Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious health care matter. At any one time approximately 1.6 million people in America has or had a diagnosis of TBI, which can be scaled from mild to moderate to severe. Depending on the severity of the injury, some who are diagnosed are able to regain some or all of their functionality. There can be any number of specific causes, although it always involves an external blunt force trauma or a whiplash type motion to the brain.
TBI can spawn additional injuries or conditions secondary to the traumatic brain injury. For example, there may be intracranial bleeding that causes swelling and heightened pressure that can cause certain additional neurological conditions. The statistics are shocking. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) TBI accounted for 52,000 deaths from 2002 to 2006, 275,000 hospitalizations and over 1.3 million emergency room visits. It is a contributing factor in 30% of the injury related deaths in the country. In one year alone (2000) the CDC estimated that the overall cost, between the direct cost of care as well as indirect costs, such as the cost of lost productivity, was an amazing $60 billion dollars. Victims of TBI may have long term problems with concentration and memory.
The law has responded in a number of ways, depending on the severity of the TBI. There are a number of programs administered by Medicaid that provide health insurance for those diagnosed with TBI. Assuming a judge or jury finds a person liable for the TBI, the law requires that the person pay for the past damages, including pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and anticipated future costs, both direct and indirect. A negligent party must pay for the foreseeable damages that result from their negligent acts.
Unfortunately not just any run of the mill plaintiff’s personal injury attorney can litigate these cases. Oftentimes they require the need for specialized knowledge that only comes from years of dealing with medical malpractice of TBI cases. More importantly, there needs to be an understanding of how these personal injury awards impact the daily lives of the clients. An outright award can impact certain publicly-administered programs that have certain income and/or asset threshold tests. The need for special needs trusts, how to set them up, and how to have the damages added to them without negatively affecting the long term benefits of the client is a critical requirement of many cases. Verdicts in the millions are commonplace given the high cost of care as well as the significant pain and suffering that the victims sustained and will continue to sustain.
If you know someone who suffered from a traumatic brain injury, you deserve an experienced, forward thinking attorney who will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. The attorneys of Napoli, Shkolnik, PLLC have the experience and ability to represent you. Call us at 212-397-1000 or complete our online contact information form and someone will call you in regards to your case.