Brooklyn Brain Injury Attorney
Accidents or other types of harm that cause brain injury are among the most serious events that can befall a person. A brain injury can cause life-long impairment in brain function, leading to challenges with cognition, movement, and speech—or inability to process information, move, and talk. Victims of brain injury may be left in comas. Many brain injury victims die, if not immediately then after a difficult struggle.
If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury, contact an experienced Brooklyn Brain Injury lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. We can explain the types of redress open to you, and we will fight vigilantly to see that justice is done. Our initial evaluation is always free. You can reach us at (877)-565-2993.
Past Compensation for Clients
Our experience is illustrated by the compensation we secured for people who suffered brain injuries. In one recent case, for example, we won a $2.5 million settlement for a 68-year-old man whose traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurred when he was struck by a car when walking across the street. The case was settled before trial.
In another case, we won a $3.5 million settlement for a client who suffered a TBI due to a two-car collision in which his head struck the dashboard. Although our client was not wearing a seat belt, we were able to prove to the court that his injuries would have happened whether he was wearing a seat belt or not. His car was hit by a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel and crossed over the center median—a driver who, in turn, had been forced by his employer to work all night to complete a contracting job.
While these are but past examples and can’t guarantee a future outcome in any particular case, our associates are committed to achieving justice for clients by drawing on years of experience representing injured parties.
What Type of Accidents Cause Brain Injury?
In these two examples, the brain injuries were both caused by car accidents. And, in fact, car and other vehicle accidents are a leading source of TBIs and other injuries. People can get brain injuries in traffic accidents involving cars, Uber and other ride-hailing vehicles, taxis, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, and pedestrians.
But traffic accidents are not, by any means, the only way in which people suffer brain injuries. Brain injuries can occur if you slip and fall on a wet floor or down a poorly maintained set of stairs, a type of accident known as a slip and fall or a slip, trip, and fall.
Construction workers can suffer brain injuries by falling or being struck on the head by a falling object, or having their head or upper body caught between two objects. In fact, falls, being struck, and being caught between elements on a construction site are all among the most common accidents on construction sites.
People can suffer brain injuries in sports or while playing on a playground.
Brain injuries can also be caused by heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, meningitis, loss of oxygen to the brain, neurosurgery, brain tumors, infections, adverse drug reactions, poisoning, substance abuse, and choking. Anything that causes loss of oxygen can ultimately result in brain injuries. These can be caused by medical errors in surgery or delivering a baby, or by accidents, such as coming near to drowning.
Types of Brain Injuries
TBIs have received a great deal of publicity over the past decade, partly because the consequences of some forms, such as concussions, are much better understood. A concussion was once understood as no cause for alarm, for instance. It is now known that even a minor one can affect the brain over the long term.
Part of the increased public scrutiny has also resulted from the dramatic upswing in reported cases of TBIs—which, in turn, have been partly spurred by the understanding of their seriousness. The total number of TBIs associated with emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths (EDHDs) soared 53 percent during one eight-year period, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the final year of this period, more than 2.5 million patients had to go to emergency departments for TBIs (812,00 of them children). Approximately 288,000 patients went to the hospital with a TBI (23,000 children).
Roughly 56,800 people died from TBIs in the last year for which statistics were available, including 2,529 children. These are sobering statistics. But as widespread as TBIs are, and as serious as they are, they are not the only type of brain injury. Some brain injuries are called acquired brain injury (ABI), which simply means that the person with the injury didn’t have it at birth, but acquired it later.
TBIs are caused by some sort of trauma, such as a jolt (whiplash) or being struck. Concussions, for example, can be acquired by some sort of event which causes the brain to jostle back and forth in the head. Car and other vehicle accidents are common causes of this type of TBI, as is being tacked in a contact sport, such as football.
They can also be acquired by an injury or blow that causes the skull to be penetrated, injuring the brain. A skull fracture, for example, sometimes causes pieces of bone to be lodged in the brain. An accident that drives an object through a head, such as a car accident or a fall, can cause this kind of penetrative TBI accident.
ABIs are not caused by trauma like a blow, but are caused by some sort of pressure on the brain or event affecting the brain, such as loss of oxygen.
The bottom line? All brain injuries can cause symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening. All brain injuries can also be fatal.
Common questions regarding brain injuries in Brooklyn
In the fast-paced environment of Brooklyn, many situations can result in catastrophic injuries. Among the most severe of these are brain injuries. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we fight for our brain injury victims’ right to recover damages from those whose negligent, reckless, or intentional actions caused their injury and changed their lives forever. Our team is equipped to deal with insurance companies, collect evidence, gather witnesses and evidence, and, if necessary, go to trial. We ensure our clients understand their legal rights and help them achieve the results they deserve.
If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury in Brooklyn, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can provide the legal services you need to recover compensation. You can contact our office today to be connected with a legal professional to discuss your case. Our brain injury attorneys are prepared to help Brooklyn brain injury survivors pursue compensation after an accident. Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in Brooklyn brain injury cases.
What are some causes of Brooklyn brain injuries?
Anything that causes an impact to the brain can cause a brain injury. That means that there are lots of accidents and circumstances that lead to brain injuries.
Some common causes of brain injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Sports accidents
- Violent crimes
- Slip and falls
Are brain injuries common?
Brain injuries are very common. The CDC found that in one year, nearly 3 million traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations took place. TBIs happen especially frequently to children, and more people acquire TBIs each year. With all of the different hazards around Brooklyn, from construction sites to heavy traffic, and the delicate makeup of the brain, it stands to reason that TBIs would frequently occur here.
The CDC has found falls and motor vehicle crashes to be leading causes of TBI. Whenever you take a blow to the head, in whatever situation, you should follow up with a medical care provider to determine whether you may have suffered TBI.
Who is most at risk of traumatic brain injury?
Certain groups of people are more likely to suffer a TBI than others. People over 75 years old, young adults, and adolescents are all at the highest risk of sustaining a TBI.
- Males experience TBI significantly more than females
- Certain types of military service increase the likelihood of brain injuries
Does TBI often cause significant disability?
The CDC estimates that 5.3 million American women, children, and men live with permanent TBI-related disabilities. Almost 100,000 people every year experience the onset of long-term disability due to TBI, and financial costs add a huge burden to an already heavy load to bear.
The human cost of disability caused by TBI is incalculable. Some medical experts even refer to TBI as “the invisible epidemic,” as it causes so much damage to people’s physical ability without being apparent (like a broken bone).
What are my rights after a Brooklyn brain injury?
If you’ve experienced a brain injury in Brooklyn because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you have the right to pursue fair compensation. You can work with an experienced brain injury lawyer to recover compensation for expenses and impacts you have sustained from your brain injury.
How can a lawyer help after a Brooklyn brain injury?
Lawyers can do a lot to help brain injury victims seeking to recover fair compensation. While each case is different, people who hire us tend to find they receive services they never would have guessed they needed.
You’ll find that a Brooklyn brain injury lawyer can probably help you more than you anticipate. Attorneys have extensive experience in the legal sphere. They know what compensation you can pursue, whom you can hold accountable, and what it takes to bring a successful case.
The key to most Brooklyn brain injury cases is proving negligence. If your lawyer can collect the evidence necessary to prove negligence, your chances of recovering compensation through a settlement or court award sky-rocket.
More specifically, your Brooklyn brain injury attorney will collect the evidence necessary to try to prove:
- Duty of care: In most cases, we all have a duty (legally referred to as “the duty of care”) to avoid actions that may cause harm to others. This duty may be heightened depending on a person’s position, such as a landlord renting out an apartment, who takes on the duty of making sure the place is kept safe.
- Breach of duty: The liable party breached their duty of care, meaning they acted in a way contrary to that duty of care. In the landlord scenario, failing to maintain a staircase, creating a safety hazard, could constitute a breach.
- Causation: The breach of duty caused an accident or injury. If the staircase had a loose floorboard the landlord neglected to fix, and you fell down the stairs because of the disrepair, you could say the breach caused your injury.
- Damages: Actual damages—this could be physical injury, like TBI, lost wages, and so on, that occur due to the accident.
In building a TBI case, lawyers often consult experts from other fields to establish negligence, the severity of the brain injury, and the consequences for the victim. They can help gather witnesses and other evidence to build the case against a negligent party. Much of the work that your lawyer does on your case will happen without you needing to do anything.
What are common types of brain injury?
There are many different types of brain injuries. Acquired brain injuries are injuries that don’t require external force (like hitting someone’s head) to take place. There are two kinds of acquired brain injury: anoxic and hypoxic. Anoxia occurs when someone’s brain doesn’t receive oxygen. Just four or five minutes of such deprivation can result in permanent damage. Hypoxic brain injuries occur when a certain part of the body is deprived of oxygen. Hypoxic brain injuries may develop into anoxic brain injuries.
Other types of brain injuries happen due to external force. These include:
- Contusions: Occur when direct head trauma causes localized brain bleeding
- Concussions: Occur when the brain shakes inside the head
- Penetration injuries: Occur when objects enter the brain or skulls
- Diffuse axonal injuries: Occur due to severe shaking or rotational force
What are concussions? Concussions are especially common brain injuries. They are usually considered a mild type of brain injury.
But keep in mind:
- Concussions occur in varying severities; and
- A “mild” injury doesn’t mean it’s not very impactful and expensive
Someone can suffer a concussion due to a direct blow to the head, but concussions also happen because of bumps, jolts, or blows to the body. Anything that causes someone’s brain to move inside of their skull can cause a concussion.
How do I know if I have a brain injury?
Brain injuries can cause many different kinds of symptoms. Some of those symptoms could be the result of other conditions. It’s very difficult for non-medical-professionals to determine whether someone has a brain injury. The best step to take if you suspect that you or anyone has experienced a brain injury is to seek immediate medical attention. They can help determine which injuries have occurred.
Some signs and symptoms of brain injuries to look out for include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Vomiting, nausea
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Mood changes
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
Are brain injuries expensive?
The average brain injury is quite expensive. Most people experience costs associated with their injuries that they never expected. Lost wages, diminished earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and more all may qualify for compensation in a Brooklyn brain injury case.
The medical expenses that follow a brain injury are, of course, often the most financially impactful. Many people need to pay for emergency treatment, surgeries, prescriptions, and ongoing therapies.
Why are children more likely to experience brain injuries?
Young children don’t have the motor or cognitive skills to avoid injuries. Children may slip or trip and experience a brain injury, but they could also run out into the street ahead of an oncoming car or cyclist and be struck. There are simply more opportunities for children to experience serious injuries than there are for adults.
Do children have different brain injury symptoms than adults?
Usually, yes. It’s very normal for children to display specific signs of brain injury that adults do not. Keep in mind that a child may also have typical brain injury symptoms, too—like nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to different stimuli (light, touch, etc.).
Some examples of signs of brain injuries unique to children include:
- Different eating and sleeping patterns
- Difficulty hearing
- Minimized attention span
- Difficulty shifting attention
- Change in bladder or bowel function
Do brain injuries cause other conditions?
Since brains direct the whole body, injuries to them could lead to additional conditions and health problems.
These may include:
- Mood disorders
- Conditions associated with brain cell breakdown (like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s)
- Mobility issues (commonly associated with secondary conditions like pressure sores)
Why does my spouse act differently after a brain injury?
It is normal for people to act and behave differently after a brain injury. Some of these changes are temporary. In other cases, behavioral changes caused by brain injuries can last a lifetime. If you have questions about how your loved one is acting after a brain injury, you can ask their care provider for more information.
Who can be held liable for a brain injury?
If you think about how common brain injuries are, it’s easy to imagine that many different people and entities might responsible. If you can prove a party was responsible, they can be held legally liable for compensating you for your injuries.
Some examples of who can be held liable for a Brookly brain injury accident include:
- Drivers (car, truck, motorcycle, etc.)
- Property owners
- Government entities
- Child and senior care providers
- Medical care providers
What Are the Symptoms of Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries, whether TBIs or ABIs, can have a very broad array of symptoms. They can manifest physically, mentally, or psychologically, or with a combination of these categories. Symptoms include but are not limited to the following.
- Loss of consciousness (from several minutes to hours)
- Repeated vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of pupils
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
- Confusion or disorientation
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Speech problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of balance
- Ringing in ears
- Light sensitivity
- Problems with senses, such as hearing, smell, or taste
- Issues with memory or concentration
- Mood swings
- Difficulty processing information
- Difficulty with written or oral expression
- Difficulty understanding others
- Changes in attention span
- Inability to understand abstract concepts
- Difficulty making decisions
Who Is Liable for Brain Injuries?
If someone has injured you or a loved one and caused a brain injury, it’s natural to wonder who is liable. Liability is a legal concept meaning “a legally enforceable claim on the assets … of an individual.” Liability, in turn, rests on the concept of negligence. Members of the public are owed a duty of care by other people in certain circumstances.
Vehicle drivers, for example, owe a duty of care to operate those vehicles safely, prudently, and according to laws. Property owners owe a duty of care to maintain safe premises. Landlords and store owners, for example, need to maintain their property in a safe condition. Employers owe a duty of care to maintain safe workplaces and abide by the law concerning workplace safety.
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to treat patients according to a generally accepted standard of care and not to harm their patients. Manufacturers of products must take care that their products are safe and free from defects.
If these standards of care are violated, the person or entity who violated the duty of care is said to be negligent. By exhibiting negligence, they have made themselves liable for injuries that were directly caused by the negligence.
What does liability mean to you in real terms? It means that the law allows you to seek redress in the form of compensation for damages that resulted from the injury or harm occasioned by negligence. You can best see this through the following examples of accidents could cause brain injuries, and the liability that accrues to the negligent parties:
- A car driver who went through a red light, striking your car
- A trucking company which failed to maintain adequate brakes on its trucks, after the driver couldn’t stop for you at an intersection
- A landlord who failed to repair a broken stair, causing you to fall two flights down
- A toy manufacturer whose rocket launcher strikes your child in the head
- A local gym whose lifeguards fail to see your child nearly drowning in time to prevent brain damage
- A doctor who deprives your baby of oxygen during delivery
- A convenience store owner who fails to clean up spilled liquid, causing you to slip and fall
- A nursing home whose staff gives the wrong medication to an elderly patient, causing severe convulsions
What Are the Potential Damages for a Brain Injury?
In general, the law allows people injured by negligence to seek damages for the following.
- Compensation for medical bills incurred for treatment, including emergency services, doctor’s visits, surgeries, hospitalizations, prescribed medication, physical therapy, and more
- Compensation for estimated future medical bills
- Compensation for wages lost from work, if treatment or your injury itself causes you to lose time from work
- Compensation for estimated wages likely to be lost from work in the future
- Compensation for pain and suffering, under certain conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia
- Compensation for property damage, often for your car or other property
Car Accidents in New York State
Most car drivers know that New York is a no-fault state for car insurance, which means that all drivers are required to go first to their own insurance companies in the case of a car accident. This is the law regardless of who was at fault for the accident and injuries.
So, does negligence apply?
In most cases involving minor damage, no. But New York law allows a person who is seriously injured to step outside of no-fault. The law defines serious injury as at least one of the following conditions.
- Broken bone
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of a body function or use
- Substantial disability for 90 days
As brain injury can cause the last three in certain conditions, people who have suffered brain injuries may be able to step outside of the no-fault system. In those cases, you may either seek damages via the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or a personal injury lawsuit.
In New York, anyone who owns a vehicle is mandated to have insurance with the following minimum coverages:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per person if you cause a car accident
- $50,000 total liability bodily injury coverage per accident if you cause it, no matter how many people are injured
- $10,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident if you cause it
- $50,000 in personal injury protection coverage for no-fault
Given the current cost of medical treatment and the potential severity of brain injuries, the required minimums may be too low to provide you with fair compensation. In that case, it may be better to pursue a personal injury case.
If You Need Help With a Brain Injury in Brooklyn
In any case where an injury victim steps outside of no fault, approaches an insurance company for just compensation, or needs to bring a personal injury suit, an experienced Brooklyn brain injury lawyer can help. The initial consultation with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is always free, as we review your case and discuss it with you. Then going forward, no attorney’s fees are charged unless we secure a successful settlement or award.
When you retain us, you’ve retained a skilled, seasoned legal team to fight on your side—from accident investigators to financial and medical experts to lawyers with a proven track record of obtaining successful awards for their clients. You get personal attention, and vast resources to go against big insurance companies. We can even help you find doctors to assist with your medical treatment, as well as file disability claims.
If you have received brain injuries due to the fault of another party in Brooklyn, contact our attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
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