Car accidents can result in various disabilities and injuries. Brain injuries represent one of the most severe types of harm accident victims often face, especially when they leave victims struggling with significant physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments. In this blog post, we discuss traumatic brain injury resulting from a car accident, and how a lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve when this type of injury impacts your life.
Traumatic Brain Injury - What Is It?
Each year, 1.5 to 2 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States. Most TBIs result from a violent jolt or blow to the head. An impact can bruise or tear brain tissue, and can result in swelling and bleeding that causes further brain damage.
Traumatic brain injuries produce a wide variety of symptoms, some long-lasting or even permanent, including slurred speech, short and long term memory loss, loss of balance, dizziness, sensory issues, severe mood changes, paralysis, and even coma or other consciousness disorders. Even “minor” TBI can inflict major life complications.
Motor vehicle accidents represent one of the most common causes of TBI in the United States.
Costs Associated With Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury inflicts substantial costs on a car accident victim. These typically include:
- Medical costs. Immediate and ongoing medical treatment for traumatic brain injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. An injury that leaves a victim unconscious or semi-conscious could require permanent medical supervision. Injuries that “merely” impair a victim’s cognitive, motor, or emotional functions often need regular medical monitoring and therapy for the victim to see improvements.
- Employment-related costs. A traumatic brain injury can keep a victim out of work temporarily or permanently. In many cases, TBI symptoms make it difficult for victims to engage in sustained work activities. For that reason, a TBI typically leads to an immediate decline in (if not a total loss of) income, which may well extend into the foreseeable future.
- Service costs. A TBI often limits a victim’s ability to engage in day-to-day activities. Though the condition can improve with therapy, TBI sufferers and their families may find it necessary to hire services to help with tasks such as keeping a home, child care, or running errands. The cost of these services adds up fast.
- Non-economic costs. There is nothing easy or straightforward about living with TBI. Symptoms come and go. Victims have good days and bad days. The uncertainty and variable nature of recovery from TBI create their own kinds of strain not just for victims but also for loved ones. Relationships fray. Victims feel frustrated, isolated, or depressed. The pain and suffering of a TBI, in other words, exacts real and lasting costs, no matter how difficult they are to translate into dollars-and-cents.
These are just some of the costs associated with a TBI, of course. Just as recovering from a traumatic brain injury often proves unpredictable, so too do the expenses suffering from a TBI can inflict on a family’s finances. When a traumatic brain injury results from a car accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, victims deserve compensation from the party at fault to help them recover.
How a Lawyer Can Help With Traumatic Brain Injury
Speaking with an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer is the best way to obtain that compensation. A lawyer who represents TBI victims can:
- Investigate the nature and extent of the injury. Every TBI has its own unique aspects. A lawyer with experience representing TBI victims has the vocabulary and basic medical understanding of the condition to investigate the precise mechanisms that caused the injury, as well as the prospects for, and costs associated with, the victim achieving a meaningful recovery.
- Negotiate with representatives of the party at fault for the car accident that caused the TBI. As a general matter, New York law requires those who cause an accidental injury to pay compensation to those harmed. In many cases, insurance covers the cost of that compensation. Lawyers for TBI sufferers typically engage in negotiations with insurance companies and defense attorneys to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement that provides the financial resources necessary to help the victim recover.
- Litigate a personal injury claim in court, if necessary. Not all traumatic brain injury cases achieve a favorable settlement. Instead, sometimes lawyers must take a TBI sufferer’s case to court to argue for compensation before a judge and jury in a trial.
In choosing a lawyer, car accident victims who have suffered a TBI, and their families, should look for a lawyer who has a strong understanding of the particular health, life, and financial complications associated with recovering from a TBI. By choosing a lawyer with experience in traumatic brain injury cases, victims and their families can rest assured that their lawyer knows how to calculate, and make a convincing argument for, the maximum amount of damages the TBI suffer should receive through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.