and attention. Trying to manage an injury claim successfully as you battle your daily obstacles and challenges could put your case in jeopardy. Insurance companies and other parties related to your case may appear to want to help you, but they just want to reduce their ultimate liability to you as much as possible.
It can prove a challenge for you to communicate with the myriad of parties that will want a statement, questions answered, and evidence from you. What you say and do not say to an insurer, opposing counsel, or at-fault party can have a great bearing on the outcome of your case. One misstep or omission can spell disaster in your claim.
Insurance claims representatives will try their best to deny your claim if possible and if they must make a payment, they will attempt to cut costs wherever they can. Do not allow the insurers and their system, which is set up against you and your interests, to take advantage of your situation and leave you with less compensation than you need to cover the full cost of your injuries.
A personal injury lawyer with experience in traumatic brain injuries will serve as your advocate throughout the injury claims process and will initiate and pursue a lawsuit against the parties responsible if deemed necessary. Once you have legal representation, all parties must stop communicating directly with you and direct all further communications to your attorney. This will lift the burden of managing phone calls and messages from you and the responsibility to successfully manage all interested parties will lie with your attorney.
Your lawyer will serve as the intermediary between you and the opposing parties in your case. An attorney working on your behalf will keep you abreast of the latest updates in your case as well as the potential next steps in the process.
If and when the at-fault party makes a settlement offer, your attorney will present it to you and advise you as to the best course of action for you. You will ultimately decide whether to accept a settlement offer based on your circumstances and your attorney’s recommendations. Most personal injury cases that involve a traumatic brain injury settle before litigation. In some circumstances, your attorney may recommend that you file a lawsuit to ensure that you receive adequate compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries.
Lawsuits don’t always prove necessary, but if you face a situation where an insurer denies liability or makes unreasonable settlement offers, you may benefit from having your case resolved through a trial and a verdict entered by a court.
What Should You Do if You Suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you suffer an accident that results in a traumatic brain injury, you should first seek help from a qualified medical provider. Once you have received a diagnosis and treatment for your injuries, you can then focus on protecting your legal rights. Your rights under the law will provide you with the opportunity to seek compensation from the parties at fault for your injuries.
To best protect those rights, you must contact a Boston traumatic brain injury lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers LLP at (877) 472-3061 for a free evaluation of your case. Our burn injury attorneys will take an in-depth look at your accident, consider the evidence in your case, and discuss with you the potential for compensation. We’re ready to talk to you right now, no matter the time of day, so call us now.
Finkelstein & Partners, LLP
15 Court Square
Boston, MA 02108
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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