Brain injuries are arguably the most devastating and traumatic injuries possible. They have the potential to affect the victim’s entire life, including finances, standard of living, and relationships with family and friends.
Brain injuries contribute to approximately 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the U.S. In fact, brain injuries result in about 50,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Approximately 2.5 million additional Americans suffer some sort of new traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, ranging from concussions to severe brain trauma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Brain injuries can impair movement, sensation, thinking, memory, and emotional function for anywhere from a few days to many years. These serious injuries have a major emotional and financial impact on victims and their families, and those who cause traumatic brain injuries should be held accountable for their negligence.
Our skilled attorneys have more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, meaning you can rest assured that your case will be ready to go to court if necessary. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we are committed to the thorough investigation and aggressive pursuit of your case, and we have secured may significant verdicts and settlements for brain injury survivors in New York and New Jersey.
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in a car accident, workplace accident, or any incident caused by another’s negligence, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force damages the brain. Generally, TBIs can be divided into two categories:
- Closed brain injuries, which are caused by movement of the brain within the skull and tend to result from a blow to the head or severe whiplash
- Penetrating brain injuries, which are caused by a foreign object penetrating the skull.
The severity of brain injuries varies widely depending on several factors:
- Mild traumatic brain injuries, which can still be extremely dangerous, can result in brief unconsciousness, mood swings and other brain dysfunction. The most common form of mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion. Concussions, like other brain injuries, are most commonly caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. More than 300,000 concussions occur in the U.S. every year among athletes alone—not to mention the vast number that occur outside of sports.
- Severe traumatic brain injuries, which can result in prolonged amnesia, unconsciousness, lifelong disability and potentially death. More than 40 percent of those who are hospitalized for a severe traumatic brain injury continue to experience some sort of related disability for at least one year after the incident.
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be temporary or permanent, and they can include (and are not necessarily exclusive to):
- Decreased cognitive function, such as decreased attention span and memory impairments
- Impaired sensation, including difficulty hearing, seeing, perceiving, or touching, as well as partial or full paralysis
- Impaired motor function, such as impaired balance, decreased coordination, and weakness in the extremities
- Altered emotions, including depression, increased anxiety, increased aggression, difficulty controlling impulses, mood swings, and personality changes.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury?
The most common causes of TBIs, according to the Mayo Clinic, are:
- Falls, including falling during a construction accident, falling from an unsafe ladder or other equipment, and slip-and-fall accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents, including bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents
- Violence, including violent assaults, muggings, and even nursing home abuse
- Sports injuries, particularly those arising from contact sports like football
- Explosive blasts, including construction or demolition failure and combat injuries.
Brain Injury Lawsuits: How Much Is Your Case Worth?
After a serious accident causes a brain injury, it is important to understand your right to compensation and the personal injury lawsuit process. You could be eligible for a wide variety of damages.
While compensation from a TBI may never reverse the serious impacts and losses arising from these injuries, it can be essential to giving brain injury survivors and families the financial support they need to seek treatment and rebuild their lives.
Monetary awards for TBI cases are split into two categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory Damages for Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits
Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the injured for the monetary and emotional costs suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Consequently, compensatory damages for a TBI case may include compensation for:
- All medical expenses related to treating the injury – This can include ambulatory care and emergency medical treatment expenses, as well as the costs arising from future long-term care, rehabilitation, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and more.
- Past lost wages
- Decreased earning potential in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage (if the event causing the TBI also resulted in damage to the injured person’s property, like in the case of an auto crash).
There are no limits on compensatory damages in the state of New Jersey. Therefore, as long as you can prove the amount of damages (and that the defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of those damages), you can be eligible to recover them.
Punitive Damages for Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits
Punitive damages are limited to certain cases of particularly egregious conduct. For instance, if the defendant caused your injury intentionally or the behavior leading up to the accident was extremely negligent or intolerable, the court may award punitive damages.
These damages are designed to punish the defendant for inappropriate behavior and discourage people from the same behavior in the future. Punitive damages are not necessarily available for every TBI case.
A young, single woman was a back seat passenger of a car that was being driven by a drunk driver. The drunk driver drove head-on into a stopped tractor trailer in the left lane of the lower level of the George Washington Bridge. The crash caused the woman to suffer a subdural hematoma, resulting in brain damage and epileptic convulsions.
Brain Injury Attorney Michael Maggiano was able to establish that the tractor trailer operator failed to follow federal standards in relation to the location he brought his vehicle to a stop (due to a flat rear tire) and improper placement of warning signals. The case settled during trial for $2,500,000.
How Our Attorneys Help Brain Injury Victims Recover
Personal injury cases involving traumatic brain injuries require the highest level of dedication. This is especially true when a client can no longer speak or think for herself, in which case it becomes the attorney’s duty to speak on the client’s behalf. When this occurs, an attorney must commit him or herself to communicating who this person was before this traumatic injury occurred.
Brain injury claims require shrewd investigative skills, combing through school records, employment records, medical records, and diagnostic test results. They also require the advice and testimony of many experts, including neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, rehabilitation specialist, social services agents, employability specialists, life care planners, and economists to calculate the massive costs associated with a brain injury.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers have fought for a variety of traumatic brain injury victims.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have achieved a number of substantial verdicts and settlements for the brain injured, including (but not limited to):
- $10 million for a woman who suffered a brain injury when doctors failed to diagnose a pulmonary embolism after a knee replacement procedure
- $10 million for a government worker who suffered a severe brain injury after a motor vehicle accident
- $7 million for a 23-year-old woman who suffered a severe brain injury after being struck by a car in a four-lane highway
- $6.2 million for a commercial truck driver who suffered a disabling brain injury after being struck by another truck driver
- $1.5 million for the children of a high school vice principal who suffered a brain injury and died after doctors failed to diagnose an abdominal aortic dissection in time.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Brain Injury Lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi
More than 5 million Americans currently live with a traumatic brain injury-related disability. These individuals are forced to make adjustments to every aspect of their daily lives, including relationships with their family and friends, employment opportunities, household responsibilities, and transportation. When these severe injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence, the guilty party should be held fully responsible for their actions.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. Call (201) 585-9111 or email us to schedule your FREE consultation and start on the path to recovering your losses.
Our brain injury lawyers are determined to speak on behalf of those whose lives have been turned upside down by negligence and a traumatic brain injury, and we are committed to fully investigating and pursuing your personal injury claim.