It has been estimated that each year in America over one Million people are receive medical treatment as a result of a blow to the head. Many of these injuries are due to car accidents as you do not have to be traveling at a high rate of speed to get a head injury or to actually hit your head to injure your brain. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can and do occur even at moderate speeds and without the head striking an object. Brain injuries can also occur due to falls on stairs, falling off of a scaffold or ladder or even slipping on ice or other slippery surface.
The brain can be injured due to bruising tearing, or swelling. For example in a car accident a person’s brain may go from 45 miles per hour to zero in an instant and the soft tissue of the brain is propelled against the very hard bone of the skull. The brain tissue is “squished” against the skull and blood vessels may tear and release blood into areas of the brain. As the skull is hard and does not expand there is no room for this extra blood so that the blood then begins to press on the brain tissue which is very delicate. With enough bleeding the brain may stop working.
You may have a head injury from a car accident and seem fine right after at the accident. But with any signs of a head injury you must go to a hospital following a car accident as symptoms may be delayed.
The brain can suffer from bruising, swelling or tearing when the brain which is soft is thrown against the front and back of the skull which is hard. This is called coup and contra coup injury. Many brain injuries are on a microscopic level so that the injury may not show up on typical medical tests or even on a CT scan or an MRI which create pictures of the brain.
The important signs and symptoms to be aware of in any accident where the head was propelled backwards and forwards possible causing a brain injury are: headaches: pain in temples, forehead or back of the head: memory problems: forgetfulness: difficulty finding the right words: fatigue and get tired easily: emotional changes: depression: changes in sleep habits: difficulty sleeping: acting impulsively: difficulty concentrating: and visual disturbances.
Neuropsychological testing is used for diagnosing a head injury. A neuropsychologist is a psychologist with advanced training in how brain injuries can affect behavior. The neuropsychologist’s testing will locate areas of the brain that may be damaged and assist in planning treatment strategies to improve thinking in damaged areas of the brain.
Other medical experts that help people deal with brain injuries are occupational therapists that can help with returning to work, and with everyday activities; a neuro-ophthalmologist has more advanced training in vision problems caused by a brain injury: a psychiatrist who is a physician who works with people who have emotional or behavioral problems who may prescribe medication or a psychologist who is not a physician and does not prescribe medications: a radiologist who is a physician who specializes in looking at X-rays, CT Scans or MRI’s.
Not all doctors deal with brain injuries even if they are neurologists, psychiatrists, radiologists etc. So it is important with a head injury not only to find the right medical specialty but even more important to find the right doctor in that specialty.
As many brain injuries may not show up on a CT scan or an MRI you should be aware that recently more specialized scans have become available that can often pinpoint the area of the brain that was injured and this helps with getting the right diagnosis and treatment.
Since brain injuries are so serious and can affect your entire life it is not only important to look for the right doctors for the right treatment but the same is true for selecting an attorney to help you to obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, a fall from a ladder or on stairs, or suffered any head injury as a result of someone’s negligence and think you may have a case it is therefore important for you to retain a law firm that has the experience in the field as well as the financial ability to retain the proper experts to both consult with and to testify on your behalf should your case proceed to trial.
With a brain injury in particular you can see that you may need many experts to explain your injury to a Court or jury, these may include a neurologist, psychiatrist, radiologist, neuropsychologist to explain your injury as well as an economist to compute your loss of earnings and future expenses as well as a life care plan to figure out what help and treatment you will need for the rest of your life.
You should find and hire a law firm that has the experience as well as the financial resources to successfully handle your case so that they can hire the right experts to assist you. Unfortunately, it qualified experts charge substantial sums to review your records, do an examination, issue a report and then be available to testify at trial.
As long ago as 1984 the firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros represented a lady who struck her head when she was a passenger in a taxi and then developed Parkinson’s almost a year later. With the assistance of qualified experts we were able to successfully prove to a jury that she was suffering from traumatic Parkinson’s and obtained a large verdict to compensate her. We believe that this was the first verdict in New York State to ever prove that Parkinson’s could be caused by the trauma suffered during a car accident.
Since then we have handled many cases involving brain injuries in car accidents, bicycle accidents, trips and falls, slips and falls, falls from ladders and scaffolds, falling ceilings in apartments and may other causes.
Although many case do settle before trial you only obtain a “reasonable” or fair settlement when the other side, the insurance company and their attorneys, see that you have an experienced lawyer who is prepared to go to trial and with the right doctors who are prepared to testify on your behalf.
If you or a loved one were injured and are in need of legal assistance, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212-227-2780, or toll free in New York 1-800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call to ensure that you do not waive your right to compensation. Or you can email us at [email protected].
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