Newark Brain Injury Attorney
As humans, there arguably is no organ more important than the brain. The brain allows you to think, to make decisions, and to perform everyday functions like walking, talking, and moving. Because your brain controls so much of your function, even a minor injury can cause serious damage. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, approximately 235,000 people are hospitalized each year because of traumatic brain injuries. That’s not accounting for the thousands more that suffer from non-traumatic brain injuries every year.
If you or a loved one is dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact the Newark Brain Injury lawyers at Jacoby and Meyers, LLP, at (973) 643-2707 for a free case evaluation.
Understanding the Different Types of Brain Injuries
Doctors categorize brain injuries in two basic ways—traumatic brain injuries and non-traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries result from an external trauma such as a blow to the head or penetrating wound. Non-traumatic brain injury covers injuries external forces do not cause, such as injuries that occur because of oxygen deprivation or illness. It is important to understand that the lawyers at Jacoby and Meyers are not medical professionals, and the following symptoms are not all-inclusive. If you suspect a brain injury, contact a healthcare provider right away. Common injuries include:
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury, shortened to TBI, covers a wide range of brain injuries. TBIs are rated on a Glasgow Coma Scale, indicating the level of trauma and the body’s response to the injury. Higher scores indicate a better prognosis. A mild traumatic brain injury usually scores very high on the Glasgow Scale. The person may or may not lose consciousness. Even a “mild” TBI can result in long-term side effects and trouble returning to pre-injury cognition.
Symptoms may include:
- Temporary loss of consciousness (usually lasting less than a few minutes)
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
Severe traumatic brain injuries are generally the result of an extensive trauma such as a penetrating wound or a serious accident. These injuries almost always lead to some sort of permanent deficit. Long term rehabilitation is usually required, and will likely not return the patient to pre-injury levels. Symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensory issues
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of movement
Anoxic Brain Injuries
An anoxic brain injury is a non-traumatic brain injury caused by a total lack of oxygen to the brain. When the brain does not get enough oxygen, the cells within the brain begin to die. It only takes four minutes without oxygen before the person is at risk for permanent brain damage. These injuries can occur as a result of a near-drowning experience or choking. If you suspect an anoxic brain injury, be on the lookout for:
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
- Problems with coordination or walking
Hypoxic Brain Injuries
Like anoxic brain injuries, hypoxic brain injuries result from a lack of oxygen. However, these injuries happen more gradually. The cell death is slower, and the symptoms may be delayed. This may be the result of suffocation or chemical exposure. Symptoms may include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of consciousness
How Do Brain Injuries Occur?
Accidents are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Often, at the time of an accident, it’s difficult to comprehend how someone else’s actions had a direct impact on your injury. Some of the most common causes of brain injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: In one recent year, 278,413 motor vehicle accidents took place in New Jersey. Over 21 percent of these accidents resulted in injury. In 2014, motor vehicle accidents contributed to 20.4 percent of all TBI hospitalizations in the United States.
- Falls: Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Older adults and young children are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury. Falls can happen anywhere but often occur on wet surfaces or uneven walkways.
- Swimming pool accidents: Private homeowners and apartment complex owners have a responsibility to make sure the area around their pool is secure and safe. These accidents can happen when a pool owner does not properly lock a gate, does not install legally required alarms or hold the proper permits. It takes minutes for a child to disappear in a pool and suffer permanent brain damage.
- Medical complications: Brain injuries can happen as the result of a doctor or other caregiver’s actions or negligence. These injuries may occur because of mechanical injury to the brain or a loss of oxygen because of a non-related issue. These injuries can be difficult to prove but lead to irreparable damage. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you file a medical malpractice suit against the involved medical professionals.
- Violence: We don’t often associate violence with brain injuries, but acts of violence including gunshots and intimate partner violence are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries.
- Sporting events: We are learning more and more about the negative effects sports injuries can have on the brain. Repeated blows to the head can cause long term damage. Coaches, athletic directors, and school officials are responsible for ensuring children follow all proper safety protocol.
- Toxic chemical/mold exposure: Landlords and employers have a duty to provide a safe place to work or live. Toxic chemicals and mold can deprive the brain of oxygen and cause severe and permanent damage. Often, symptoms don’t appear until months or years of exposure. If the property owner knew about the issue or failed to do anything to prevent exposure or development of the issue, they may be responsible for damages.
Living With a Brain Injury
No two brain injuries are alike. People suffering from the same injuries may suffer different effects. It’s important to understand that symptoms of a brain injury don’t always appear right away. If you think you or a loved one may have a brain injury, go to the doctor right away.
After a brain injury, your doctor will try to determine the extent of your injury. This will typically involve medical imaging as well as visual testing. The doctor will examine your responsiveness, vision, and your ability to move and speak. Medical testing may include:
- CT Scans
- Intracranial Pressure Measuring
Recovery can be extensive and require lifelong care. Because the brain controls so much of what we do, rehabilitation often includes physical and psychological therapy. Treatment options may include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Chiropractic care
Recovering From the Financial Costs of a Brain Injury
The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah estimates that approximately 80,000 Americans experience long term disabilities following a traumatic brain injury every year. Patients with severe brain injuries face an estimated lifetime cost of over $4 million. When an accident happens because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your loss. A personal injury attorney can help you recover costs associated with your medical treatment and other economic and non-economic costs. This may include:
Severe brain injuries require extensive medical treatment. In many cases, the patient will need lifelong rehabilitative treatment or nursing care. Treatment immediately following an accident may include surgery, hospital stays, and medication such as pain relievers and antibiotics. Brain injuries often result in medical complications or ongoing symptoms including headaches, mood changes, and vertigo. In this case, the patient will need additional treatment. A personal injury case can help you recover most, if not all of the costs associated with your medical care. This includes medical transportation, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, medical equipment, therapy, and rehabilitation.
A brain injury can completely change your life and your ability to complete tasks. A job that once came easy may be difficult to complete. Brain injuries can affect your ability to concentrate, process, and communicate. The associated symptoms like headaches can also interfere with your work. If you miss time from work because of your injury, it can be difficult to keep up financially. A personal injury attorney can help you fight to recover any lost wages related to your injury. If you are unable to return to work, you may be able to claim future lost wages or lost earning capacity. This is usually calculated by looking at your average wage before the accident and your age.
Serious brain injuries can interfere with your ability to walk or move around with the same ease that you did before your injury. In this case, it may make sense to make accessibility modifications to your residence. If your injury means that you require a wheelchair, this would likely include a wheelchair ramp and the widening of doorways.
Other home modifications may include:
- Accessible showers and tubs
- Transfer benches
- Modified/lowered countertops
We do so many tasks and chores every day that we take for granted—simple things like cooking, cleaning, or gardening. If you suffer a brain injury, you may not have the ability to do these tasks. This change is through no fault of your own. The law allows you to recover the costs associated with hiring someone to help you with these chores. This is achieved by proving the necessity of these tasks, your previous participation in these tasks, and your inability to do them now.
Expenses for common services that you may need to include in your personal injury case include:
- House cleaning services
- Gardening/lawn mowing service
- Meal preparation services
- Transportation services
- Personal assistant/caregiver
Pain and Suffering
It’s hard to put a value on the non-economic costs of an injury. This includes the pain and suffering you endure as the result of an accident. There is no simple way to calculate the physical and emotional toll an injury has on a person’s life. Generally, insurance companies or a potential jury will look at the severity of your injury and what kind of effect it has on your day-to-day life.
Are you in constant pain? Has your injury affected your ability to work, walk, or participate in recreational activities? What type of effect has your injury had on your personal relationships? Various components constitute pain and suffering and the amount of recovery will vary from case to case.
Common costs include:
- Immediate or chronic pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
Jacoby and Meyers, LLP: Your Newark Brain Injury Attorneys
At Jacoby and Meyers, LLP, we know how difficult it can be to process an injury after an accident. This is especially true after a brain injury. We rely so much on our ability to do simple tasks without much thought or effort. When an accident changes this it can be hard to process. Our legal team treats each case with the care and compassion it deserves.
It’s hard to place a value on the loss you are going through. We understand this, and will fight aggressively for your rights and a just resolution to your case. While money can’t take away your injuries and pain, it can make the recovery process easier. After an accident, you should not have to worry about the cost of your medical treatment and whether you can afford to get the care you need.
In New Jersey, the law allows accident victims two years to file a personal injury suit. The timeframe starts on the day of your injury. If you were injured, don’t wait. The lawyers at Jacoby and Meyers, LLP, are here to help.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, contact the law office of Jacoby and Meyers, LLP, right away. Our Newark office is located at 550 Broad Street, suite 608 Newark, NJ 07102. Call us at (973) 643-2707 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation today.
Our Newark Brain Injury Lawyers Answer Your Questions
Suffering any injury causes fear and frustration. Following a severe injury, you may not know exactly what the future holds for you. Brain injuries often present significant anxiety for injured individuals.
A severe accident may result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This may include a car accident, workplace accident, medical malpractice, or another event.
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we provide our clients with a compassionate and aggressive legal approach. Our goal is to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries by holding the negligent party liable for the accident.
You may have countless questions about what comes next for you or your loved one after suffering a TBI. Below, we answer some of the most common questions that we hear from TBI victims and their families. To learn more about what we can do for you and have your specific questions answered, CONTACT Jacoby & Meyers LLP today.
What causes brain injuries?
Severe accidents commonly cause brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs most frequently result from blows to the head and can range in severity from mild to severe.
Many events may cause a TBI. Almost half of all TBIs annually are actually caused by falling. These injuries often occur in children and the elderly.
Other causes of TBIs include:
- Sport injuries
- Vehicle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Criminal activity
You do not need to suffer a blow directly to the head to sustain a TBI. The most common example of this is getting into a rear-end collision. When someone strikes your car from behind, your body moves forward, but your head snaps back in the impact’s direction. Your head may not come into contact with any hard object, but you could still sustain a TBI.
This happens because your head moves so violently inside your skull that the brain smashes into the back of your skull, causing a brain injury. Often alongside whiplash, you can suffer a brain injury with no impact on your head.
What are some of the different types of brain injuries?
There are several types of brain injuries. You should take all injuries involving the brain seriously, as they can prove life-threatening.
- Concussion. The most well-known TBI, concussions result from a sudden change in movement. This is one type of TBI that can result without a direct blow to the head. While concussions are rarely deadly, they are often difficult to diagnose. You cannot diagnose a concussion through an imaging test. A doctor may need to evaluate a patient, asking questions and watching for certain reactions to make a clear determination. Recovering from a concussion requires that you follow your doctor’s recommendations. This will probably include getting adequate rest. You may start to feel better after just a few days, but you need to keep resting. Once you have suffered one concussion, it becomes more likely that you will suffer more in the future, so resting properly and letting your body fully heal is vital to your recovery.
- Brain contusion. Imagine a bruise on your arm, how it gets sore, changes color, and is often painful to touch. That’s what happens to your brain when you suffer a contusion. This type of TBI is often caused by a direct blow to the head, like in a car accident when your head hits the dash or the steering wheel. The damage to your brain usually occurs directly at the point of impact, though it can happen anywhere. A brain contusion, if serious enough, may cause an injured individual to lose consciousness. After you suffer a brain contusion, you may also experience confusion, tiredness, mood changes, and agitation.
- Penetration. When an object penetrates the skull, a TBI can result. These penetrating brain injuries can cause fragments of the skull to make contact with the brain, causing serious injuries beyond the penetration itself. Severe car accidents where objects travel at high speeds and strike a victim in the head can cause penetrating brain injuries. They can also result from a slip and fall where the skull cracks and pieces of the skull come into contact with the brain. Criminal activity can also cause penetrating brain injuries, like from a gunshot wound.
- Anoxic. When the brain does not receive sufficient oxygen to operate correctly, anoxic brain injuries may result. A brain needs oxygen to survive, and if deprived of oxygen for as little as four minutes, brain cells become damaged and die. Anoxic TBIs often occur when there is a blockage of blood flow elsewhere in the body. It can happen after a stroke, heart attack, or serious accident.
How do I know if I have a claim?
When you or a loved one suffers a TBI, the last thing on your mind is probably a lawsuit. However, legal action may prove necessary to help you get the medical attention you need to recover from your TBI.
If someone else caused the accident where you suffered a TBI, you may have a claim for negligence against that party.
To recover compensation, you need to prove:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to act safely and keep others safe.
- The at-fault party breached that duty of care.
- The breach caused your accident.
- You suffered a TBI in the accident.
Essentially, you are trying to prove that someone else’s negligence directly caused your TBI. To prove that, you need the guidance of an experienced Newark brain injury lawyer. Your lawyer can help you prove that the other person’s negligence caused your injuries. Your lawyer can also investigate your accident and determine if anyone else may share in the responsibility. Holding the right parties accountable is vital to your ability to collect compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries.
If your TBI resulted from criminal activity, the criminal may face charges and even a trial. Many victims think that a criminal trial will take the place of a traumatic brain injury lawsuit and help them recover compensation, but this is inaccurate. If found guilty, a court may order the criminal to pay you restitution, but this amount of money likely won’t cover what you need to recover. Contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP to determine your best option for recovering compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries.
What damages should I expect to receive?
When you file a traumatic brain injury claim, your goal is to collect compensation so that you do not have to pay a penny out of your own pocket to cover your medical expenses.
Your lawyer may try to recover compensation on your behalf for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
TBIs are serious injuries and may change your life forever. This might mean that you cannot return to work for a long time, if at all. When you can’t work, the accident will place intense pressure on your financial situation—so intense, in fact, that your family may feel the need to work extra jobs just to make ends meet.
The financial windfall from your TBI accident is not your family’s burden to bear. By working with a skilled Newark brain injury attorney, your family can support you during your recovery instead of worrying about paying the bills and making up for lost income.
Do I have to file a claim soon?
Yes—injured individuals have a limited time to file their claims. Called a statute of limitations, New Jersey law limits the amount of time that you have to just two years after the date of your accident.
This might seem like a long time, but consider all the hurdles you may soon face:
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple surgeries
- Extended time out of work
- In facility rehabilitation
- Multiple doctor visits
- Prescription medication
- In-home care
Each of these steps on your path to recovery will not only cost lots of money, but will also take time. If you do not have a legal advocate fighting to protect your rights and working toward the goal of collecting maximum compensation on your behalf, you may miss out on your chance to hold the negligent party financially responsible for your injuries. This could result in you and your family shouldering the financial burden to cover your medical bills and other financial losses.
Will I have to go to court?
Most traumatic brain injury cases settle out of court. We know that most people do not want to go to court and deal with the anxiety that comes with being in front of a judge. That’s why we work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement for you.
Sometimes, however, insurance companies refuse to settle. They may attempt to employ scare tactics, or they really might not believe that your injuries are as bad as you claim. Either way, unlike some law firms, we are not afraid to go to court if that’s what we need to do to get you maximum compensation.
I’ve already received a settlement offer. Why do I need a lawyer?
Receiving a settlement offer often causes excitement. You may think that it’s finally time to put this tragic chapter of your life behind you and move on with your recovery.
However, we urge caution when the at-fault insurance company calls you with a quick settlement offer. Consider why the insurance company is offering you a quick offer before you have a chance to speak with a lawyer. It’s usually because the initial settlement offer is in the insurance company’s best interest and doesn’t reflect the true value of your case.
You need an advocate looking out for your best interests. That’s why you need an experienced Newark brain injury lawyer, even if you have already received a settlement offer. What the insurance company will not tell you is that when you sign the offer, you waive your right to bring any future claims against them for this accident in the future.
Brain injury victims and their families often vastly underestimate the amount of money that it will take to recover from such injuries. If they take a settlement offer without the guidance of a skilled attorney, they could end up missing out on potential compensation.
If you accept a low-ball initial settlement offer, you could end up paying for your medical expenses and shouldering the financial losses associated with your brain injury. At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we have the experience necessary to help you stand up to the big insurance companies and get maximum compensation for you.
I think my spouse may have suffered a brain injury. What symptoms should I look out for?
Before concerning yourself with symptoms, ask yourself if your spouse was recently involved in an accident in which they could have suffered a TBI. If your spouse recently fell or got into a car accident, then look out for some of the most common symptoms of TBI.
You should pay close attention to specific signs and symptoms of a TBI, including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sudden fatigue
- Sudden change in mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
If you notice these symptoms in your spouse after an incident in which he or she may have suffered a blow to the head, seek immediate medical attention. Receiving a full medical evaluation will help ensure that your spouse makes as full a recovery as possible.
How can a Newark lawyer help me?
After you or a loved one suffers a brain injury, your biggest concern should be his or her recovery. Unfortunately for many TBI victims, that recovery takes a long time and may never come. That’s what makes brain injuries so debilitating. Because they can affect your ability to live a regular life, recovering from such injuries may require a substantial change in circumstances. It may also require a substantial amount of money to cover the often astronomical medical expenses associated with TBIs.
That’s where a skilled Newark personal injury lawyer can help. With the right legal team at your side, guiding you through the complex brain injury claims process, you can focus all of your effort and energy on your health and well-being. Your lawyer takes on the burden of investigating your accident and working to hold the negligent party liable and will partner with medical experts to determine your prognosis and get an understanding of how much money you will need to recover from your injuries.
The legal team at Jacoby & Meyers LLP has the experience you’re looking for and will provide you with compassionate and aggressive legal advocacy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover compensation for your traumatic brain injury.
550 Broad Street suite 608
Newark NJ 07102
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