Parker Waichman LLP – Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Accident Lawyers
Sustaining any head injury can be a horrific experience as many people realize just how serious such head injuries can be. Most people have bumped their heads at some point in their lives, whether by striking a cabinet door, falling on the ground, or striking any other object. Making contact with any hard object can be painful, but most abrupt head injuries like these do not result in permanent and catastrophic damage. The more serious head injuries are often sustained in car accidents, workplace accidents, sporting accidents, or from a slip and fall accident, among other accidents. Any serious accident has the potential to result in long-lasting head injuries, many of which are considered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
TBIs range in severity from mild and treatable, to severe and permanent, where treatment may be limited. Because the consequences of suffering a TBI can have a significant impact on a person’s life (as well as loved ones), many TBI victims seek legal advice when their injuries were caused by another’s negligent behavior. For example, if someone sustains a TBI in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, that TBI victim may rightfully wish to seek legal action against the drunk driver.
The damages stemming from any TBI do not simply go away, and while there is no way to go back in time and prevent an accident from happening in the first place, our legal system allows for victims to hold negligent parties accountable for their conduct. At Parker Waichman LLP, our Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys represent numerous clients who suffer from the life-long consequences of TBIs. Our legal team is standing by to hear your story and determine if there is anything we can do to help you or a loved one.
Parker Waichman LLP – Recovering More than $2 Billion in Compensation for Injured Clients
As a nationally-recognized personal injury law firm, Parker Waichman LLP possesses the necessary resources, talent, dedication and experience to help individuals fight to receive compensation when they have suffered catastrophic injuries. Our Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys understand how the devastation associated with a TBI can harm a person and his/her family in more ways than one. Our attorneys have recovered more than $2 billion collectively for their clients through verdicts and settlements, demonstrating our legal team’s ability to help injured victims recover from a life-changing experience.
In recognition of its success in helping clients receive the compensation they deserve, Parker Waichman LLP has received the following peer-reviewed ratings:
- 9.8/10 Rating by AVVO (Rating Every Attorney in the U.S.);
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell®);
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons” Based on Peer Review by Lawdragon; and
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication Determined by Extensive Peer Review.
Because peer-review ratings only tell part of the story, it is important that anyone who wishes to learn further about our law firm and how we have been able to help so many clients directly contact our office to discuss their situation.
Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Accidents – Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits and Settlements
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)?
Head injuries, regardless of severity, can be painful and have the potential to cause long-lasting damage. Some head injuries are extremely trivial and result in a bump or bruise on the head. Other, more serious head injuries go beyond a simple bump on the head. Such head injuries are called traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and often affect a person’s cognitive abilities. Traumatic Brain Injury is characterized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury.” Because every person is different, the effects of a TBI are likely to be different from person to person.
Many TBIs do not present any visible symptoms and can, therefore, be elusive. For example, if a person sustains a concussion, which is a very common TBI, he or she may not have a bruise or bump on the head but may experience symptoms that suggest there has been damage to the brain. Additionally, many concussions and similar TBIs may go undiagnosed, especially if such injuries are sustained while playing sports such as football and soccer, among other contact sports. Because TBIs are not always evident right away, the damage associated with such head injuries can be severe and permanent.
Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Signs and symptoms of a TBI can be similar to other conditions such as migraines, generalized headaches, and even seizures. As such, it is crucial that every symptom is taken seriously. Signs and symptoms of TBIs include, among others, the following, as identified by the CDC:
- Impaired vision;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Difficulty with memory;
- Difficulty retaining information and learning new things;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Chronic fatigue, exhaustion or lethargy;
- Light sensitivity (also a symptom of migraines);
- Sensitivity to sounds;
- Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other behavioral changes; and
- Difficulty sleeping.
A TBI may lead to just one symptom listed above or could lead to all of them. Because TBIs are unique, it is important that anyone who has sustained a head injury acts quickly to seek medical care. Even if a person does not believe he or she has suffered a TBI, there is no way to know for sure unless a doctor has evaluated a person and diagnoses that person with a medical condition.
New York Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Statistics
TBIs are very common, and many TBIs go undiagnosed. TBIs can lead to the need for long-term medical care and significant medical expenses, placing a burden on the injured individuals, family members, and the Long Island community. Many people who sustain severe TBIs may not be able to work, and this inability has consequences that go beyond physical and mental pain. Such consequences are reflected by the following TBI statistics, as documented by the New York State Department of Health between 2008 and 2014:
|DEATHS||HOSPITALIZATIONS||EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS|
|YEAR||TBIs||Rate per 100,000||TBIs||Rate per 100,000||TBIs||Rate for 100,000|
Overall, deaths and hospitalizations associated with TBIs have remained steady. However, emergency room visits have increased from 2008 to 2014. Perhaps an increase in population has contributed to the increase, or perhaps more individuals are seeking treatment for suspected TBIs. Whatever the reason may be for an increase in emergency room visits, early treatment of TBIs is essential to minimize the potential of long-term and permanent consequences.
Understanding the Causes of Long Island Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
There is a myriad of ways in which a person can suffer a TBI, but some individuals are at greater risk of suffering a TBI than others. Because of advanced age and physical vulnerabilities, elderly citizens are more likely to fall, and therefore, are more likely to sustained TBIs, many of which are permanent and fatal. Athletes who engage in contact sports are also vulnerable to suffering TBIs. Contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer all create a risk that someone will suffer a TBI.
While the risk may be greater for the elderly and those playing contact sports, anyone can sustain a TBI from an accident, whether it is a car accident, workplace accident, or from slipping and falling, among others. Any blunt-force trauma to the head can cause significant damage. The more severe the accident, the more serious a TBI is likely to be. Regardless of how and why a TBI happens, early intervention is crucial. Waiting too long to seek medical treatment can result in irreversible damage.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
When another person’s conduct or behavior cause TBIs, the injured victim may wish to pursue legal action to recoup compensation for damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income. If a person is unable to work because of a TBI, that person may be entitled to future lost income and future estimated medical expenses. The total cost of a TBI can be astronomical, primarily because the cost of medical care has continued to increase year after year.
If a person has become incapacitated because of a TBI, a loved one may have the ability to file a TBI lawsuit on behalf of the injured victim. A person’s inability to make decisions for him or herself is a catastrophic consequence of many TBIs, and if another person is responsible for causing the TBI, that person may be found liable and may have to pay damages. The worst-case scenario for a TBI victim is if the injury is fatal. In such cases, a loved one may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
Time Limitations on Filing a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawsuit in New York
While injured victims have the right to file a lawsuit, there are time limitations on how much time a victim or his/her loved ones must file the lawsuit. All states have laws governing time limitations. However, such laws differ from state to state. In New York, a person wishing to file a personal injury lawsuit after sustaining a TBI has three years from the anniversary date of the injury to be able to file a lawsuit. This deadline is very strict, and if this three-year period has passed, the injured victim has lost the opportunity to seek compensation from the person or party at fault for causing the TBI.
If a person suffers a fatal TBI and a loved one wishes to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and that lawsuit must be filed no later than two years after the victim’s death. Like the statute of limitation for personal injury cases, the statute of limitation for wrongful death cases is extremely strict. As such, if two years have passed, it is unlikely a wrongful death lawsuit will survive in court.
In unique situations, exceptions may apply that allow victims to file lawsuits after a deadline has passed. However, it is never advisable to rely on exceptions. Instead, anyone considering legal action—whether it be a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit—should act quickly to speak with a Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney.
Understanding the Process When Pursuing a Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawsuit
New York’s court system has a full calendar of trials that are often booked more than a year or two in advance. As such, the process for filing a lawsuit can take a very long time, especially for the injured victim wishing to recover compensation. While the legal process can be slow, it is important to remember that it takes time to investigate a potential case, gather evidence, and prove a case in court. Anyone considering legal action should be prepared to go through the following steps from start to finish:
- Case Evaluation – The first step is to speak with a Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney about a potential lawsuit. An attorney will gather basic facts to evaluate whether a case exists.
- Attorney Decision – After reviewing the initial case information, an attorney will either decide to move forward and pursue the case if the client wishes to file a lawsuit or the attorney will decline the case and provide the client with a thorough reason for why the case has been declined.
- Filing the Lawsuit – If both the injured client (or the client’s representative) and the attorney agree to move forward with legal action, the attorney will file a complaint for damages in court.
- Investigation/Discovery Stage – The crux of any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is to prove someone else is at fault for causing a person’s injuries. To do so, an attorney must develop a case by gathering evidence in the form of documents and deposition testimony. Once a lawsuit is filed, each of the parties will exchange information (such as medical records and accident reports) and will take depositions of the parties, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses.
- Mediation and Settlement Negotiations – Most cases are resolved before going to trial. Settlement negotiations may be ongoing throughout the entire litigation, and mediation is often the best time to see what it will take to resolve a matter. However, if settlement is not in the best interest of the client, and the client does not want to settle a case, the case may proceed to trial. Because every case is different, predicting case results is impossible, and no two cases are ever exactly alike.
- Going to Trial – For cases that do not resolve through settlement negotiations or mediation, the case will go to trial, and the jury will decide whether an injured person is entitled to compensation. Some cases are settled before a case goes to the jury for decision, so settlement negotiations may continue from day to day throughout a trial.
- The Appeals Process – The losing party in a case will likely file a notice of appeal and take the case through New York’s appellate courts. The entire appeals process can take a very long time, which is one reason why injured victims choose to settle lawsuits before going to trial.
Overall, filing a lawsuit may be the only way for an injured victim to seek justice and receive compensation for his or her suffering. No lawsuit or settlement can go back in time and prevent an injury from happening in the first place. As such, compensation is the best way to hold a negligent party accountable for causing a debilitating or fatal TBI.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Long Island Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
What if a TBI is diagnosed months after the injury was sustained?
It is not always easy to realize you have suffered a TBI, especially if the TBI is a concussion. If a TBI is diagnosed months or even a year or longer after the TBI was sustained, and someone else is responsible for causing the TBI, it is important to act quickly to speak with an attorney. While many injuries are identifiable shortly after they are sustained (such as injuries resulting from a car accident), others (such as concussions sustained after multiple football games) are not as easy to identify right away. Given that there are time limitations on how long a person has to file a lawsuit, an injured individual should consider speaking with a Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney as soon as possible after being diagnosed with a TBI.
How do I know if someone else is at fault for causing my TBI?
If a person suffers a TBI because of a car accident or other accident that involved other parties, there is always a question of whether someone else is responsible for causing the TBI. The only way to know for sure if someone else can be held responsible for causing a TBI is to speak with an attorney. A qualified attorney can evaluate a case to determine if there are sufficient facts to prove another person is responsible for causing a TBI or other injuries. If a TBI is sustained because of a sports-related injury, a workplace accident, or a slip and fall accident, it is especially important to speak with an attorney, as these types of accidents can be difficult to investigate.
Can a person make a full recovery after suffering a TBI?
It depends. A person may be able to fully recover from a mild to a moderate concussion, or even a moderate blow to the head. However, a significant number of TBIs have long-lasting consequences that prevent a person from making a full recovery. Additionally, one concussion may not have permanent consequences, but repeated concussions (such as those football players sustain) can collectively result in irreversible damage that does not allow for a full recovery.
How is compensation measured when pursuing a TBI lawsuit?
Compensation is measured and considered by how severe a TBI is. If a TBI prevents a victim from being able to return to work, he or she will have lost income that may last for an indefinite period. This individual will also have substantial medical bills that are likely to increase over time. If a TBI causes permanent damage that impairs a person’s ability to handle basic tasks, compensation for pain and suffering is likely to be greater. The amount of compensation is also dependent on who the defendant is in a case, and whether an insurance policy will be used to compensate a victim.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Witnessing the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be devastating, not only for the victim but also for family members who must adjust their own lives to help a loved one face a potentially permanent injury. Whether you or a loved one has sustained a TBI, acting quickly to seek legal advice is crucial to preserving the right to pursue legal action.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience handling catastrophic TBI cases on a regular basis. If you would like to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529) to schedule a free consultation. We have a team of Spanish-speaking attorneys, paralegals, and staff members to assist our Spanish-speaking clients.
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