Brain injuries are uniquely devastating. They can affect every aspect of your functioning—physical, cognitive, emotional, memory—and they can happen in an instant.
If you’re recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or helplessly watching a loved one go through this situation, you know how hard coping with this kind of injury can be. And things may get even harder before they get easier.
But things will get easier. Having an experienced NJ brain injury accident lawyer can mean easier access to the care you need with less of a financial burden. We’ll handle the hassles of the legal matter so you can focus all your time and energy on the road to recovery.
When you’re ready to get legal help for a brain injury, we’re ready to review your case at no cost and assist you every step of the way. Call 866-778-5500 for your free, confidential consultation.
An accident happened, and you have good reason to suspect that something is wrong. Whether you actually hit your head or you’re just feeling dizzy, woozy, or not quite like yourself, you need to consider the possibility that you may have sustained a brain injury. What do you do?
Dealing with this problem can’t wait. Even comparably mild injuries to your brain are still a big deal, so you need to take action right away.
Any time you suspect a brain or head injury, treat it as an emergency and call 911. First responders will come to the scene to assist you. Paramedics and EMTs will get you stabilized if required, and on the road to the nearest hospital with the resources to provide the care you need.
Calling for emergency help also serves the second purpose of documenting the situation that led to your injury. Although you might already know that you should file an accident report with the police if a motor vehicle collision happens, you might not realize that a police accident report can also be of help if your injuries arose from a fall accident, an animal attack, or other circumstances.
If you’re well enough to move, and if it’s safe to do so, take the time while you’re waiting for first responders to arrive to begin to collect evidence. Take photographs of the scene, the cause of your accident, and your injuries. If anyone saw what happened, ask them for their account of the situation and their contact information.
Some injuries, especially brain injuries, are too severe to allow you to move around or even to speak. If you missed this opportunity to gather evidence because your injuries were too serious, don’t worry. Gathering evidence early on is ideal, but your attorney can track down all available information.
Even if you think your injury is just a minor bump on the head, it’s always a good idea to get checked out.
Anytime a brain injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim could potentially have the grounds for a personal injury claim. Recovering from a brain injury is difficult, expensive, and—for many victims—a lifelong process of coping and rehabilitation.
If someone else is to blame for your brain injury, you need to take legal action to give yourself the best chance of making the most complete physical and financial recovery possible. That means putting your claim in the hands of a capable NJ brain injury lawyer.
In New Jersey, between 12,000 and 15,000 traumatic brain injuries occur each year, causing approximately 1,000 deaths, the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey reported. An estimated 175,000 NJ residents live with a disability caused by brain injuries, according to the State of New Jersey Department of Health.
Although traumatic brain injury rates are similar across all racial and ethnic groups, they differ across age groups. The NJ Department of Health noted that “a majority of traumatic brain injuries affect a segment of the population under 35 years of age” but also that a higher rate of falls causes the rate of TBIs to “ rise sharply after age 65.”
Traumatic brain injuries can result from many causes, including:
Although fall injuries are the leading cause of brain injuries, the statistics suggest that falls are responsible for a larger share of TBI-related hospital stays in New Jersey than they are nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, across the United States, falls cause 48 percent of emergency department trips for traumatic brain injuries. In NJ, falls account for 57.5 percent of TBI hospitalizations, according to the 2015 New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund Report.
The percentage of TBI hospitalizations that result from motor vehicle accidents in the Garden State, 19 percent, is comparable to the national rate of 20 percent.
All in all, the report found that 5,895 New Jersey residents were hospitalized with fall-related TBIs and 1,717 with brain injuries that resulted from a motor vehicle collision.
One reason why traumatic brain injuries occur with such frequency—happening to dozens of New Jersey residents every single day—is because the state as a whole squeezes so many people and vehicles into such a comparably small amount of space.
As the most densely populated state in the U.S., NJ sees a great deal of both foot traffic and road traffic. This raises the likelihood of encountering a safety hazard on a commercial or private property that could result in a fall or crossing paths with a reckless motorist who causes a crash.
The most dangerous highways in New Jersey, according to NJ.com, include:
Since so many people live in NJ, it stands to reason that there are many workplaces where accidents could occur. You will also find numerous medical facilities and agencies providing home health services. An instance of malpractice that takes place when administering medication or using and maintaining medical equipment like ventilators could leave patients with significant damage to their brains.
For TBI patients in New Jersey, the numerous hospitals across the Garden State, especially those with fully staffed emergency departments and trauma units, can provide the care needed to start on the road to recovery. Once they’re ready to be discharged from the hospital, brain injury patients often undergo rehabilitation on an inpatient or outpatient basis at one of the state’s many rehabilitation facilities, which include:
To have a personal injury case for a brain injury, you must be able to establish certain elements:
Since even mild TBIs can have a serious impact on your life, this second element is usually more a matter of fully documenting your damages than determining whether or not you have any. Figuring out this first element, negligence, is a bigger factor in determining whether or not you have a claim.
To prove negligence, you have to show that the defendant had a duty of care to you and breached that duty of care, and that this breach is what led to your injuries and the resulting damages. Some examples of situations in which your brain injury may be a result of negligence include:
Many other instances of negligence can also lead to TBIs. If you have any reason to suspect that your (or your loved one’s) brain injury occurred because someone else acted negligently, you owe it to yourself to get your case evaluated.
It costs you nothing to have a New Jersey brain injury attorney investigate your situation and review the facts of your accident to determine if you have a case.
If you do have a claim, who would you sue for a brain injury? Liability varies depending on the facts of your claim, but defendants in a personal injury case may include:
Additional parties that may be liable for a brain injury include:
Besides the defendants themselves, your claim will involve one or more insurance companies. That’s because most brain injury settlements are paid by insurance companies, not by the individuals or the companies themselves.
A TBI impacts your life in so many ways. Shouldn’t your brain injury settlement provide compensation for all of those losses?
In your personal injury claim, you will seek damages for all of your economic and non-economic damages, including:
When calculating your damages, don’t leave anything out. You only have one chance to get the compensation you deserve, so it’s in your best interests to turn to an attorney for help documenting all of your damages.
Brain injuries may look dire, with blood everywhere, but they can also be invisible from the outside.
A penetrating head injury, or open head injury, occurs when an object breaches the cranium and creates an open wound.
Closed head injuries present no visible wound and may occur even when the victim didn’t hit their head. Even a bad enough jolt to the head can cause serious injuries, whether or not there’s a wound you can see.
Some types of brain injuries that can occur include:
The treatment of brain injuries is a complex matter that depends on your unique injuries and symptoms. Some of the types of treatments brain injury patients may undergo include:
As you can probably guess, the extent and expense of treating a TBI depend a great deal on how severe your injury is. The financial impact of a mild concussion that causes you to spend a night or two being monitored in the hospital and then a brief period of outpatient rehabilitation therapy is a lot less than a severe TBI that requires you to undergo surgery and spend weeks in an induced coma.
The lifetime costs of treating a brain injury range from $85,000 to $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury and the amount of rehabilitation required, according to Northwestern University.
Even if the costs of your brain injury recovery fall on the lower end of this spectrum, $85,000 is a huge burden for families to shoulder, especially when the injury also leads to diminished income. Your family can’t afford to foot this bill—and, frankly, shouldn’t have to.
Legally speaking, you can pursue a personal injury claim without hiring a lawyer. But, when your damages are as serious as a brain injury and the widespread consequences that come with it, you risk leaving a lot of money on the table when you don’t have an attorney on your side.
Research shows that attorneys get their clients, on average, 3.5 times more money than claimants who don’t hire a lawyer.
Combine this fact with the option to pursue your claim on a no-win, no-fee basis, and you’ll see that it just doesn’t make sense to struggle with the claim yourself.
Why would you add even more stress to the challenges of recovering from a brain injury and set yourself up to receive a lot less money when you could have a professional handle the claim for you at no risk and no upfront cost?
At Console & Associates, we handle personal injury matters exclusively. As you might expect, we’ve seen more than our share of brain injuries over more than two decades of practicing law in NJ. We have represented many clients with brain injuries like yours, including concussions and skull fractures, and have secured numerous six-figure settlements for our clients.
Ready to move forward with your claim? The personal injury claims process starts with a free, no-obligation consultation. Get your case reviewed and your questions answered by an experienced legal professional at no charge. Just call 866-778-5500 or contact us online.
When you or someone you love has sustained a brain injury, it’s like you’ve been thrown into this confusing new world. There’s a lot you don’t know about the legal stuff as well as the medical stuff.
Here is a quick overview of the New Jersey laws that are most likely to relate to your situation right now:
If your injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident, you should also be familiar with these NJ regulations:
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