Because the brain plays a role in almost every physical and psychological function, head trauma has the potential to cause catastrophic damage. Even a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a wide-ranging—and lasting—impact on everyday life.
If you were forced to adapt to life with TBI because someone failed to act with reasonable care, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated damages. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if you may have grounds for a brain injury claim:
1. Did Another Party Breach the Duty of Care?
Negligence, which is characterized by a breach of the duty of care, is the basis of most successful brain injury claims. If you were struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, for example, you may have grounds for a claim because all motorists have a duty to follow the rules of the road.
Intentional harm could also warrant legal action. If you were violently attacked, you may be able to sue the perpetrator—and/or the owner or occupier of the property where the incident occurred—for damages. Sometimes, a brain injury claim can be brought on the basis of strict liability, which means a finding of negligence or intent is not necessary to impose liability.
2. Did I Sustain a TBI as a Direct Result of the Other Party’s Breach of the Duty of Care?
There must be a direct link between the liable party’s actions (or inaction) and the injury you suffered. If you slipped and fell on a wet floor at the grocery store, for example, but surveillance footage indicates that you never actually hit your head, it will be hard to prove liability for traumatic brain injury.
Proving causation could also pose a challenge if you happen to have a history of concussions. If you played football in high school and college, for example, and you later sustained TBI in a motor-vehicle collision, the other driver’s insurer may assert that your symptoms existed before the crash. In this scenario, a seasoned brain injury lawyer may still be able to establish causation using your medical records and medical expert deposition.
3. Did I Suffer Actual Damages?
It is sometimes possible to recover from a mild TBI, or concussion, with no permanent damage in a matter of days. In order to have grounds for a brain injury claim, you must have incurred measurable damages, which might include the costs associated with:
- Emergency medical care;
- Ongoing rehabilitation;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Property repairs;
- Alternative transportation;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Household services; and
- Child care.
Under some circumstances, New York also allows for the recovery of non-economic damages like mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, physical impairment, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Discuss Your Claim with a Brain Injury Attorney in Long Island
If you sustained a TBI through no fault of your own, contact WeitzPascale to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our firm has earned a 10.0 rating from Avvo and an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
We will use all the resources at our disposal to help you pursue a fair recovery. Call 516-280-4716 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a brain injury lawyer in Long Island.