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 are hospitalized. Many are so severely injured, their lives and the lives of their family members and loved ones will never again be the same.
A TBI is defined as any 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 which 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 be paid 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 is filed 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 a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Can Help?
A TBI attorney will review the circumstances of the accident which injured you or a loved one or resulted in the death of a loved one. Not every accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury is caused by 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 is one that 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, are caused by an impact to 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 hit, 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 be injured without injury to the brain.
Closed TBIs 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 is caused when the head is actually penetrated to the brain by an object. 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 be rushed to a 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 has suffered a 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 any of the following:
- 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. Injury to the brain 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.
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 recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refers 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.
Liability in Bronx brain injury cases is proven by establishing that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. One’s “duty of care” is to act as would a reasonable person 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.
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.
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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