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New York Brain Injury Frequently Asked Questions

What are common causes of brain injuries?

Brain injuries occur when the head is hit with serious force. They commonly occur because of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, birth injuries, slips and falls and construction accidents. An injury can also occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen or toxic exposure to chemicals.

What are common symptoms of a brain injury?

Each injury is unique, so the symptoms can vary. It will depend also on the severity of the injury and the location in the brain. Some people may have confusion and loss of consciousness right away, while in others it will take time.

Can I have a brain injury even though I didn’t lose consciousness?

Loss of consciousness is only one possible symptom. Other symptoms can include dizziness, loss of memory, and nausea.

What areas of the brain are the most susceptible to injury?

The brain stem is vulnerable, which is responsible for short-term memory and regulatory function. Also, the frontal lobe can be involved, which controls personality and emotions. The temporal lobes when injured are responsible for language and memory.

Who is most likely to suffer from a brain injury?

Newborn and the very young, and the elderly (over age 75) are particularly susceptible. Also, males between the ages of 15-24 years old are more prone to injury.

Do I have to hit my head to suffer from a serious injury?

No. Anything that seriously jars the head can cause a brain injury. Examples of this would be whiplash, or shaken baby syndrome.

What are symptoms of a brain injury?

Symptoms of a brain injury can vary greatly, but can include:

  • Attention and concentration problems;
  • Speech difficulties;
  • Concentration;
  • Headaches;
  • Disorientation;
  • Dizziness;
  • Balance problems;
  • Blurred vision; and
  • Seizures.
Can medical malpractice cause a brain injury?

Yes. An injury can occur when the flow of oxygen to the brain is interrupted. Just a few short minutes of oxygen deprivation can cause loss of brain function. Examples of brain injuries caused by medical malpractice include:

  • Anesthesia errors;
  • Medical errors;
  • Complications during childbirth;
  • Incorrect intubation;
  • Failure to diagnose; and
  • Infections.
What other injuries are usually accompanied with a brain injury?
  • Skull fractures;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Cranial nerve problems; and
  • Hematomas.
How are brain injuries categorized?

There are mild, moderate and severe injuries. A mild injury will cause symptoms, but not a loss of consciousness. A moderate injury may cause a loss of consciousness for 24 hours and treatment or rehabilitation will be necessary. A severe injury can include a coma, rehabilitation and long-term care.

If I have received a brain injury from an accident do I need a lawyer?

If your accident was caused by the negligence of another, you could have a cause of action against the negligent party. Dealing with insurance companies and legal processes can be complicated and overwhelming. It is important to speak to a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.

If I decide to sue, what kind of compensation can I receive?

A brain injury affects every area of your life. You may have considerable medical bills, including permanent damage that will require therapy in the future. You may be unable to work now and moving forward. You can be compensated for these losses, as well as for pain and suffering.

Will my brain injury case wind up in court?

When you begin working with a lawyer, it is important to understand how you claim will move forward. Many time a case will settle prior to going to court. Sometimes however, a settlement can’t be reached, in which case it will be decided by the court.

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