New York Brain Injury Attorneys
A brain injury is one of the most devastating conditions an individual can suffer. Brain injuries can cause a variety of issues, ranging from paralysis to trouble performing even the simplest daily activities. Because of the catastrophic effects a traumatic brain injury can have on their victims, the attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy treat these cases with an unrelenting dedication.
If you or a loved one has suffered brain damage as a result of an accident in New York or New Jersey, you may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, decreased quality of life, and other damages resulting from the incident. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are well versed in brain injury cases; our proven track record includes a $32 million verdict for a veteran who suffered severe brain damage after he was struck by a car. To find out if you are entitled to financial compensation, complete our FREE case evaluation form or call 212-736-5300 today.
Traumatic Brain Injury Overview
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that typically results from a violent impact to the head that causes damage to the brain. There are two different types of TBI, open and closed. As explained by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a closed TBI “occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object” while an open TBI occurs “when an object pierces the skull.” TBIs range in severity depending on the degree of damage done as well as the injury’s location.
TBIs are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that in 2014, an average of 155 people died each day from injuries that include TBI. Of these injuries, falls accounted for the highest number of injuries. Other commonly reported causes for traumatic brain injuries include:
- Auto accidents
- Slip and falls
- Construction accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Medical Malpractice
The cause of a traumatic brain injury can be particularly important, as this can help determine if the victim has legal recourse to recover financial compensation. Generally, those who have sustained a brain injury in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, and have suffered losses as a result, may be able to file a claim.
Severity of a Traumatic Brain Injury
When a TBI patient is first examined, the medical professional will likely use the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to determine the severity of their injury. This point-based scale ranges from 3-15 and determines whether an injury is mild, moderate, or severe.
Moderate to severe TBI patients can require extensive treatment for their injuries. In order to prescribe the correct treatment, a doctor will need to diagnose the exact injury by taking into account the way the accident happened, the patient’s specific symptoms, the patient’s GCS score, and the patient’s test results. Diagnostic tests include:
- Computerized tomography (CT Scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
- Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring.
While mild TBI victims can likely recover with rest and pain medication, moderate and severe TBI patients generally require more intensive measures, which are usually costly. The primary objective of treatment for TBIs is to resuscitate the patient and prevent further damage to the brain from secondary injury. Quality of life following the patient’s injury is the main concern.
Many injury victims can be left with life-long disabilities and can find tasks as simple as bathing themselves difficult. This can require them to hire a permanent caretaker or require their loved ones to take on a new, often stressful, role as their caretaker. The need for a caretaker adds on to the overall cost of their injury.
Additionally, traumatic brain injury victims are more often than not unable to return to work to earn a living. According to Northwestern University, the unemployment rate for the average adult with a brain injury two years after their diagnosis is 60 percent. On average, the lifetime cost of treatment for a TBI ranges from $85,000 to $3 million. These costs can be crippling for accident victims and their loved ones who are already struggling to adjust to a new lifestyle following the accident.
Accident victims have a legal right to receive compensation for their injuries and losses including current and future medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. A qualified lawyer can help them seek justice and eventually move forward beyond their injuries.
Filing a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
In order to bring a personal injury negligence claim for a brain injury, the victim’s injury must have occurred as a result of another party’s negligent behavior. For example, a traumatic brain injury sustained after another vehicle rear ended the victim, or a brain injury caused by a fall from poorly built scaffolding. If you are able to prove that another party was responsible for the accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who can begin investigating the details of your case as soon as possible.
When choosing a lawyer you want to manage your case, it is important to consider their medical knowledge and experience with brain injuries. An experienced lawyer will best be able to understand and properly handle all of the complex information that may be involved in your case. The statute of limitations for a brain injury lawsuit is 3 years under the NY Civil Practice Law & Rules § 214, meaning brain injury victims must file their lawsuit within 3 years of their accident. It is important to choose a lawyer as soon as possible who will dedicate their time to your case.
As the lawsuit proceeds, the injured party, acknowledged as the plaintiff, will have to prove the accused party, known as the defendant, is responsible for their injuries and losses. With the assistance of an attorney, the plaintiff must successfully show:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant failed to act with reasonable care
- The defendant’s negligent behavior caused the accident
- The plaintiff suffered losses that are measurable by law
Multiple defendants may be involved in the lawsuit. For instance, if the brain injury occurred as a result of an auto accident involving a commercial vehicle, the victim may be able to sue:
- The truck driver whose negligent driving led to an accident causing the injury
- The company who failed to properly maintain their vehicles, causing a crash
- The vehicle manufacturer that produced defective vehicle parts that ultimately led to an accident
In order to create a case and prove the above, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to gather all possible evidence for their client’s case.
Case Study: $32,756,156 Record-Breaking Verdict for Victim with Severe Brain Damage
A tragic case involving a Vietnam veteran demonstrates the devastating impact a brain injury can have on a person’s quality of life. Our client, a 60-year-old army veteran and retired LIRR conductor, was driving home with his wife after visiting a friend. Along the way, they witnessed a car accident and stopped to call the police and check on those involved in the accident. After his wife filled out a police report and left, our client remained at the scene to assist police.
During this time, a driver who was impaired by painkillers, marijuana, and cocaine ran a red light, swerved through traffic, and crashed through the police barricade into our client who was thrown about 30 feet into the air. His head was repeatedly slammed into the ground as his body skidded to a stop following the impact. The defendant was chased by police and eventually arrested for driving under the influence, reckless assault, and reckless endangerment.
Our client was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital where he laid in a coma with severe brain damage, skull and facial fractures, collapsed lungs, and a fractured left hip. He required an emergency craniotomy to relieve pressure that built up as blood collected in his brain. Eventually, our client came out of his coma and underwent extensive rehabilitation for cognitive function. He had to relearn how to speak, complete cognitive exercises such as “what is 2+2?,” and relearn the names of his loved ones. After some time, he learned how to use a wheelchair and is able to feed himself with assistance from another person.
Our client’s life forever changed due to his injury. He is unable to speak beyond mostly one-word responses. When he does speak, his speech is difficult to understand. After living a very social lifestyle, our client is now unable to return home or live without the assistance of others for the rest of his life. It is impossible to place a price tag on how much our client’s losses are worth. Because of the defendant’s actions, our client and his loved ones suffered horrible injuries and losses. Represented by Partners Stephen Murphy and Daniel O’Toole, our client received a record-breaking $32,756,156 jury verdict, the largest non-medical malpractice verdict in the history of Long Island.
Speak with a Brain Injury Attorney Today
Brain injuries can be difficult to cope with, and even harder to manage legally. Our dedicated attorneys will work hard, teaming with medical and economic experts to evaluate and analyze all complications of the injury, including the financial hardships experienced by the victim and their family. We will thoroughly evaluate the client’s long-term medical and economic needs, so that we can seek compensation to cover both current and future expenses.
While our attorneys cannot guarantee a certain settlement or verdict amount, we can identify the causes and consequences of your brain injury and seek full and fair compensation from the negligent parties.
Our track record of results in brain injury cases includes:
- $32,756,156 jury verdict in a Long Island case for an army veteran who was violently hit by a car and suffered massive brain damage
- $13,500,000 settlement for a pedestrian who suffered a traumatic brain injury to the left frontal lobe after she was struck by a car in Suffolk County
- $9,792,412 verdict in a medical malpractice case for a man who suffered a stroke while undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his brain
- $8,800,000 recovery for a Queens woman who was rendered unconscious after being hit by a van. As a result of the accident, she suffered TBI that required immediate surgery.
- $7,525,000 settlement for family after a tragic car accident. One of the victims was a 4-year-old girl who suffered a brain injury.
- $5,500,000 award for electrician who sustained significant injury to his brain after falling from an extension ladder
- $3,500,000 settlement for a worker who fell from a ladder in Soho, Manhattan and suffered multiple skull fractures and a traumatic brain injury
- $2,558,000 settlement in a wrongful death case involving a man who sustained a TBI in a car accident and subsequently passed away
- $2,150,000 settlement for a union carpenter who suffered a concussion and diffuse cerebral dysfunction after he was struck by a wooden object that fell 12-14 feet
- $2,000,000 settlement for a painter who suffered an acute axonal injury with edema, hemorrhage, and hematoma after falling from a ladder
- $1,800,000 settlement for an NYPD sergeant who suffered a diffuse axonal injury in a crash with a speeding vehicle
- $1,500,000 award to a Bronx pedestrian who was sustained TBI after she was struck by a vehicle at a crosswalk
- $1,475,000 settlement for a Brooklyn produce delivery man who suffered brain injuries after he was struck in the head by a piece of equipment that fell from a roof
- $1,000,000 recovery in Nassau County case for a plumber who suffered a brain injury as a result of a work accident
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in New York, contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation review of your claim by calling 212-736-5300. Our lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of victims who have been needlessly injured. We serve all New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Long Island, and the NYC boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.