Boston Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
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Boston, MA 02108
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Finkelstein & Partners, LLP – Winning Serious Injury Lawsuits Since 1959
As the most populous city in New England and one of the most historical areas in the country, Boston is a treasure trove of all types of activities. As entertaining as the city is for residents and visitors alike, the amount of things to see and do make individuals prone to injuries from motor vehicle accidents, falls in one of the city’s historical buildings, and more.
One of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer is a traumatic brain injury. This is because the brain is not only tasked with controlling the functions and involuntary responses of the body, but it also has only a limited ability to heal from injury, which creates a high likelihood of permanent deficits.
If you or your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you could seek compensation for the financial and emotional costs of your injury. A Boston traumatic brain injury lawyer from Finkelstein & Partners, LLP, can work toward recovering the maximum amount of compensation available in your case.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
As mentioned, the brain is an extremely complex organ responsible for sending messages through the spinal cord to the rest of the body. The brain is divided into several functional sections known as lobes each with specific tasks. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage to the brain caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head or body.
While doctors often categorize the injury in severity levels of mild, moderate, or severe, all brain injuries are serious and capable of producing permanent deficits. The deficits depend not only on the severity of the injury but the lobe that sustained the damage and even the side of the brain that the injury occurred on.
Here is a look at the brain’s lobes and hemispheres, and the types of disabilities associated with each.
- Frontal Lobe: Located in the front of the brain as the name suggests, the frontal lobe is responsible for many of the personality traits of the sufferer, including attention, concentration, the ability to control emotions and impulses, the ability to speak, the person’s awareness of their own abilities and limitations, mental flexibility, planning, and judgment. An injury to this lobe can result in difficulty with controlling emotions and behavior and difficulty speaking or remembering.
- Temporal Lobe: Located along the temple area of the head, the temporal lobe controls functions such as memory, the ability to speak, sequencing, hearing, and organization. Temporal lobe injuries often result in memory loss and communication difficulties.
- Occipital Lobe: In the rear area of the brain, over the cerebellum and the brain stem, is the occipital lobe, which mainly controls vision. Damage to this part of the brain often results in blindness or difficulty perceiving the size and shape of objects.
- Parietal Lobe: The top rear part of the brain is the parietal lobe, which is responsible for the sense of touch, depth perception, and the identification of sizes, shapes, and colors. Injuries to this portion of the brain result in difficulties with the primary senses.
- Cerebellum: Located just above the brainstem, the cerebellum controls your ability to move in a balanced and coordinated manner and complete skilled motor activities. An injury to this part of the brain can result in a loss of balance and coordination.
- Brainstem: The brainstem controls the body’s involuntary responses, such as the sleep/wake cycle, breathing, heart rate, and pulse. Damage to this part of the brain often results in death, as the body cannot survive independent of mechanical assistance without the ability to complete these involuntary tasks.
- The left side of the brain controls traits such as logic, analysis, organization, and precision. Left-brain injuries often result in deficits with spoken communication, catastrophic reactions such as depression or anxiety, difficulty with sequencing and logic, and loss of control of the right side of the body.
- The right side of the brain controls traits such as creativity and imagination, figurative thinking, and empathy. Injuries to the right side of the brain can lead to visual memory deficits, altered creativity, a loss of the ability to “see the big picture” in a situation, and loss of control of the left side of the body.
Common Causes of TBI
The most common causes of TBI are accidental falls, such as those that would occur either from the same elevation or from height, as well as motor vehicle accidents. Other causes of TBI include violence, such as domestic abuse or assault; contact sports such as soccer or football or recreational activities such as diving; combat-related incidents, including explosive blasts and transportation accidents.
Complications Associated with TBI
Initial treatment for a severe TBI may involve assessing the injury and the person’s responses and safeguarding the brain from further damage caused by many potential complications.
Common complications associated with TBI include:
- Altered consciousness. It is not unusual for an individual to lose consciousness when incurring a brain injury. If that unconscious state lasts for more than 24 hours, it is considered a coma. Some individuals do not completely regain consciousness after the injury, suffering consciousness disorders such as a vegetative state or a minimally conscious state. Widespread damage in the brain can result in brain death, which occurs when all brain activity even in the brain stem has ceased. This condition is generally not reversible.
- Infections. Penetrating injuries in which an object has breached the skull and entered the protective layer of tissue surrounding the brain commonly introduce life-threatening infections. Infections in other parts of the body are common as well, including urinary tract infections, particularly if the sufferer is unable to communicate discomfort and is immobile.
- Hydrocephalus. TBIs often result in a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus. This condition, if left untreated, can create increased pressure in the brain and result in further damage. Doctors often address hydrocephalus by surgically inserting a shunt that drains the fluid away from the brain.
- Damage to blood vessels. The brain’s lobes and hemisphere are not the only parts of the organ susceptible to damage. The blood vessels to the brain can also be damaged by the injury, leaving the sufferer at increased risk of blood clots, a stroke, or other potentially fatal conditions.
- Chronic headaches. Headaches are a frequent complaint for those who have suffered a brain injury. Doctors sometimes diagnose recurring headaches that last far longer than the initial period after the injury as post-concussive syndrome, which can also create other issues, such as memory loss and depression.
- Seizures. TBI sufferers are often given medication in the early hours or days after the injury to prevent post-traumatic seizures that can cause further brain damage. Seizures often subside within days after the injury, though they can recur over many months or even years for some people. Recurring seizures after a TBI are called post-traumatic epilepsy.
- Cranial nerve damage. This condition can result in facial paralysis, an altered sense of smell or taste, difficulties with vision or swallowing, and ringing in the ear or hearing loss.
- An increased risk for degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
An Injury That Impacts Every Facet of Your Life
The lifetime cost of medical treatment for a brain injury may run between $85,000 and $3 million. Many individuals with TBIs who cannot work because of the injury do not have a work-affiliated health plan or a reliable source of income. An estimated 53 percent of the nation’s homeless population lives with a brain injury. While the dangerous conditions of homelessness cause some of those injuries, the injury causes homelessness for others.
In addition to financial considerations, the injury often has a disastrous impact on other facets of the sufferer’s life. The family members of an individual living with the effects of a TBI often experience big changes in the relationship with the injured person, with spouses or even parents or children tasked with providing care. Friends that the individual once shared so many common interests with often fade away as the injury prevents the individual from participating in activities and events they previously enjoyed.
Seeking Compensation for a Boston Traumatic Brain Injury
Individuals who have suffered a Boston traumatic brain injury can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury. In Boston, you usually must file this claim within three years of the accident.
Before you file a lawsuit, your attorney will begin settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Most brain injury cases resolve outside of the courtroom. A settlement agreement is one type of resolution in which both sides agree that the compensation offered by the at-fault party’s insurance company is sufficient to cover the expenses and impacts that the injured person has already incurred, as well as those that you may incur.
How to Prove Liability in a Brain Injury Case
While intentional acts can give rise to personal injury claims, most claims stem from negligence, which involves careless or reckless actions.
To prove your accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you must show:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care, which is simply conscious action taken to protect the safety and property of others.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. This refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that violated the duty to act safely and legally.
- The breach caused the accident in which you were injured and resulted in expenses and psychological impacts.
To discuss the specifics of your case, contact Finkelstein & Partners, LLP today to get started.
In the legal arena, “recovering damages” refers to obtaining compensation for the expenses (known as economic damages) and impacts (known as non-economic damages) of your injury.
Some of the expenses and impacts in a Boston traumatic brain injury claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injury will impact your ability to earn an income in the future
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing a vehicle if your injury was the result of a car accident
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
A traumatic brain injury attorney at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP, can help determine what damages you should pursue.
Boston Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
Many accidents or events can lead to traumatic brain injuries, including:
- Motor vehicle collisions, especially on Boston’s more dangerous roadways and intersections such as Massachusetts Turnpike, North Washington Street and Boston’s Central Artery, and the intersection of Harvard Street at Morton Street
- Slip and fall accidents due to icy conditions, which are more prevalent from December through March, when Boston experiences its coldest temperatures
- Falls from significant heights
- Violent acts such as assaults, abuse, and gunshot wounds
- Sporting injuries
Yet, if you sustained a traumatic brain injury from an event not listed above, do not let this stop you from contacting an experienced Boston traumatic brain injury accident attorney. These lawyers can not only review your accident and determine if you have a viable legal claim, but they can also help you pursue the damages you deserve.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury may appear right away after an accident or not appear for hours or days after the injury. This means that even though an individual may appear fine following an accident, these injuries can cause pressure buildup and blood vessels in the brain to rupture and can affect the person later on.
For these reasons, following an accident, even if your injuries appear to be minor, you should get to a doctor right away and get examined for these hidden but often debilitating injuries.
Besides, getting prompt medical attention can also help your legal claim, especially if the insurance company argues that your injuries did not result from the accident or that they are not as severe as you claim. After these medical professionals examine your injuries and document them in their medical report, this report can serve as evidence of a direct link between your traumatic brain injury and your Boston accident.
Not everyone that suffers a traumatic brain injury in an accident will be able to pursue legal action against another party.
In truth, a lawyer will need to answer many questions before they can determine that an individual has a valid case, including:
- What was the extent of the brain injury?
- Did the individual suffer the injury following an accident?
- Was another party responsible for the traumatic brain injury accident?
- Is there still time to bring an injury claim following the traumatic brain injury accident?
- Is there insurance money available following the accident or other financial damages an individual can go after?
Although these questions will often involve a thorough analysis, when you work with an experienced Boston traumatic brain injury accident lawyer, you will not have to figure out the answer to these questions alone. Instead, these lawyers can review your accident, examine these factors, and figure out the viability of your claim.
It is not only the severity of the brain injury that can impact an individual’s prognoses and recovery. The repercussions of these accidents will also depend on the type of brain injury that resulted from the accident.
For example, consider the following types of traumatic brain injuries:
- Contusions: A contusion is a brain injury that results from a direct impact on the head that leads to brain bleeding.
- Diffuse Axonal: A diffuse axonal injury is the tearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers that occurs when the brain is injured as it shifts and rotates inside the skull. These injuries often result in a coma, injury to many parts of the brain, permanent damage, and death.
- Concussion: A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head that leads to the brain moving rapidly back and forth.
- Penetration: A penetrating traumatic brain injury constitutes the most severe form of a traumatic brain injury and occurs when an object penetrates the head and forces its way into the brain. This injury often results in ruptures or stretching of the brain tissue.
- Coup-Contrecoup: This injury occurs from a substantial impact to the brain that causes the skull or the brain to slam into the opposite side of the impact site. These injuries often produce immediate symptoms and result from serious car crashes, forceful falls, and acts of violence.
Although the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury will often depend on brain injury sustained and its severity, some of the more common symptoms of this type of injury include:
- Speech issues
- Blurred vision
- Ear ringing
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to sound
However, if the injury is more severe, these symptoms can also include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Mood changes
- Memory issues
- Concentration problems
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time after an alleged offense that a person has to initiate legal proceedings. If individuals do not file their legal case within that deadline, they cannot pursue legal action to recover compensation for their harm and injuries.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations to bring an injury claim following a Boston traumatic brain injury accident is three years from the accident date. However, in some instances, exceptions may apply to the deadline.
For these reasons, after a traumatic brain injury accident in Boston, you should reach out to an experienced Boston traumatic brain injury accident lawyer as soon as you can. These attorneys can not only verify the amount of time you have to file your legal case after your accident, but they can also ensure that all your legal documents and motions are appropriately prepared and filed before time expires.
If you sustained a traumatic brain injury in a Boston accident due to another person’s reckless, negligent, or intentional actions, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation. In Massachusetts, this compensation tends to include the following types of damages:
Economic Damages: These damages refer to compensation for easily verifiable monetary losses, such as:
- Medical expenses related to emergency medical services such as ambulance services, doctor visits, hospital stay, surgeries, prescription medications, and assistive medical devices
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Personal property damages, including repair costs or replacement of property
- Costs associated with education
- Custodial care
- Replacement domestic services (child care services, cleaning services, grocery shopping services)
- Other monetary losses
Non-economic Damages: These damages refer to compensation for non-monetary, subjective losses, including:
- Physical impairment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Reputation injuries
- Other non-pecuniary damages
Yet, because these damages include both easily verifiable and hard to quantify damages, it is important to talk to a knowledgeable Boston traumatic brain injury accident lawyer after your accident. These lawyers can verify which of these damages apply to your case and help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Although an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer can tell you what types of damages you may pursue following your accident, no lawyer can tell you exactly how much money you can collect for your injuries and losses following these accidents.
This is often because these factors can affect the value of a legal case and ultimately the amount of compensation you can receive:
- The severity of the brain injury
- The extent of the medical treatments needed now and in the future
- The ability to work following a traumatic brain injury accident
- The income lost following a traumatic brain injury accident
- The defendant’s culpability
- The credibility of the evidence and witnesses presented
- The ability to live life as you did before your Boston traumatic brain injury accident
We cannot guarantee that you will get money following your Boston traumatic brain injury accident. But when you work with our skilled legal counsel, we can review each of these factors, figure out how they affect your case, prepare the strongest case in response to them, and fight for maximum financial recovery.
Although no amount of money will ever help you get over the stress, injuries, and losses you sustained following a Boston traumatic brain injury accident, recovering just compensation can pay for the medical assistance you need for the rest of your life and give you the peace of mind that you obtained justice.
For these reasons, following a Boston traumatic brain injury accident, you should reach out to an experienced Boston traumatic brain injury lawyer.
Once retained, these attorneys can:
- Evaluate your legal case, figure out if you have a viable claim, and determine the legal options you can pursue.
- Go over your concerns and questions and provide you with the legal support you need during this difficult time.
- Thoroughly investigate your Boston traumatic brain injury accident and gather the evidence needed to show what happened and who was responsible for the accident.
- Hire experts such as doctors, financial specialists, and accident reconstructionists to validate the injury claim.
- Take on the discussions and negotiations with the other side and the insurance company and go after a just settlement offer.
- Head to trial, if needed, and fight for the successful resolution of your case.
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a Boston accident, do not delay getting the legal help you need. Instead, contact an experienced Boston traumatic brain injury accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation and find out how these legal professionals can help you and your case.
A Boston Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
The Boston traumatic brain injury lawyers at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP, have assisted the injured in obtaining the compensation they need for more than 60 years. Whether negligence, an intentional act, or even a hazardous workplace condition caused your injury, e can answer your legal questions, guide you through the process, and protect your right to the maximum amount of compensation available in your case.
We understand that traumatic brain injuries do not just affect your finances, they hurt your family, your way of life, and your future. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (877) 472-3061.