The brain is a marvelous creation, responsible for so many essential functions of the human body. Suffering a traumatic brain injury can therefore have disastrous consequences, leading to long-term and perhaps permanent health complications and disability. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim has the right to seek compensation.
Traumatic brain injuries are complicated, and you can be sure that the insurance company and its lawyers will put up a fight. But we fight back for our clients. That’s why so many New York personal injury victims rely on the experienced advocacy of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C.
What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?
The Centers for Disease Control defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as an injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. It may be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury (such as a gunshot wound). A TBI can generally be grouped into one of three categories:
- Mild TBI or concussion: This is caused by a strike to the head or a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to quickly and violently move back and forth. Sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around in the skull and lead to symptoms that affect how a person thinks, feels, learns, acts, and sleeps.
- Moderate TBI: A moderate TBI results in a loss of consciousness for the victim. This may last for a few minutes or as long as a few hours. Memory loss, confusion, and physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms are common with these injuries.
- Severe TBI: A victim may experience prolonged unconsciousness or slip into a coma that can last for an extensive period of time. Many severe TBIs are fatal. Non-fatal severe TBIs may result in permanent cognitive, physical, and behavioral changes.
Symptoms Of TBIs
Every TBI is different in terms of symptoms and degree of intensity. If you or someone you love has suffered a head injury, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Be on the lookout for the following:
- Loss of speech and slurred speech
- Difficulty understanding others
- Difficulty thinking, reasoning, and communicating
- Loss of memory
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Sudden or unexpected changes in mood or personality, e.g. depression, anxiety, and irritability
- Limited mobility
- Loss of consciousness
- In some cases, death
Why Do TBIs Happen?
Considering the causes of TBIs, these injuries are often seen in particularly catastrophic accidents. Some of the most common types of accidents that result in TBIs are:
- Slips, trips and falls: Slipping and falling can cause a victim to strike the ground or a hard surface. Falls can happen due to slick surfaces, uneven or broken sidewalks or walkways, exposed wiring, uneven flooring, and countless other conditions.
- Car, truck, and motorcycle crashes: Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are common causes of TBIs. Negligence is often to blame for automobile wrecks and may be evidenced by speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and other irresponsible conduct.
- Bicycle accidents: Even if the victim is wearing a helmet, a serious bicycle injury can damage the brain. Bicycle accidents are common in New York City and on Long Island, and our attorneys have experience handling them.
- Pedestrian accidents: Negligent drivers can strike pedestrians, knocking them hard to the ground. Because pedestrians don’t have the protections offered by automobiles, these accidents are highly likely to cause a TBI.
- Violence: A TBI can be caused by acts of violence, such as an assault committed by a criminal, gunshot wounds, and shaking of infants. Negligent security, like a missing or broken door lock, may be a cause of the criminals ability to commit such acts. Meanwhile, a daycare could be liable if a staff member abused a child and caused an injury.
- Construction site accidents: Falls, falling objects, and other injuries that take place at construction sites can leave victims with severe TBIs. When property owners and contractors disregard workplace safety rules, they may be held liable for brain injuries.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect: Abuse of a nursing home resident is sadly all too common in nursing homes. Neglect happens when the facility fails to take reasonable steps to protect residents. Serious injuries that take place in these settings can permanently damage the victim’s brain.
Establishing Liability In A Brain Injury Lawsuit
Like other personal injury cases, it is up to the victim and his or her attorney to prove that an at-fault party was negligent in causing the TBI. Four elements are generally required in such cases:
- Duty of care. The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the victim. That means conducting oneself in a reasonably safe manner. In the context of a car accident, for instance, it means obeying traffic laws and safely operating the vehicle.
- Breach. There must be evidence of a negligent act or omission on the defendant’s part. Some examples are listed above. This particular element tends to be hotly disputed between the parties.
- Causation: Were the defendant’s actions actually a cause the victim’s brain injury? Were several parties to blame? These and other questions are answered by this element.
- Damages: TBI victims will suffer a number of damages such as medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and disability. If the victim dies from the TBI, surviving relatives may be able to pursue wrongful death damages, which are similar.
Contact Our New York Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
When TBI victims retain our law firm, we thoroughly investigate the details surrounding the injury. Our goal is to identify all relevant parties who could be held liable and accurately quantify your damages. We also rely on expert witnesses to assist with such matters as accident reconstruction and explaining the future medical treatments the victim will need. And we prosecute these cases aggressively, including taking them to trial when required to obtain the money damages our client is entitled to.
Did you or a family member suffer a traumatic brain injury? Call us today to schedule your confidential consultation.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their brain injury claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.