New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is not like any other injury. Sadly, because many of the symptoms of “mild” to “moderate” traumatic brain injury are subtle and the injury commonly avoids detection on our most sophisticated hospital imaging equipment, it is common for victims to go undiagnosed. Due to the invisible nature of the injury, victims of traumatic brain injury only rarely receive prompt treatment for their physical and cognitive impairment.
Practically, victims of TBI are unable to process information at pre-injury rates of speed. Moreover, the range of subject matter about which an individual can think is not the same for a victim of traumatic brain injury. Consequently, communication is oftentimes stifled, and the ability to conform behavior is impaired. Violent behavior may manifest as a result of frustration and inability to respond in a pre-injury manner. Headaches are common, and smell and taste can be affected. Memory and recall are often times profoundly affected.
Conscious or unconscious awareness of the situation becomes the private “hell” of the victim, who is alone and unable to diagnose or resolve the injury. Describing this unfortunate circumstance, Dr. Antoinette R. Appel has stated: “Left to fend for themselves, the victims of traumatic brain injury, already confused by their inability to be the people they were prior to the injury, now face the daunting task of demonstrating that an injury they do not understand and cannot comprehend is producing the confusion they cannot communicate.” The New Jersey brain injury attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, PC are experienced at assisting victims of TBI and their loved ones during these difficult times and working to protect their rights.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury contact one of the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, PC for a free consultation.
“Mild” Traumatic Brain Injury
Historically, words such as “mild”, “moderate”, and “severe” were utilized to define brain injury. For many years, these terms were utilized based on duration of loss of consciousness. Today, it is universally accepted that brain injury can occur without loss of consciousness, without direct external trauma to the head, and without positive findings on CT, MRI, or other diagnostic injury testing.
The Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee of the Head Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitative Medicine defines mild traumatic brain injury as follows:
“A patient with mild traumatic brain injury is a person who has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function, as manifest by at least one of the following:
Any period of loss of consciousness;
Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident;
Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (i.e., feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused); and
Focal neurological deficits that may or may not be transient; but where the severity of the injury does not exceed the following:
- Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) not greater than 24 hours;
- Loss of consciousness of approximately thirty minutes or less.
The above criteria define the event of mild traumatic brain injury. Symptoms of brain injury may or may not persist, for varying lengths of time, after sustaining the head injury. Patients with mild traumatic brain injury can exhibit persistent emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physical symptoms, alone or in combination, which may produce a functional disability. These symptoms generally fall into one of the following categories, and are additional evidence that a mild traumatic brain injury has occurred.
Physical symptoms of brain injury (e.g., nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, sleep disturbance, quickness to fatigue, lethargy, or other sensory loss) that cannot be accounted for by peripheral injury or other causes;
Cognitive deficits (e.g., involving attention, concentration, perception, memory, speech/language or executive functions) that cannot be completely accounted for by emotional state or other causes; and
- Behavioral changes and/or alterations and degree of emotional responsivity (e.g., irritability, quickness to anger, violence) that cannot be accounted for by a psychological reaction to physical or emotional stress or other causes.
Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Those who sustain concussion, hemorrhage, significant loss of consciousness, coma, and/or skull fractures are typically diagnosed as having sustained a “moderate” to “severe” traumatic brain injury. Injuries of this nature are generally detectable on CT, MRI, and other imaging devices. In many instances, the patient’s very survival is an issue. Brain swelling, contusion and edema are likely complications. In virtually all cases, quality of life is a premier end goal.
The resulting impairments suffered by the “moderate” to “severe” traumatic brain injury victim can generally be related to the original insult, although in case after case insurance companies and their lawyers contest these relationships. Physical consequences of “moderate” to “severe” traumatic brain injury are diverse and vary from patient to patient. They may include: paralysis, sensory losses, decreased muscle control, weakness, seizures, sleep disorders, speech and eating disorders, as well as memory and recall difficulties.
Choosing a TBI Lawyer
Few of us realize how pervasive the law is in our lives until we get into a dispute with someone else. Then we are amazed to discover what a tangled web of law there is, and how complex and endless the rules seem. If you, a friend, or loved one sustained a catastrophic personal injury such as a traumatic brain injury, there can be no question but that you are in need of the services of a competent personal injury lawyer. The New Jersey plaintiff trial lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, PC are experienced at handling cases involving TBI and can ensure that your rights will be protected.
Unfortunately, we live in a day and time where millions of dollars have been spent persuading the general public (prospective jurors) that should an injured victim exercise their fundamental constitutional right by bringing suit, that individual is merely adding to an already “sue happy” society. Nothing could be further from the truth. Where a lawsuit is not pursued or the responsible parties are not held accountable, society is left to bear the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and related necessary public services. This is especially so in catastrophic loss cases where the victim needs to be cared for through government programs.
Complicating matters further, many victims of traumatic brain injury, especially mild traumatic brain injury, are in a state of denial regarding the profound impact of the injury itself. Victims of TBI / traumatic brain injury have in fact sustained serious injury. This may have a significant impact on their ability to maintain employment.
The experienced NJ brain injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, PC can assess the “legal health” of the injured victim – by investigating the facts, researching the latest developments in the law, applying his or her legal training and experience, and then advising the victim of his/her alternatives. Our attorneys will stand up for your rights.
The experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, PC are committed to handling claims of individuals sustaining traumatic brain injury; committed to spending the time with you and your family members to gain a deep understanding for each and every way the injury has affected your life; committed to spend the necessary time in order you understand your rights in the progress of your case. Moreover, the NJ head injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, PC are dedicated to assisting you in your time of need and will put you in contact with support groups and treating doctors as your case may require.
The Personal Injury Lawyers’ Role in Presenting Damages
In the litigation arena, it is your brain injury lawyer’s job to present your damages fully, accurately and completely. It is important for you and for society to be fully compensated to deter others from meeting the same fate. When jurors compromise on damages, they compromise on danger. Letting the negligent defendant “off the hook” encourages more dangerous behavior, thereby endangering the public. In the catastrophic case, the accurate presentation of damage figures is important. Similarly, in the “mild” TBI case, it must be understood that the cognitive deficits affecting this outwardly-appearing “normal” human being will have a devastating impact on that individual’s ability to work and perform properly on the job.
In addition to the testimony of treating physicians, the head injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, PC will employ life care plan specialists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and forensic economists. By using these specialists, a jury is given the entire “needs” framework of the traumatic brain injury victim. The care given in the past and the reason for that care is explained. Future care needs are likewise explained and all care costs are quantified and relegated to present value. Similarly, earning capacity is explained and mitigating income is taken into account. In all, the NJ personal injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, PC will provide the jury with an accurate depiction of the economic needs of a victim with traumatic brain injury.
Past, Present, Future Lost Wages / Impairment to Earning Capacity
In a catastrophic injury case, the victim may never be able to hold a job again. Where the victim is an adult parent, children and other dependents may be left without any meaningful source of support. The loss represents the entire earning capacity of that adult from the time of injury through his/her work life expectancy. Often times this amounts to great sums of money in damages.
In a case involving “mild” traumatic brain injury, earning capacity is also dramatically impaired. Virtually all tasks performed in the vocational setting require concentration and attention. Where a victim of mild traumatic brain injury has incurred attention and concentration deficits, job performance is adversely affected or outright prohibited. In many instances, the victim will require complete vocational rehabilitation training. Simply put, the victim will be unable to return to his/her former line of work.
If you are asking, “What lawyer can help me with my brain injury case?” or “I have been in an accident and need an attorney,” then you should contact our NJ accident case law firm. Whether you have suffered a severe, moderate, or mild brain injury, the experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys will work hard to protect your interests. Our New Jersey plaintiff trial attorneys are experienced in working with medical experts and evidence including statements made by family members, neighbors or co-workers to demonstrate how the victim has changed after an accident or injury. For more information about traumatic brain injuries, please contact an experienced brain injury lawyer at the Clark Law Firm, PC at 877- 841-8855.