Edison Brain Injury Lawyer
Life with a traumatic brain injury often looks very different than it did before the accident, both for the victims of those injuries and for the loved ones who share life with them. Slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, and auto accidents can all leave you with traumatic brain injury through no fault of your own.
A personal injury claim cannot restore your brain to normal function—but if you suffered your traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another party, a personal injury claim can help provide the funds you need to move forward with your life. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation with our personal injury team.
The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on Your Life
In the movies, traumatic brain injuries looks primarily like the loss of long-term memories. In reality, however, a traumatic brain injury often has more serious implications for every part of the victim’s life. Depending on the severity of the traumatic brain injury, victims may face ongoing challenges in their daily lives.
Physical Implications of Traumatic Brain Injury
Following a traumatic brain injury, many victims experience physical symptoms that limit them as they go about their daily lives. They may experience:
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in sensory perception, including the way they perceive heat, cold, smell, or taste
- Visual disturbances, including blurred vision or tunnel vision
- Sleep disturbances
While some of these symptoms may decrease with time, other victims of traumatic brain injury experience permanent physical symptoms that can make it difficult to move forward with daily activities, whether at home or in the workplace.
Mental Challenges Faced After Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries often cause complications that make it impossible for the victim to return to work or normal activities immediately after the accident. Often, victims suffer from:
- Long-term memory problems. Many victims of a traumatic brain injury suffer from serious memory problems. Some victims notice that these memories return gradually over time, often in response to specific triggers. Other victims may never fully recover some of their memories. In many cases, victims with traumatic brain injuries never fully remember the events surrounding the accident, including the accident itself, time in the hospital, or the events immediately before the accident.
- Short-term memory problems. Most people, at one time or another, will struggle to remember why they walked into a room or what they intended to do with a specific item. Victims who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, on the other hand, may struggle to remember simple things that usually remain in short-term memory: a person’s name, for example, or instructions for a task that needs to be completed. Victims may lose track of where common items throughout their homes get stored, requiring them to label the contents of drawers or cabinets to find things in the home.
- Issues focusing or concentrating. For many people with a traumatic brain injury, keeping attention focused long enough to complete a task becomes incredibly difficult. Victims of a TBI may struggle to concentrate on anything, whether watching television long enough to follow the plot of a story or completing an assignment at work. Unfortunately, this difficulty with focus can make it challenging for many victims of a TBI to return to work immediately following their accidents—and some victims never fully recover their former capacity for focus.
- Confusion and disorientation. Many victims with a traumatic brain injury become confused very easily. Victims may struggle to handle tasks that require a great deal of processing capacity or find themselves struggling to understand what someone else said to them.
The Emotional Challenges of Traumatic Brain Injury
In addition to physical and emotional symptoms, many victims with traumatic brain injuries face substantial emotional symptoms: not just emotional reactions to those injuries and the limitations that go along with them, but emotional disturbance caused by the injury itself. The brain, in addition to handling most cognitive tasks, also regulates emotion.
As a result, people who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury may struggle with:
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Difficulty regulating emotions
- Mood swings
- Inappropriate emotional responses to stimuli
The more severe the injury faced by the victim, the greater the likelihood grows that the victim will have ongoing symptoms. Even some victims with a minor traumatic brain injury have symptoms more than a year after the initial accident. Victims who sustain a severe traumatic brain injury may face years or even a lifetime of symptoms.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After Traumatic Brain Injury
Filing a personal injury claim after a traumatic brain injury can help you seek compensation that, while it may not restore cognitive function or take back the pain and suffering you experience, can take some of the financial pressure off of you after your accident. Consulting an attorney often makes the personal injury claims process easier.
Finding the Responsible Party After Your TBI
After a traumatic brain injury, working with an attorney can help you better determine the party or parties responsible for your injuries. In some cases, multiple parties may bear liability for your injury. Consider these questions:
- Who bore a duty of care to you at the time of the accident? If you visited a store, for example, that store bears a duty of care to all its patrons to ensure a safe shopping experience.
- Who violated that duty of care? In the scenario mentioned above, for example, a store that failed to install handrails along a ramp or stairway in accordance with OSHA regulations could have violated its duty of care. Likewise, a store that did not put up wet floor signs or warn patrons about a slippery space violated its duty of care to visitors to the store.
- Did that violation lead to your traumatic brain injury?If, for example, you slipped and fell in the store, hitting your head on the floor or a nearby wall and causing your traumatic brain injury, the store may bear responsibility for your injuries.
By consulting an attorney, you can often develop a better picture of everyone who shares responsibility for your traumatic brain injury. For example, if a construction company left cords lying about in the store that caused you to trip and fall, that company might share liability for your injuries.
If more than one party caused your traumatic brain injury, you may need to file separate personal injury claims against each liable party to get the full compensation you deserve—and working with an attorney will help decrease the odds that you will miss anyone who owes you compensation for your injuries.
The Compensation You Can Expect for a TBI
After your TBI, you want to know how much compensation you can expect for your injuries. The compensation you receive can help pay your medical bills and make up for the fact that you must stay out of work following your head injury. Your compensation, however, will vary. When you consult an attorney, that attorney may give you a better picture of what compensation you can expect for your traumatic brain injury.
- Who caused your accident?If your TBI occurred in an auto accident, for example, your maximum compensation may stop at the limits of the insurance policy. If the responsible party carries minimum liability coverage, for example, he may carry only $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per individual injured in an accident. Stores, on the other hand, may carry a higher level of liability coverage that will make it easier for you to get the full compensation you deserve.
- How high are your medical costs? The cost of TBI can range, depending on its severity, between $85,000 and $3 million during the injured individual’s lifetime. If you face severe traumatic brain injury, especially with lifelong implications, you may have higher medical expenses than someone who makes a full recovery within a few months or years. The higher your medical expenses, the more compensation you should expect from the insurance company, up to the limits of the policy.
While other people’s results from personal injury claims, including accidents with traumatic brain injury, cannot guarantee the results of your claim, most people with TBI do use several guidelines to help put together their personal injury claims package. These elements usually include:
Medical expenses. After a traumatic brain injury, you will often spend time in the hospital. You may need multiple scans to track your brain’s recovery: after even a mild concussion, doctors want to track progress to ensure that the individual makes a full recovery. When you put together your claims package, talk to your lawyer about all of your medical expenses. You may need to include:
- Follow-up scans and procedures after your accident
- Visits with a physical or occupational therapist to help you relearn how to perform common activities
- Visits with a psychologist or psychiatrist to help manage symptoms of emotional disturbance
Lost wages. Even if you have no physical pain associated with your traumatic brain injury and you have no other injuries from your accident, traumatic brain injury can prevent you from returning to work or from performing your full work duties. If you work in a very focus-oriented profession or one that requires creative thinking or problem-solving, a traumatic brain injury may prevent you from performing those functions the way you did before the accident. You may need limited time at work even when you first return, since you may grow frustrated due to these increased challenges. Including lost wages as part of your personal injury claim can help you get compensation for some of that missed time at work.
Lost earning potential. When you suffer a severe traumatic brain injury, not only can it prevent you from returning to work short-term, it can impact your ability to ever perform that job to the best of your ability again. Some victims who’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury cannot work at all. Others must leave their current jobs behind for a position that requires less focus or comprehension. Filing for lost earning potential can help you return to school or gain certifications that make it possible for you to pursue new job opportunities.
Pain and suffering. A traumatic brain injury may cause physical pain and suffering through nausea, headaches, seizures, and vertigo. In addition, however, it often causes substantial emotional trauma—both because of the emotional regulation difficulties faced by victims with traumatic brain injury and because of the extreme difficulty associated with processing and focus following traumatic brain injury. Many victims with a traumatic brain injury find that they have trouble maintaining relationships or creating new relationships following the injury, especially as interests change or emotional processing remains difficult over time.
The Benefits of Hiring a Brain Injury Attorney for Your TBI Claim
Following a traumatic brain injury, you do not have to have an attorney to file a personal injury claim. Many victims choose to work directly with the responsible party’s insurance company. Attempting to handle the claim on your own, however, can present many difficulties. Many insurance companies will automatically offer a higher settlement when you have an attorney on your side to avoid a prolonged court battle.
In other cases, you may need an attorney to assist with negotiation, help you understand the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, or decrease much of the frustration you feel in dealing with the insurance company yourself. When you hire an attorney to represent you after a traumatic brain injury, you get the reassurance of knowing a dedicated, experienced team will fight to see your interests protected.
Do You Need a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in Edison? Call Us.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in Edison, or are caring for a loved one with a TBI, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, located at 1929 Route 27, Edison, NJ 08817, can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today by filling out a free case evaluation or at (732) 287-6890. One of our compassionate Edison traumatic brain injury associates can help you build a plan for the best path forward.