Legal Representation for Head and Brain Injury Victims
If you see legal articles refer to “catastrophic accidents,” they usually mean incidents in which the victims suffer the most severe kinds of injury — disfigurement, disability, lost limbs, stroke, and more. Some of these cases even involve the loss of life.
Catastrophic accidents frequently involve damage to the head and/or brain. That is especially true in car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and commercial trucking accidents, where the head may be unprotected against high-speed impact. The effects can be debilitating and permanent.
Statistics on Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common occurrences.
- Every day in the United States, more than 150 die from TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Nearly 3 million people sought medical treatment for TBI in 2013.
- That same year, close to 50,000 people lost their lives from head-related injuries.
The CDC also found that moderate to severe types of TBI can have effects that go well beyond the immediate outcome of the injury.
For example, among victims who are still alive five years after the injury:
- 57 percent are moderately or severely disabled.
- 55 percent do not have a job (but were employed at the time of their injury).
- 50 percent return to a hospital at least once.
- 33 percent rely on others for help with everyday activities.
- 29 percent are not satisfied with life.
- 29 percent use illicit drugs or misuse alcohol.
- 12 percent reside in nursing homes or other institutions.
New York TBI Accidents
The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines a traumatic brain injury as an “acquired brain injury” that results in damage to the brain itself, usually as a result of sudden or forceful external trauma. Mayo Clinic notes that, less commonly, objects that penetrate the skull can also cause TBI.
Head and brain injuries vary in severity but should always be treated as medical emergencies. In cases where someone else’s negligence contributed to the TBI, survivors are entitled to financial compensation for their suffering, often with a substantial dollar value. In the event of wrongful death, some family members may also be entitled to a financial recovery.
As New York City brain injury attorneys, we have helped many New Yorkers deal with the difficult aftermath of a catastrophic head injury. We understand that the emotional toll alone can be overwhelming in these cases, and the last thing victims and their families need is anxiety relating to insurance claims and compensation. Sadly, the insurance companies typically make the whole process far more combative than it needs to be. That’s where our office can help.
Kaplan Lawyers PC is an experienced and aggressive New York City personal injury law firm with years of experience and a strong track record of results. We believe in lifting burdens off our clients’ shoulders and fighting their battles for them, demanding the largest amount of financial compensation allowable under the law.
If you or your loved one has suffered a TBI in New York, we want to help.
What Causes TBI?
Traumatic brain injury has many causes and can occur in many different scenarios. It is helpful to talk about the external forces that cause TBI in terms of whether the trauma was direct or indirect:
Direct trauma is caused by the skull’s impacting a hard surface, typically a wall, floor, steering wheel, steering column or windshield. Indirect trauma is caused by a jostling of the brain, even in the absence of blunt trauma. Examples include severe whiplash, high-speed bodily impact and shaken baby syndrome.
The leading causes of TBI are:
- Falls – The most common cause of TBI-related deaths among 75 years and older, and the leading cause of non-fatal TBI among people ages 0 to 4 and 25 and older. These falls can occur in the home or workplace.
- Being struck – Being struck by or against an object is the leading cause of TBI treated in emergency rooms among people ages 15 to 24. Being struck by or against an object can happen anywhere. It is a common type of workplace injury.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Vehicle crashes are the third-leading cause of TBI requiring medical treatment and the third-leading cause of TBI-related deaths.
One specific and important result of indirect trauma is diffuse axonal injury, which occurs in about half of all severe head injuries, as well as in some moderate cases. Diffuse axonal injury is caused by rapid movement of the brain within the head as a result of the body’s rapid acceleration and deceleration. It is common in shaken baby syndrome, school sports injuries, and auto accidents involving severe whiplash.
Diffuse axonal injury affects a large portion of the brain rather than just one spot, causing devastating lesions that can quickly leave a person in a vegetative state. It is one of the worst kinds of TBI.
A Note on Concussions
Concussions are also a form of TBI. While they typically involve less extensive damage than other types of head trauma, it is nevertheless a mistake to dismiss concussions as trivial injuries.
On the contrary, concussions are serious injuries that may cause devastating or permanent suffering. They warrant immediate medical attention. If a victim has suffered multiple concussions, they might experience terrible long-term consequences stemming from the cumulative effect of several impacts to the head. Concussion victims in New York may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries and should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Common TBI Symptoms
TBI can cause many different symptoms, and very few patients will exhibit every possible sign. You may have a TBI even if only one or two symptoms are present. That’s why you should seek immediate medical attention after any vehicle accident or any blow to the head.
Symptoms may include:
- Neck pain
- Blurred vision
- Dilated pupils
- Impairment in hearing, vision, or other senses
- Poor balance
- Memory or concentration problems
- Speech problem
- Mood or personality changes
- Tingling sensations in any part of the body
- Signs of stroke
- Changes in pulse, especially reduced pulse
- Slow breathing
- Liquid (spinal fluid) coming out of the ears or nose.
Some of these symptoms could be noticed immediately after an injury. However, in many cases, a brain injury can take days, weeks or even months to manifest itself through noticeable symptoms. It is not uncommon for a traumatic brain injury victim or the victim’s family to notice that something is wrong only after a long period has passed since an accident.
Most of us aren’t equipped to notice a serious brain injury. It might simply seem like something “isn’t quite right” or that a victim “just isn’t herself.” Only after seeing a doctor and being tested do victims or families realize the true scope of the problem.
Contact Our New York City Brain Injury Attorneys Right Away
If you have suffered traumatic brain injuries in a catastrophic accident in New York, please contact Kaplan Lawyers PC right away. Time is of the essence in taking legal action on your claim, so please do not delay. Even if some time has passed since an accident and you only recently discovered the nature of your injury, there could still be time to act. You may be entitled to considerable compensation for your damages, and our office can help you make the most of your rights.
Do not accept an offer from an insurance company without talking to us first. We offer free consultations without obligation, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office. We’re here to help.