While any type of injury has the potential to interfere with everyday life, few are as devastating or disruptive as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While the effects of TBI vary from person to person, in many cases victims struggle with permanent medical complications which negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. If one of your loved ones sustained a severe head injury or traumatic brain injury after being involved in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or any other type of accident, your family may be able to recover compensation for your pain, suffering, and financial losses and expenses.
Attorney Joseph Lombardo has more than 20 years of experience representing New Jersey residents in wrongful death and personal injury claims involving TBI and other severe head injuries. Joseph brings an aggressive approach and decades of practical knowledge to every case he handles, and has obtained favorable outcomes for many of his clients. Joseph is prepared to handle cases throughout the South New Jersey area, including but not limited to Atlantic County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, and Cumberland County.
Don’t worry if you have lots of questions, or aren’t quite sure where to start – we will listen to you, assess your claim, and help you understand your rights and responsibilities. To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with Joseph, call Lombardo Law at (800) 930-3241 today. Our lines are always open, including nights and weekends.
Negligence and Liability: TBI Causes and Statistics
According to the CDC, TBI caused approximately 2.5 million hospitalizations in the United States in 2010 alone, including roughly 50,000 fatalities. The CDC identified the five leading causes of TBI from 2006 to 2010 as follows:
- Falls – 40.5%
- “Other/Unknown” – 19%
- Object Strikes – 15.5%
- Motor Vehicle Traffic – 14.3%
- Assaults – 10.7%
This data is significant to TBI victims and their loved ones, because many of these leading causes involve an element of liability.
For example, falls were the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries, including slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents typically occur due to negligent property maintenance, which leads to property hazards like broken railings, loose floorboards, and inadequate lighting. When a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to repair or isolate a property hazard, he or she may be considered liable for any deaths or injuries which result.
Motor vehicle traffic, including automotive accidents, was another major cause of TBI. All drivers have a duty of care to cyclists, pedestrians, and other motorists sharing the road. That means refraining from reckless driving, intoxicated driving, fatigued driving, and any other actions which endanger public safety. If your loved one was hit by a car, the other driver may be liable if he or she violated New Jersey’s traffic safety laws or created a road hazard by driving in a careless or otherwise unsafe manner.
To give just a few examples, drivers must refrain from taking dangerous actions such as excessive speeding, aggressive/retaliatory use of high beams, weaving in and out of lanes, or tailgating behind other vehicles. Additionally, New Jersey law expressly prohibits:
- Texting while driving.
- Talking on a smartphone or cell phone while driving, if hand-held.
- Hands-free devices must be used “sparingly.”
Common Medical Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain is a tremendously complex organ, and the effects of TBI can vary depending on factors like the severity of the injury, the age of the victim, and which part of the brain was injured. That being said, potential and common effects of TBI include, but are not limited to, those listed below:
- A condition known as aphasia (e.g. anomic aphasia, expressive aphasia). Aphasia is a communication disorder and can involve effects such as:
- Difficulty speaking.
- Difficulty understanding language.
- Difficulty reading and writing.
- Difficulty walking or balancing. In extreme cases, the victim may become partially or completely paralyzed. Paralysis may manifest as:
- Paraplegia – Paralysis of the lower half of the body.
- Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia) – Paralysis which affects the entire body (i.e. limbs and torso).
- Monoparesis/Monoplegia – Weakness/paralysis (respectively) which affects just one limb, typically an arm.
- Hemiparesis/Hemiplegia – Weakness/paralysis (respectively) which affects just the left or just the right side of the body.
- Urinary and/or fecal incontinence.
- Cognitive impairment and intellectual disability.
- Chronic pain, particularly chronic migraines and severe headaches.
- Reduced motor function, such as the ability to write with a pen or use a fork.
- Reduced perception of pain, pressure, and/or temperature. This condition is extremely dangerous, because it can lead to the victim burning or otherwise injuring themselves without realizing it.
Unfortunately, many TBI victims are forced to make dramatic changes to virtually every aspect of their everyday lives. Depending on the severity of the brain injury and its effects, the victim may have to end or change their career, make expensive modifications to their home, take various medications, undergo surgical procedures, attend counseling or therapy to cope with depression and anxiety, and/or stop participating in hobbies and leisure activities they once enjoyed. They may have to hire a professional caregiver to assist with daily tasks, or may even have to move into a care facility.
In short, these injuries don’t just affect the victim – they affect the victim’s loved ones and family members as well. Traumatic brain injuries are especially devastating in cases where the TBI victim was formerly providing for his or her family or children.
If one of your loved ones is suffering from TBI, you deserve to have the accident investigated by an experienced attorney. Your loved one may be eligible for compensation. Call Joseph Lombardo today at (800) 930-3241 to set up your free and private case evaluation.