Bronx Brain Injury Lawyer
The Bronx brain injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for the life-changing impacts your brain injury has caused. A native New Yorker, Ivan M. Diamond has fought since 1995 for the rights of injured New Yorkers to obtain the compensation they deserve. For your free case evaluation, contact him online or call (718) 588-2000.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIA) reports that every 13 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI). That amounts to 2.5 million people injured annually. Of those, 50,000 die, and another 280,000 require hospitalisation. Many have such severe injuries that their lives and the lives of their family members and loved ones will never again be the same.
A TBI happens because of an external force that causes trauma to the brain. Some injuries are minor, causing only a brief interference with thinking and a headache. Others can be so severe the normal functioning of the brain is forever altered. A concussion is an example of a mild TBI that causes temporary cognitive problems and physical discomfort, but the physical symptoms are temporary, and there is generally a full recovery.
There are two types of TBIs: closed and penetrating. A closed TBI is when the brain is injured when the trauma causes it to shake around inside the head. A penetrating TBI is when an object pierces the brain, such as occurs with a bullet or stab wound.
Why do I need an attorney for my Bronx brain injury case?
Given both the legal and medical complexities of brain injury cases, an attorney is an invaluable resource of legal guidance in determining all of your legal options and ensuring you follow the often-complicated legal process to pursue a brain injury claim.
Some of the services a Bronx brain injury attorney can provide include:
- A free case evaluation, during which you can share the details of your case with an attorney in a confidential setting and learn about your options for obtaining compensation.
- A contingent-fee payment scheme, which allows you to obtain the services of an attorney without an initial financial investment. With contingent-fee payment, your attorney will instead receive payment using a percentage of your final award or settlement, meaning you may owe your attorney nothing unless they succeed in securing compensation.
- Determination of all potential sources of liability, including insurance resources.
- Gathering and collecting evidence and witness testimony that will help to prove your case.
- An estimated valuation of your case based on your present and potential future expenses and impacts.
- Negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to garner a fair settlement offer.
- Timely filing of all court-required paperwork in the proper jurisdiction and representation at all critical stages of your case, from pre-trial conferences to a final evidentiary hearing.
- Guidance as to the pros and cons of accepting or declining a settlement offer.
- Assistance in the collection of your settlement or award.
- Further representation if an appeal to file an appeal in your case.
Bronx brain injury cases are serious, and victims deserve an attorney who is serious as well as experienced in the process of obtaining compensation for this type of injury.
How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Help?
A TBI attorney will review the circumstances of the accident that injured you or a loved one or resulted in the death of a loved one. Not every accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury happens due to the negligence of another person or business. If the accident was the fault of a negligent person or business, you can benefit from filing a claim for damages.
The treatment for a brain injury is generally extensive. If the injury will require life-long medical treatment and you or your loved one suffer a permanent disability, medical expenses can be astronomical at the same time the injured person is unable to work and earn an income.
What Is a TBI?
As the term implies, a TBI is a serious injury to the brain. Doctors divide TBIs into two types. The first is closed. Closed TBIs, which are by far the most common, happen because of an impact on the head. The impact can be a direct hit to the head, such as the type of impact that a football player receives when being tackled. It can be a blow, such as the type of impact that a construction worker may receive when hit by construction debris falling from above. It can also result from a severe jolt, such as the type of impact that a car’s passenger might receive from a serious car accident.
What all these hits, blows, and jolts have in common is that they cause the brain to move back and forth within the head, injuring the brain. Not all head injuries cause TBIs. The terms “head injury” and “traumatic brain injury” are therefore not synonyms. A TBI depends on the brain’s action, whereas heads can sustain trauma without injury to the brain.
Closed TBI symptoms can range from mild to severe. Concussions are a form of mild, closed TBI. In a mild case, the victim may briefly lose consciousness or experience a change in mental state, such as forgetfulness. In a severe case, the victim may remain unconscious for a longer period and suffer long-term memory loss.
The second type of traumatic brain injury is penetrating. A penetrating TBI happens when an object penetrates the head through to the brain. Sharp objects, such as knives or pointed debris, can cause these types of TBIs. Bullets can also cause penetrating TBIs.
Causes of TBIs
Some of the most common causes of a traumatic brain injury include:
- Falls of any kind account for more than 40 percent of all TBIs. This ranges, for example, from falls off of scaffoldings in construction accidents, falls off of ladders, tripping and falling over debris on the ground or aisle of a store and falling while walking on an icy sidewalk. Falls are the leading cause of TBI deaths in those over the age of 65.
- Blunt force trauma by being hit by an object is the cause of more than 15 percent of all TBIs. A number of people shopping in a big box store, like Costco, Walmart, Home Depot and other similar stores, suffer brain injuries when they are hit in the head by an object falling off of a high shelf.
- Motor vehicle accidents are the cause of more than 14 percent of TBIs. They are the leading cause of death from a TBI for those between the ages of 5 and 24 years-old.
- Assaults result in approximately 10 percent of all TBIs, but is the leading cause of all TBIs in children ages 4 years-old and under.
- Twenty percent of TBIs occur from unknown causes.
Symptoms of a TBI
A few years ago, the death of an actress received national attention when she fell and hit her head on a rock while skiing. She initially claimed she was fine and refused medical treatment. A short time later, she was confused and disoriented and agreed to go to the hospital, but it was too late. Four hours after the accident, she was declared brain dead due to a blood vessel that had ruptured when she hit her head.
Anyone who suffered head trauma needs to seek immediate medical attention.
Some symptoms occur right away. Others may not appear for days, weeks, or even months. If you have not already received medical treatment, immediately visit an emergency room or call your doctor if you experience:
- Blurred vision.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Memory loss.
- Easy fatigue.
- Problems sleeping.
- Personality changes.
- Sensory changes such as problems with vision or hearing.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Impaired or loss of cognitive skills.
- Balance problems.
Even with proper medical treatment, more than five million Americans have some type of permanent disability they have to cope with every day as a result of their traumatic brain injury.
As incredible as the brain is, this delicate organ has a limited ability to heal itself after injury. Any brain injury can result in permanent damage, causing severe impacts on the sufferer’s life.
If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury in the Bronx due to the careless or reckless actions of someone else, you may pursue compensation through a Bronx brain injury lawsuit. This page provides the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions my Bronx brain injury clients and their families have.
Long-term effects of TBIs
The long-term effects of your traumatic brain injury will depend upon the nature of the TBI itself. Nonetheless, even a mild TBI can have long-term effects that are anything but mild.
Victims may face secondary symptoms that include:
- Chronic headaches – these include:
- Tension headaches cause a squeezing sensation tightening around the head resulting from facial tension.
- Cervical headaches happen from neck injuries even though they feel similar to tension headaches.
- Migraines cause a throbbing pain often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound; they might happen because of vascular changes.
- Neuralgia is a sharp stabbing pain compared to an ice pick, along with numbness on the scalp; it happens from nerve damage.
- Sleep problems – mild TBIs can lead to daytime drowsiness and extreme fatigue, but restlessness and insomnia at night.
- Photophobia – sensitivity to all bright lights or only to fluorescent lights due to the loss of the brain’s ability to adapt to changes in brightness.
- Depression and other mood disorders – if the mild TBI impacts areas controlling the emotions, there can be a loss of equilibrium in emotional control, causing faster anger and deeper depression.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems – differing types may cause the room to spin, while others such as vertigo affect the balance; there are many causes, thus requiring individualised treatment.
- Cognitive impairments – the inability to concentrate or focus, a slowing down of reasoning, a loss of executive function (that is, the kinds of skills needed to exercise leadership), a reduction in the ability to learn, and short-term memory loss.
These long-term consequences of a mild TBI can last for months and even years after the initial injury. Treatment must often be individualised and specialised and can be very expensive.
Inability to work or attend school
Often, victims of even a mild traumatic brain injury experience difficulty returning to school or work after a TBI. Some considerations follow.
Returning to Work
Brain injury, as noted, can leave an individual with several long-term impairments that, depending on the severity of the injury, impact the ability of the victim to return to the same work or any work at all.
The first step is deciding to return to work. This step involves conversations with your employer or human resources department, as well as with your physicians and your family, to make sure that everyone understands the issues involved in your return. You will likely need to return gradually, perhaps part-time, with more breaks and a reduced workload. If your injury was severe and resulted in long-term cognitive or motor function losses, you may even have to return to a different position altogether. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, you can request that your employer make certain reasonable accommodations to your condition; they will usually grant such accommodations.
You may also need to engage in various kinds of rehabilitation before turning to work so that you can be sure that the skills needed to function independently in an office setting are available to you. Of course, in the post-COVID-19 world, you may be able to return on a remote basis, making all of your adjustments considerably easier.
Returning to School
Returning to school presents many of the same issues as returning to work. Students who have suffered even a mild TBI may have motor and cognitive changes that will impact their ability to work in an academic environment. There may be questions regarding returns to sports or other physical activities previously undertaken. TBI victims may also exhibit emotional or behavioural changes that can be challenging in a mainstream academic environment.
Parents and experts should carefully plan their children’s return to school. Persons assisting in the medical and rehabilitative treatment of the child should consult with parents and school personnel to ensure that everyone’s expectations are reasonable and on the same page. This planning can and should begin long before the child is ready to return to school to create as smooth a return as possible.
School systems must have programs to accommodate any disabilities the child exhibits upon returning to school. Many states offer brain injury educational consultants to help with this transition.
Laws that protect your child upon returning to school include:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – prohibiting discrimination against the disabled and requiring reasonable accommodations
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) – ensuring that students with disabilities receive a free appropriate education designed to meet their unique needs and focusing on preparation for employment and independent living
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – providing similar services to children not eligible for IDEA.
How do I obtain compensation to help pay for the extraordinary expenses of a Bronx brain injury?
Under New York law, those who have suffered brain injuries as a result of someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct can seek compensation for their expenses and other impacts that the injury places on their life through a Bronx brain injury lawsuit, which is a legal claim filed in civil court. To prevail in such a lawsuit, one must establish the liability of the defendants and the expenses and impacts due to the brain injury.
Generally, claimants must file within three years after the date on which the injury occurred to preserve their claims. There are exceptions to this limit. An attorney can advise you as to how much time you have to file a claim.
What kind of damages can I recover in a Bronx brain injury lawsuit?
A brain injury lawsuit can lead to the recovery of damages. The term “damages” refers to a monetary sum a liable party is required to pay to compensate for a victim’s monetary, physical, mental, emotional, and other kinds of harm. New York law provides for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to a tangible monetary amount representing the expenses one incurs as a result of an injury.
Brain injuries often lead to many high expenses for which one may recover economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of property damaged in an incident
“Non-economic damages” refers to an intangible monetary amount to compensate a victim for other kinds of impacts an injury causes. Brain injuries impact every part of a person’s life.
Impacts often included in calculating non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
These lists are inexhaustive. You should consult an attorney to determine whether you may recover economic or non-economic damages for impacts resulting from a brain injury.
How do I prove that someone else was liable for my Bronx brain injury?
A Bronx brain injury claimant must prove liability on the part of a defendant to prevail at a final hearing in their lawsuit.
An attorney can prove liability in Bronx brain injury cases by establishing that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. One’s duty of care is to act as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. The duty of care in your case depends on the defendant’s relationship to you at the time of the accident but generally requires one to act legally and safely.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. Breach refers to the action of the defendant that violated their duty of care.
- The breach caused your brain injury and subsequent expenses and impacts.
Who is liable for my Bronx brain injury?
As with all personal injuries, the liability focuses on those with the last clear chance to avoid the injury. Most traumatic brain injuries, as noted above, arise out of the negligent conduct of the party or parties causing the injury.
In a motor vehicle accident, these are most likely the drivers of other vehicles. Where the vehicle is commercial, potentially the driver’s employer, the owner or leaser of the truck, the manufacturer of the vehicle, and maintenance crews.
Similar groups apply in other types of TBI accidents, natural or manmade disasters, slip-and-fall injuries, personal assaults, and other severe personal injuries. Each of these has its own set of specialized elements of proof, and a skilled and experienced TBI lawyer can help you to recover the best possible settlement for you.
My Bronx brain injury was the result of an assault, and the at-fault party was arrested. Can I still sue?
Yes, a victim may file a brain injury lawsuit for intentional acts, even if criminal charges are brought against the wrong-doer. The arrest may lead to criminal prosecution in which the government will seek to prove that the wrong-doer committed a crime. As a consequence of breaking the law, if convicted, the defendant faces financial penalties, incarceration, and other punishment. The criminal proceedings do not preclude civil action, including your brain injury lawsuit.
Most criminals don’t carry insurance or have assets you can recover in a lawsuit. But a store, hotel, restaurant, nightclub, or other business has a responsibility to provide adequate security for its customers. If a business failed in that duty, you can seek compensation from it.
How much can I recover in my Bronx brain injury case?
Damages awards and settlement amounts in brain injury lawsuits vary widely based on many factors. Each brain injury case presents unique facts and circumstances that determine the potential recovery amount. There are, however, several factors that can impact the value of your case.
Insurance (or lack thereof) is a common example. Insurance covers most Bronx brain injury settlements and court awards. While you certainly can sue an uninsured person and even to obtain a court judgment in your favor, collecting your award would be very difficult as most uninsured people do not have enough money lying around to satisfy a substantial portion of an award. This is one reason it can be helpful to hire an attorney, who will know who to go after to give you the best chance of recovering compensation.
The at-fault party’s insurance provider already offered me a settlement for my Bronx brain injury claim. Should I accept?
Not until you consult with a brain injury attorney. Insurance providers are out to make money, and do so by paying out as little as possible to their insured’s victims. An insurance provider’s initial offer will often be much lower than what you could obtain with the help of a brain injury attorney at your side to negotiate. Accepting an insurance provider’s initial offer is almost always a mistake, particularly when it comes to brain injury cases.
The lifetime costs of medical treatment alone for a brain injury range between $85,000 to $3 million. This is to say nothing of other damages, such as lost wages for those whose brain injuries render lead to unemployment. Brain injuries cause extraordinary impact not only to an individual’s ability to work, but to maintain relationships with family and friends, to participate in activities previously enjoyed, and to navigate life in myriad other ways.
Settlements are a one-shot deal: If you agree to an amount that is insufficient to cover any past or future expenses and impacts, you cannot go back and ask for more money later.
An experienced attorney can determine the full value of your brain injury case based on the current and potential impacts you may experience.
When is the best time to call a Bronx TBI Lawyer?
Whether mild, moderate, or severe, traumatic brain injuries present complex cases of fact and law best handled by an experienced and knowledgeable TBI lawyer. New York is a no-fault state, which means that any recovery beyond your own insurance requires a sophisticated understanding of New York’s complicated no-fault, comparative negligence, uncapped damages personal injury recovery system.
The best time to call a Bronx TBI lawyer is as soon as you can. The various insurance companies will be eager to settle quickly since a quick settlement is usually a smaller settlement. Having a skilled attorney at the earliest possible time will undoubtedly result in a better recovery of hard to predict lifetime medical and other expenses.
Attorney Ivan M. Diamond is a Bronx personal injury lawyer who offers a free, no-obligation consultation. He will review the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you determine whether you have a personal injury or wrongful death case in New York.
There are time limits within which you must file a claim for damages following the accident. If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to receive compensation, no matter how serious the injury, how tragic the death, or how clearly the accident happened because of another’s negligence. Contact the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond at (718) 588-2000 as soon as possible. He will even visit you at your home or in the hospital if your situation requires it.
Attorney Ivan M. Diamond is a Bronx personal injury lawyer who offers a free, no obligation consultation. He will review the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you determine whether you have a personal injury or wrongful death case in New York.
There are time limits within which you must file a claim for damages following the accident. If you miss the deadline, you lose forever your right to receive compensation no matter how serious the injury, how tragic the death or how clearly it is that the accident was caused by another’s negligence. Contact the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond as soon as possible. He will even visit you at your home or in the hospital if your situation requires it.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond
888 Grand Concourse Suite #1L, 10451
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The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond888 Grand Concourse #1L Bronx, NY 10451 Phone: (718) 588-2000 Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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