Hempstead Brain Injury Lawyer
Our clients who have suffered brain injuries find themselves facing an often terrifying and confusing future. Brain injuries, perhaps more than most other kinds of accidental injuries, impact not just how our clients perceive themselves, but how others see and understand them. Recovering from a brain injury takes courage and perseverance. It also, frequently, takes significant financial resources that many clients do not have without our help.
People incur brain injuries, from “mild” concussions to “traumatic brain injuries” (or TBIs), in a wide variety of accidents and incidents, from car accidents to falls.
The Hempstead personal injury attorneys at Jacoby and Meyers, LLP, are dedicated in representing victims of brain injuries. Our mission is to help our clients obtain every penny of compensation they deserve from anyone whose actions did them harm. If you need a lawyer after an accident leaves you or a family member struggling with a brain injury, contact us today.
About Our Hempstead, New York Brain Injury Practice
For decades, the attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have helped victims of accidental injuries recover money damages from those whose poor decisions and wrongful actions caused harm. With offices throughout the Tri-State area, including Hempstead, our team of dedicated lawyers works tirelessly to seek justice and accountability on behalf of our injured clients.
A major focus of our practice involves representing clients who have suffered severe brain injuries in accidents. Our results speak for themselves, including multi-million recoveries on behalf of several car accident survivors who suffered a traumatic brain injury, and one of the largest jury verdicts ever against a nursing home that neglected a patient, causing him to sustain brain damage that ultimately caused his death.
Past results alone cannot guarantee any client that their case will end in a large verdict or settlement. But our Hempstead brain injury lawyers can promise to work day-in, day-out to achieve the best possible outcome for every injured client and grieving family member we represent.
“Here is a company who cares and gets community relations right! It’s so refreshing to witness Jacoby & Meyers take such an active interest in the residents and the community of the bronx.” -Lucy M.
About Brain Injuries
Brain injuries fall into two general categories: traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and non-traumatic brain injuries. We have represented clients with both types. Either can have severe, life-altering consequences for victims and their families.
Traumatic Brain Injury
“A traumatic brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a severe head injury. It is caused by a blow to the head or body, a wound that breaks through the skull (such as from a gunshot), a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain. This can cause bruising, swelling, or tearing of brain tissue.”
TBI can happen both from the initial blow that inflicts direct damage to brain tissue, and from subsequent damage inflicted as a consequence of swelling and bleeding, which exerts pressure on brain tissue, disrupts blood flow to brain cells, or changes chemical balances in the brain.
As the quote above reflects, TBIs vary in their severity. At one end of the spectrum are concussions (sometimes referred to as “mild traumatic brain injury” or simply “mTBI”). Most people sustain a concussion at some point in their lives, whether from “getting their bell run” while playing sports, or falling and hitting their head so hard that they “see stars.”. For some people, a concussion feels anything but minor. Some concussions leave victims contending with long-lasting “post-concussive syndrome” symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, “brain fog,” and sleep disruption. In other words, just because concussions are called “minor” doesn’t mean they will have only “minor” effects.
At the other end of the spectrum are TBIs that cause extensive damage to brain tissue and nerve connections (called “axons”). Because the brain is the “nerve center” of the body, significant trauma to brain tissue can have a severe, negative impact on a wide range of functioning, such as:
- Cognitive impairments, including loss of consciousness or permanent semi-consciousness, memory loss, and problems with thinking and reasoning;
- Motor difficulties, such as loss of feeling, paralysis, weakness, and unsteadiness/balance problems;
- Perceptual/sensory impairments, meaning changes in a person’s ability to see (including problems with depth perception), hear, smell, taste, or feel;
- Communication/language difficulty, such as forgetting words, struggling to understand, and losing the capacity to read or to comprehend;
- Functional/executive disabilities that make it difficult to perform day-to-day tasks, like not remembering how to cook a meal;
- Social struggles affecting a person’s ability to interact with and relate to others;
- Regulatory impairments, including sleep disruption and loss of bladder/bowel control;
- Personality or psychiatric struggles, especially depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, and difficulty regulating mood; and
- Traumatic epilepsy, a seizure disorder.
All, some, or none of these symptoms might accompany any given TBI. Every case varies, and even the symptoms a single TBI survivor experiences may evolve from one day, week, or month to the next. Doctors seek to treat TBI with a range of physical, occupational, and psycho-therapies, medications, and suggested changes in lifestyle. Many TBI victims improve in time, but recovery from a TBI can be a long, frustrating process that strains emotions, relationships, and family finances.
Non-Traumatic Brain Injury
A jolt or blow to the head is not the only way to injure your brain. A non-traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain sustains damage from factors other than a violent external force. These include stroke (a blocked or burst blood vessel in the brain), encephalitis (brain inflammation), and cerebral hypoxia (when the brain does not get enough oxygen). The causes of these modes of non-traumatic brain damage vary, but commonly include viruses, infections, cardiovascular events (like a heart attack), and accidental drowning.
The outcomes of non-traumatic brain injury resemble those for TBI. A non-traumatic brain injury can leave a survivor with the same forms of difficulties and deficits as those listed for TBI above.
Accidents and Incidents Resulting in Brain Injury
As we noted earlier, our clients have sustained brain injuries in a variety of ways. Some of the most common accidents and incidents that bring clients through our doors at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, in Hempstead include:
- Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of TBI in the United States. Any time a vehicle collides with another, or rolls over, or runs into a tree, drivers and passengers sustain violent blows and jolts to their heads.
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents tend to throw riders to the ground or against a solid object or structure, causing head trauma and a wide range of TBIs from mild to severe. Riders can substantially reduce their risk of brain injury by wearing a helmet. In New York, the law requires all motorcyclists, and all bicyclists ages 14 and under, to wear a helmet. But regardless of your age, wearing a helmet could save your life.
- Falls, especially for older adults, represent a major cause of TBIs. You might think that a person would have to fall from a significant height to sustain a major TBI, but in fact, the force of the blow to your head that you can take from, say, slipping and falling on a hard floor or icy sidewalk can cause widespread damage to brain tissue.
- Athletics. Playing sports, both contact sports and any sport where you could risk a blow to your head in a fall or careless accident, can leave a person suffering from a significant TBI. Research indicates younger female athletes, in particular, face a high risk of concussions in contact sports, but any athlete could suffer a concussion. All parents, coaches, and young athletes must get educated on how to prevent and identify concussions, and what to do when they encounter them.
- Explosions can cause blast-induced traumatic brain injury, a condition frequently observed in soldiers who have been in combat, but which may also affect first responders at dangerous fires, and anyone who is not careful around fireworks.
- Gunshot wounds cause most TBIs resulting from “penetrating” injuries. The vast majority of those are self-inflicted. Recovery from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head is unlikely. Anyone who contemplates any type of self harm should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text Got5 to 741741 for help.
- Choking and drowning cut off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in TBI from cerebral hypoxia. Choking and drowning represent severe risks for children in particular.
- Medical mistakes can put patients at risk of stroke, hypoxia, or encephalitis, all of which can inflict a non-traumatic TBI. More rarely, a medical mistake during surgery may result in damage to brain tissue.
Who Should Pay for Hempstead Brain Injuries
In most of the accidental brain injuries we have seen over our decades of practice at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, in Hempstead, the vast majority have happened because of the careless or reckless actions of someone other than the injured victim. Below is a list of some of the “usual suspects” we typically witness having legal liability for our TBI clients’ injuries.
Vehicle Drivers and Others Who Cause Accidents
Drivers of vehicles that get into collisions that cause TBIs for occupants of their own or other vehicles frequently have legal liability for damages. That is because in Hempstead, as elsewhere around the Tri-State area, the law says a driver who acts negligently or recklessly behind the wheel must pay for injuries those actions cause. By the same token, if someone else is legally responsible for a driver’s conduct, such as the employer of a driver operating a commercial vehicle, or the doctor of a driver who takes to the road without having been warned that a new medication causes drowsiness, may also face legal liability to those harmed in an accident.
New York law holds the owners or operators of public and private property responsible for injuries to visitors, though the “duties” these owners or operators owe to visitors vary case-by-case. Business owners who “invite” the public onto their premises have the strictest obligation to keep visitors safe from harm. Private property owners who allow someone onto their property have a duty not to warn visitors of unreasonably dangerous conditions.
Both types of property owners owe few, if any, obligations to keep trespassers safe from harm, except when the trespassers are children who have entered a property because of a so-called “attractive nuisance,” such as an un-gated swimming pool or an open trampoline. Some of the most tragic cases of TBI result from children entering a neighbor’s property to play, only to drown or take a horrific fall.
Supervisors of Youth Athletics
Every parent understands, and usually signs a waiver acknowledging, that signing a child up to play a sport comes with certain risks. One of those is the child taking a nasty blow to the head. That said, no child should take the field under the supervision of an adult—be it a coach, a ref, or a league organizer—who is not trained in concussion protocols and who does not supervise the sport in a manner that prevents, as much as possible, head injuries from occurring. Adults who put young athletes in harm’s way may face liability for their negligence.
Consumer products come with “warranties”—both explicit and implicit—that they are suitable for their intended use, and (in most cases) not unreasonably dangerous. A product that has a defect that makes it dangerous can fail and, in some instances, cause an accident that leaves the user of the product suffering from a TBI. In that case, New York law may hold the manufacturer of the product liable for damages.
Healthcare workers take an oath to “do no harm” and, for the most part, they succeed. But every once in a while, a medical professional makes a mistake that results in catastrophic consequences for a patient, such as a TBI that causes a patient’s death. In those cases, the law can hold the medical professional liable for damages.
Hempstead, New York Brain Injury Attorneys
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have witnessed firsthand the suffering a brain injury can inflict on victims and families. Hempstead residents and visitors whose lives are turned upside-down by a brain injury caused by another party’s negligence have the right to compensation. The skilled lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help. Call us at (516) 542-0931 or contact us online today.