New York State Motor Vehicle Crash Data reveals that there are more than 120,000 injury-causing accidents in New York State, around 50,000 of which occur within New York City alone. While vehicle occupants may suffer a range of bodily harm, including broken bones, whiplash, cuts, and other wounds, head injuries tend to be life-changing for victims and their families. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are one of the top two causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can lead to catastrophic physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
If you or a loved one suffered TBI in an auto collision, it may come as a relief to know that you have legal options to recover compensation. You may qualify to receive costs for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses by pursuing the responsible driver. However, these claims are complicated for a number of reasons, which is why you should trust a New York traumatic brain injuries attorney for legal help. Some of the challenges you may encounter include:
Difficulties with TBI Diagnosis: When an auto crash leads to lacerations, bruising, bone fracture, or other injuries, the harm is clearly visible to the victim and physicians. The symptoms and complications from TBI are subtle and invisible from a physical standpoint, leading to challenges in making a diagnosis. Examples of TBI symptoms include:
- Memory loss;
- Difficulties concentrating;
- Sleep disorders;
- Frequent headaches; and,
- Many others.
In addition, diagnosis of TBI can be difficult because the symptoms may appear several days or weeks after the car accident.
Potential for Permanent Disability: When a particularly violent blow to the head, TBI can cause permanent brain damage. The exact nature of the injury will depend on the section of the brain that was affected, but paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and related conditions are common.
Unexpected Long-Term Costs: Because the medical complications from TBI can be extensive and long-term, a victim could incur astronomical bills for treatment for the rest of his or her life. Even after the person’s condition is stabilized through initial post-accident care and hospitalization, there may be life care costs for:
- Physical therapy;
- In-home skilled nursing staff;
- Assistance with hygiene and personal tasks;
- Medical equipment and assistive devices;
- Renovations to the residence or vehicles to accommodate disabilities; and,
Potential Psychological Disorders: An article published by the National Institutes of Health reveals that 1 in 5 victims of TBI could experience mental health issues and complications up to six months after a car accident. Examples include:
- Delusions and hallucination;
- Thought disorder and disorganized cognitive abilities;
- Emotional distress, mood swings, and depression;
- Diminished motor skills;
- Anti-social behavior; and,
- Many others.
Implications for Family Members: Another important issue that can complicate TBI car accident claims is that there are other individuals who sustain losses because of the victim’s injuries. When that person needs assistance with tasks related to everyday life, a family member will often step up. Most caretakers will need to quit their jobs to provide essential care, leading to loss of income and lost business opportunities.
Overcome Challenges with Help from a New York TBI Lawyer
As you can see from the above description, car accident cases involving head injuries are much more complex than other auto crash cases. You put your rights at risk by trying to handle the claims process yourself, and you could encounter even more challenges if you need to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. To learn how our team can advocate on your behalf in the legal process, please contact The Mandel Law Firm. You can set up a free consultation at our Manhattan office by calling (646) 770-3868 or going online.