Queens Brain Injury Attorney
Brain injuries are serious life events that often have long-term consequences for you and your family. Even those who suffer seemingly minor concussions sometimes face lifelong struggles because of their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a preventable traumatic brain injury because of another party’s negligence, you might feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, and various other negative emotions.
New York law permits you to take legal action when another person causes you harm, so you should contact an experienced Queens traumatic brain injury attorney at Jacoby & Meyers LLP as soon as possible to discuss your specific circumstances.
You likely have a multitude of questions about suffering a traumatic brain injury and the legal process to seek compensation for damages. The following answers to frequently asked questions about brain injuries in Queens, traumatic brain injury lawsuits, and the legal process of seeking compensation provide introductory information until you have the opportunity to consult with a lawyer.
Table of Contents
Two Main Types of Brain Injury
Brain injuries fall under one of two categories: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI).
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head—or a penetrating head injury—that disrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI can affect the following:
- Cognitive function – A patient may experience trouble with his or her memory and thinking skills.
- Motor function – A patient may exhibit poor balance, muscle weakness, and signs of other impaired motor function.
- Sensation – A patient may experience damage to such sensations as vision, hearing, and touch. Permanent damage may occur in severe cases.
- Behavior/emotions – Patients with severe TBI are often prone to angry outbursts or depression, behaviors that they may not have exhibited before the injury.
Acquired brain injury (ABI) – While this type of brain injury is non-traumatic, it is still devastating. An ABI occurs at the cellular level within the brain. Many acquired brain injuries involve insufficient oxygen or a lack of oxygen to the brain. Examples of an ABI include:
- Choking or strangulation
- Electrical shock
- Exposure to toxic agents
Other types of brain injuries include:
Second Impact Syndrome
An individual may experience a serious brain injury only to acquire a second one before the first one heals. This type of injury is often referred to as second impact syndrome. A second injury can occur weeks or months after the first and result in brain swelling and other damage.
A concussion is especially serious because signs and/or symptoms may not initially appear. Even if you feel fine after a blow to the head, you should seek medical attention anyway.
Symptoms like dizziness, headaches, and blurred vision may not present until hours or even weeks later. Notifying a medical professional and letting them examine you can help prevent your condition from worsening. Once a doctor knows about your possible concussion, he or she can closely monitor you for any changes.
Severe brain injuries may leave a patient in a coma or, sadly, end the patient’s life. A traumatic injury where an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain is often fatal.
Watching someone you love struggle with a brain injury is upsetting and frustrating. You may feel that there is little you can do to alleviate his or her pain and sadness. You do have legal options that may reduce some of your stress. Worrying about how to pay for your loved one’s care can emotionally drain you.
A personal injury claim is often the best option for pursuing justice for your loved one’s injury. Determining whether you have a claim is where we can help. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we offer free case evaluations. Upon reviewing the details of your case, we will advise as to whether or not it is likely you will be able to collect damages.
What are the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
Brain injuries are sometimes hidden injuries that aren’t diagnosed for days, weeks, or even months after an accident or other event. It’s common for people to suffer head trauma and brush it off because they do not immediately feel symptoms. If you or your loved one has experienced any symptoms, especially if some type of accident or event occurred, you need to let a physician examine you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list these common TBI symptoms:
- Struggles with concentration, thinking clearly, and remembering new information
- Headaches or migraines
- Blurry vision
- Vomiting, nausea, and dizziness
- Balance problems
- Sensitivity to light and loud noises
- Anxiety, depression, and irritability
- Sleep issues that stray from normal habits
The above symptoms might occur any time after head trauma, but some symptoms indicate severe issues that could prove life-threatening. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you need to go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Failure to seek treatment could have fatal consequences.
- A constant headache that gets worse
- Numbness or weakness in the limbs
- Slurred speech
- Trouble waking up after sleep or lost consciousness
- One pupil is larger than the other
- Seizures or convulsions
- Increased disorientation, confusion, or agitation
Keep careful track of your symptoms, so you can share them with your attorney.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
There are a variety of ways a brain injury can occur due to the negligence of someone else. A few examples of how quickly a brain injury can occur include:
Slips and Falls
When you accept an invitation to visit friends or to shop at the mall for a sale, you do so expecting the property is safe from harm. A slip and fall accident happens in a second and the following circumstances can contribute to your fall:
- A wet floor
- A cord across a heavily used path
- A staircase with no handrail
- A parking lot with no lighting
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls are among the leading cause of reported brain injuries. Slip and fall accidents fall under premises liability. Other types of premises liability accidents include:
- A near-drowning of a child in an unsecured pool
- Electrocution due to faulty or exposed wiring
If you or a loved one experienced a brain injury due to an accident on another person’s property, you may be eligible for compensation. No one should pay out-of-pocket expenses due to the negligence of a business or private property owner.
Competitive sports and recreational activities result in approximately 3.8 million brain injuries a year. This number is approximate because as many as 50 percent of brain injuries from sports activities go unreported.
Statistics regarding brain injuries associated with sports activities include:
- The highest rate of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries among all age groups is children.
- Approximately 70 percent of all emergency room visits for sports-related brain injuries are teens and children.
- Young children and teens can take longer to recover from a brain injury than adults.
If your child experiences a blow to the head while playing sports, seek immediate medical attention. Don’t let them convince you they are fine, when in fact, they may have a serious concussion.
The CDC lists car accidents as a close second when it comes to common causes of brain injuries. A violent car accident can leave you with not only a severe brain injury but other injuries such as broken bones or internal bleeding.
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are also at risk of experiencing a serious brain injury due to a reckless driver. Common causes of car accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
According to the CDC, distracted driving is anything that:
- Takes your eyes off the road.
- Removes your hands from the wheel.
- Takes your mind off driving.
Texting and driving do all three. If a distracted driver caused your serious brain injury, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation. Our legal team believes in holding those liable for injuries accountable for their actions.
Brain Injuries and Associated Costs
A severe brain injury can result in expenses that continue throughout the victim’s lifetime. Some patients with traumatic brain injury may require more care than you can provide at home. Placing your loved one in a skilled living facility is a difficult decision but one that can provide your loved one with the around-the-clock care they need.
Average nursing home costs are $8,000 per month or $275 a day. Even if your loved one doesn’t need the services of a skilled living facility, they may require other medical services. Frequent hospitalizations, expensive medications, and future surgeries can quickly exceed your finances.
If your family is experiencing severe financial stress due to a brain injury that was no fault of their own, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today. While each case is different, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How do Queens doctors treat brain injuries?
Each case is different, but doctors typically treat a TBI with one medication, surgery, and rehabilitation. Doctors sometimes prescribe diuretics to drain fluid from the skull, and others need medications to prevent seizures and reduce swelling. When head trauma leads to blood clots, doctors might need to remove blood clots or open the skull to drain excess fluids and relieve pressure. TBI victims who suffer permanent brain damage often need multiple rehabilitative therapies to relearn how to communicate, walk, and perform other common tasks.
How long do I have to take legal action after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Queens?
Under New York law, a three-year statute of limitations applies to the vast majority of scenarios in which someone might suffer a traumatic brain injury. TBI victims must bring a lawsuit within three years from their date of injury.
If a traumatic brain injury stems from medical malpractice, victims have two years and six months to file a medical malpractice claim against the medical professional responsible for the traumatic brain injury. Failure to take action within the deadline could mean missing out on recovering damages for your traumatic brain injury. The law does allow for special circumstances and allows courts to toll, or pause, the statute of limitations.
Delayed discovery in Queens traumatic brain injury claims. Delayed discovery is the most likely exception to toll the statute of limitations in a Queens traumatic brain injury case. Delayed discovery is the idea that, sometimes, victims do not immediately know about their injuries. Many of the symptoms discussed above can also indicate other issues or persist for a prolonged period before someone goes to the doctor.
Children with brain injuries often rely on delayed discovery because parents sometimes do not notice issues until their child misses one or more developmental milestones. New York law begins the statute of limitations time clock from the date someone discovered a traumatic brain injury or should have reasonably discovered the injury. Never assume that if a few years went by, you have no options. An experienced attorney can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.
How much is my Queens brain accident claim worth?
We cannot guarantee a specific amount for your brain accident claim. Your lawyer will evaluate the facts of your case and provide a ballpark estimate, but there is still no guarantee. You can expect that your attorney and the insurance company and/or legal defense team will not agree on the value of your claim. Before settlement negotiations even begin, several factors influence the value of a claim.
- Liability. Traumatic brain injury patients who are partially to blame for their injury receive less compensation than those whose injury was entirely due to the negligence of another party. If you are partially at-fault, you can still collect damages, but the total value of your claim will be less.
- Long-term diagnosis. Some concussions and mild brain injuries heal, and victims go on to live a normal life without complications. Unfortunately, severe brain injuries often lead to permanent brain damage. If you or your loved one’s long-term prognosis includes dealing with complications from permanent damage, it will increase the value of your claim.
- Intentional harm. Assault, gunshots, and other forms of intentional harm can lead to severe brain injuries with permanent damage. In these cases, your attorney will ask for exemplary damages, commonly referred to as punitive damages. Juries award punitive damages to punish defendants for willful harm and deter them from future grossly negligent acts. Punitive damages are rare, but if awarded, they greatly increase the value of a claim.
- Economic losses. Your attorney will add up all the economic losses that you have suffered related to your traumatic brain injury. The more losses you suffer, the higher the value of your claim. Examples of economic losses in traumatic brain injury claims include medical expenses and lost income from missing work. TBI victims who have permanent damages sometimes also recover estimated future economic losses.
- Impact on your life. Brain injuries impact victims’ lives in many meaningful ways. Permanent brain damage reduces injured individuals’ quality of life and interferes with their relationships with other family members. Additionally, TBI victims face physical pain and emotional trauma. The way that an injury impacts someone’s life is often referred to as non-economic damages. Those with more non-economic damages have a higher value claim.
- Insurance policy limits. Depending on the event that led to you or your loved one’s traumatic brain injury, insurance policy limits could impact the value of your claim. This is especially common with traffic accidents. If those responsible for your injuries do not have the financial resources to pay more than their insurance policy limits, you might not recover the full value of your traumatic brain injury claim.
How long will it take before my Queens traumatic brain injury claim resolves?
Brain injuries are among the most serious of all personal injuries, and it can take time to learn if someone will make a full recovery. Unfortunately, this extends the time it takes to settle or litigate your case. Once you have reached your maximum medical improvement, your lawyer can place a monetary value on your case and engage in settlement negotiations with the other side. If negotiations go well, you could see a quick resolution. On the other hand, if negotiations drag on and you ultimately have to go to trial, you might have to wait two or more years before your claim is resolved.
Should I accept an early settlement offer for my Queens traumatic brain injury claim?
You should never accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without consulting with an attorney, at the very least. Insurance companies prioritize their bottom lines and avoid payouts as much as possible. The insurance company involved with your traumatic brain injury claim will investigate the event that led to your injury and make an internal decision on whether their policyholder was negligent and thus liable for damages.
When carriers are certain that their policyholder is at fault, they strategize about how to pay the least amount possible on a claim. One common strategy is to make a quick, lowball offer to the injured individual.
These offers often prove tempting, especially if you are feeling the financial pressure that comes with massive medical expenses and lost income from missing work. When you accept one of these lowball offers, you give up your right to bring a lawsuit and seek further compensation at a future date. This can leave you without the funds you need for future care and treatment, especially if your traumatic brain injury caused permanent damage.
It’s best to consider an early offer as a starting point for negotiations and to let your attorney work on increasing the settlement account so that you receive maximum compensation for your traumatic brain injury.
Can I afford to retain a Queens traumatic brain injury attorney?
Fear about the cost of legal representation sometimes prevents people from contacting a lawyer, even when they need one. Traumatic brain injury attorneys like ours do not charge an upfront retainer, like other types of lawyers. People who suffer injuries because of the negligence of another party deserve legal counsel to help pursue justice and compensation. You can afford to hire a Queens traumatic brain injury attorney because they take cases on a contingent fee basis.
When you have an initial case evaluation with your attorney, you will discuss the details of your accident and injuries. If you have a viable claim and decide to hire an attorney, you sign an agreement that allows your lawyer to deduct attorney fees and other costs of representation from any compensation that you receive for your injuries.
How can a Queens traumatic brain injury lawyer help me?
Many assume that traumatic brain injury lawyers simply draft documents and file paperwork for a lawsuit. However, lawyers do far more; they advocate for their clients through every step of the legal process and engage in activities that help build a strong case against the other side.
Examples of things that attorneys do to help those that suffer a traumatic brain injury include:
- Investigate your injury. The exact situation that led to your traumatic brain injury will impact the things your lawyer needs to investigate. Ultimately, attorneys look to uncover all the facts of a case, including things that law enforcement or others missed. This includes gathering evidence, such as police reports, medical records, other documents, witness statements, cell phone records, video footage, and anything else to support your claim.
- Consult experts. Your lawyer needs to place a monetary value on your claim. This sometimes requires reaching out to a network of experts to help quantify the more difficult aspects of your claim or provide evidence. Examples of experts that your lawyer might consult include medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and life care planners.
- Communicate with insurance companies. Lawyers handle communications with insurance companies, which helps their clients in multiple ways. First, insurance adjusters look for people to say things that can be used to devalue a claim; lawyers protect their clients from that. By dealing with the insurance company, lawyers also free up time for their clients, allowing them to focus on healing. Finally, lawyers have experience with insurance companies, including experience negotiating. In most cases, a skilled attorney can negotiate a higher settlement than a client might negotiate alone.
- Litigate your claim in court, if needed. Unfortunately, settlement negotiations do not always end in a settlement. Whether there is a dispute over liability or the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, litigation is sometimes the only option. Our Queens traumatic brain injury lawyers prepare cases for trial and argue their clients’ cases in the courtroom when settlement isn’t an option.
Insurance companies like to settle cases quickly. To do so, they typically contact victims soon after the accident with a settlement offer. While the amount they offer may seem like a lot of money to you and your family, it most likely isn’t enough to cover your future medical needs.
If your loved one needs around-the-clock care, a low dollar settlement won’t last long. Don’t fall for the tactics of aggressive insurance companies. Talk to our legal team instead.
Insurance companies do not consider the rising costs of quality medical care. As costs continue to rise, a personal injury claim is your best chance at obtaining compensation for your brain injury or that of a loved one.
A traumatic brain injury disrupts your life. Some patients must relearn basic skills and many become dependent on others for their care. Whether it was sports-related, a slip and fall, or a car accident, your brain injury is an ongoing expense you must deal with for the rest of your life.
Brain Injuries Are Traumatic and Serious
When someone causes harm to our loved one, it is understandable to want instant justice. In an attempt to obtain compensation faster, you may be tempted to negotiate with an insurance company on your own. This is extremely risky and places you at risk for no compensation as a result.
Personal injury cases involving brain injuries are complex and require the skills of a licensed, professional lawyer. There is no such thing as instant justice, there is, however, the possibility of justice in the form of fair compensation.
Legal claims take time. Knowing someone is at work representing your best interests can help you to focus on other matters. If you or a loved one suffered a serious brain injury due to the negligence of another person, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP.
A brain injury is a very serious injury and it requires immediate attention. Unlike some injuries, there is no quick recovery—and sometimes no recovery is even possible.
A personal injury claim is a civil action that is your right under New York law. While there is no guarantee of financial compensation, your free case evaluation is your chance to discover your options for moving forward.
How you proceed immediately following an accident or event that caused your injury is very important. The best course of action is to not speak with insurance company representatives and to secure legal representation.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Serving Brain Injury Victims in Queens
Let our legal team review your case as soon as possible. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have nearly 50 years of serving residents in and around Queens. We also proudly represent clients throughout New York and New Jersey.
Your brain injury due to the reckless actions of another person isn’t fair. No matter how safe you play a sport or how safe you drive, a traumatic brain injury can happen in a second due to the carelessness of someone else.
Be proactive and gather your medical bills, pictures of the accident, and contact information for witnesses. Bring the information with you to your free case evaluation. Police reports are also valuable documents when it comes to filing a personal injury claim.
We can’t do anything about you or your loved one’s injuries but we can pursue fair compensation on your behalf. Let us help you demand accountability from those liable for the changes to your life. Once we take your case, the legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, won’t settle until we reach the best possible outcome for you. For a free case evaluation, call us at (877)-565-2993 or click here to contact us.
“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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