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Syracuse Brain Injury Lawyer

Doctor examining brain x-ray results.If another person’s negligence caused you or a loved one to suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) in or around Syracuse, New York, you may have many options for recovering compensation. It will depend on the facts of your case. For that reason, you should get help from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Since 1987, Powers & Santola, LLP, has sought justice for clients and their families in Syracuse and throughout Onondaga County. Our mission is simple: We strive to deliver results that will fundamentally change our clients’ lives for the better. To discuss how we can help you after you have suffered serious brain injury due to the careless or reckless conduct of another, call or reach us online today. We can provide a free consultation through our conveniently located Syracuse office.

Types of Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are complex and unique to each person. However, they generally fall into three classes or levels:

  • Mild – Concussions are an example of this type of TBI. While there is really no such thing as a “minor” brain injury, in a typical concussion, a person may suffer a loss of consciousness that lasts only a few seconds or minutes.
  • Moderate – A person with this level of TBI may suffer from several minutes or even a few hours of altered consciousness. The injury can have dramatic effects on a person’s cognitive abilities. Often, the damage is permanent.
  • Severe – With this type of TBI, a person may experience altered mental status and loss of consciousness for days. Many people with severe TBI fall into a coma or die.

Different types of TBI will depend on the nature and extent of the trauma. Among the types of TBI which our attorneys have encountered when working with accident victims in Syracuse are:

  • Brain bleed – Blunt force trauma to the head can cause internal bleeding or hemorrhaging within the brain. It occurs when arteries rupture, and it can result in a serious and potentially life-threatening situation.
  • Contusions – Even though it may be less severe than a brain bleed, a contusion is a deep bruise. It can be painful and lead to headaches and many of the same symptoms as a brain bleed such as seizures, nausea, lethargy, weakness, dizziness, disorientation and changes in speech.
  • Coup-contrecoup – This type of TBI affects both sides of a person’s brain. It is most common in situations where a person is rear-ended in a collision, and the brain strikes one side, injuring both the impacted side and opposing side simultaneously.
  • Diffuse axonal injury – Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to suffer TBI is through force or a blow to the head. However, a diffuse axonal injury typically occurs when the brain is violently shaken back and forth within the skull, and tiny nerves in the brain are torn.
  • Anoxic brain injury – This type of injury results from a complete loss of oxygen to the brain. It can happen for many different reasons, including due to surgical errors and other trauma which cuts off the brain’s oxygen supply.
  • Hypoxic brain injury – Unlike anoxia, where all oxygen is lost, hypoxia is a reduction in oxygen. In both conditions, blood flow remains fine, but there is a block in oxygenation of the cellular tissue to the brain.

Unlike some other types of injury which oxygen deprivation can cause, a TBI involves actual physical trauma to the brain. Insurance companies or jurors may find it difficult to understand the nature of the TBI that a person has suffered and its impact on the person’s life. This is why our attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP, work closely with industry-leading medical specialists who can help to explain how a TBI occurs and why it is a serious injury.

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident in Syracuse – whether it is a fall, motor vehicle accident or some other incident – you should see a doctor as early as possible. You should get checked for potential injuries, especially if you show any common traumatic brain injury symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Problems with manual dexterity
  • Motor function problems
  • Speech and vision changes
  • Auditory changes
  • Tingling or numbness in various parts of the body
  • Changes in taste and sensation
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Anger and irritability.

A more severe form of TBI will usually require emergency medical treatment.  Some severe TBI survivors may lapse into a coma or suffer from chronic and life-changing conditions such as:

  • Long-term loss of consciousness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Loss of speech or vision
  • Hallucinations
  • Altered moods
  • Altered cognitive abilities
  • Chronic pain.

A TBI can make it hard to hold a job, do chores around the home and enjoy time with children and other loved ones. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor and start appropriate treatment.

Common Causes of Brain Injuries in New York

If you believe that another person’s negligence caused you or a loved one to suffer TBI, you should also immediately contact the attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP. We have decades of experience with helping those in Syracuse with TBI who suffered their injuries in a variety of ways. Our background allows us to handle cases involving:

  • Motor vehicle accidents – Whether it is a car wreck, motorcycle crash or semi-truck collision, motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of brain injury in New York.
  • Falls – Something as simple as a slip and fall accident can lead to a severe brain injury if the victim strikes his or her head. This type of accident happens all too often, especially in nursing homes and other healthcare environments.
  • Assaults – Physical attacks are another common cause of brain injury. A property owner who has neglected to adequately address the foreseeable risk of assaults on his or her property may be held liable.
  • Construction site accidents – Falling debris, flying tools and falls from heights such as roofs, ladders and scaffolding can all lead to serious head injuries. Construction site owners, contractors or their agents may be liable if the injury results from their failure to provide safety devices in compliance with New York Labor Law § 240(1), or the “Scaffold Law.”
  • Medical malpractice – Medical errors can also cause brain injury. For instance, many children suffer trauma to the head due to errors which medical professionals make during the child’s birth.

Do You Have a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim?

One of the most common questions that people ask our Syracuse brain injury lawyers is whether they “have a case.” To answer this question, we will gather and carefully analyze the evidence in your case and assess several important factors, including:

  • Is someone else at fault? The key to a personal injury claim is proving that someone else is responsible for it. If you suffered TBI because of the negligent conduct of another, then you may have a case for damages.
  • Did the other person’s conduct actually cause your injury?  A causal relationship must exist between your brain injury and the other person’s conduct. In other words, but for the other person’s negligence, would your injury have occurred?
  • Are your injuries serious? If your injuries are too minimal to require medical care, you likely do not have a personal injury claim that will require a lawyer’s representation. With that said, many people make the mistake of failing to get medical care when they should. A brain injury is different from a broken arm because it is not something you can observe with the naked eye. For this reason, seeing a doctor for an examination and testing is crucial after an accident.
  • Is there available insurance? The amount of damages that you can recover typically will depend on the amount of insurance coverage which is available. For instance, in a slip and fall, the property owner’s homeowners’ insurance or a commercial liability policy will cover your damages. In an auto accident that results in TBI, the other driver’s liability insurance or your own uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance may cover your damages.

Contact an Experienced Syracuse Brain Injury Lawyer

At Powers & Santola, LLP, our goal will be to achieve a result that will make a fundamental improvement in your life. We will never settle a case quickly or for less than what it is worth under the law. Insurance companies in the Syracuse area know that every case we handle has merit, and we meticulously prepare each case for trial.

To learn more about how we can help you to pursue full and fair compensation in your brain injury case, contact us today. Our consultations are free, and our law firm will accept a fee only if we secure compensation for you. If we do not obtain compensation, then you will owe us nothing.

Rochester Brain Injury Lawyer

Doctor reading patient's brain scan results.Did you suffer a head injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? Did your loved one sustain a traumatic brain injury that has impacted his or her ability to speak, move or enjoy daily life activities? If so, you should know that help is available to you. The personal injury attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, represent individuals and their families in Rochester and across the state of New York. We have the skill, experience, and resources necessary to hold the responsible parties accountable and pursue the compensation you are owed.

If a person suffers a brain injury, especially one caused by someone else’s actions or inaction, the impact can be devastating. The road to recovery can be lengthy, and the costs can quickly add up. That’s why our Rochester brain injury lawyers, have dedicated their careers to helping those who were hurt due to someone else’s negligence. Call or reach us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

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What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to Brainline.org, a website dedicated to brain injuries and PTSD, an estimated 2.8 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the U.S. An estimated 50,000 of those injuries are fatal, while 282,000 require hospitalization. Most TBIs are mild. They usually result from a concussion. However, some are severe and may have a lasting impact on a person’s health and livelihood.

The brain is a vital and complex organ with many different parts that each have a specific and crucial function. The brain controls our ability to walk, talk and eat. It also controls our breathing, heart rate and blood circulation. We process information, make decisions, access memories and feel emotions through critical brain functions. When a functional section of the brain (or lobe) is harmed, the damage can significantly impact the individual’s life.

While the skull protects the brain, this sensitive organ can still suffer severe damage in an accident. According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), any penetrating injury, jolt or blow to the head that disrupts brain function could be classified as a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Independent function of the brain could be impacted for a short or long period of time.

How Do Most Brain Injuries Occur?

Brain injuries can occur in many different ways. Some common causes include:

  • Traffic accident resulting in a crushed cars.Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slips, trips or falls
  • Workplace accidents
  • Recreational accidents
  • Accidents in the home.

A brain injury can be either a penetrating injury or a closed one. A penetrating injury happens when an object pierces the skull and causes damage to the brain. A closed injury occurs when the brain is jostled in the skull due to a blow to the head, whiplash or another non-penetrating incident.

Unfortunately, the brain can be damaged after an accident, especially if bleeding occurs inside the brain (known as intracranial hematoma), a trauma-related infection develops (subdural empyema) or nerve damage occurs (diffuse axonal injuries). That is why it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention after any injury to the head. The sooner you seek treatment, the better chance you will have of getting an immediate diagnosis and corrective care.

Common Symptoms of Brain Injuries

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vision problems
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Depression.

Some of the more severe symptoms that might indicate a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Skull fractures
  • Bleeding
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Changes in the pupils
  • Fluid draining from the nose, ears or mouth.

A diagnostic study like an MRI or CT scan can help a doctor to quickly determine the severity of a catastrophic injury. Any delay in diagnosis could prove to be harmful or even fatal. So, you should seek prompt medical treatment right away if you or someone close to you has been involved in an accident of any kind.

How Do You File a Brain Injury Lawsuit in New York?

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or an intentional act, you could be eligible to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. This type of civil action may allow you to recover vital compensation that could help you pay for your medical expenses, therapy and other out-of-pocket expenses during your recovery. It could also cover your loss of earnings and other damages if the injury is expected to have a lasting impact on your life.

Firefighter saving the victim inside the car.To file a lawsuit, you should first consult with an experienced Rochester brain injury attorney at Powers & Santola, LLP, right away. Your lawyer will discuss the specific details of your case and will let you know what options are available to you. Your lawyer will investigate your accident, collect vital evidence and identify any and all parties that are responsible or share responsibility for the accident.

Your attorney will negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance provider to pursue a settlement that will cover all of your current and future expenses. If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to offer a fair amount, your lawyer will be ready to pursue your personal injury claim at trial, if necessary.

To prevail in a brain injury lawsuit, your lawyer will have to prove that the injury was caused by the other party’s negligence. This means demonstrating that:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care, which means a reasonable level of care that would prevent you from being harmed.
  • The party breached that duty in some way.
  • The other party’s actions caused your harm.
  • You suffered an actual injury and incurred expenses due to the injury.

Do I Need a Brain Injury Lawyer?

A brain injury can have a lasting impact on your life, your health and your finances. With so much on the line, why risk handling your case alone? Without specific legal experience and knowledge of how injury claims are negotiated and litigated, you expose yourself to the risk of an insurance company taking advantage of you.

Remember, the insurance company’s goal is to make money. Even though an insurance company may act concerned, the insurer ultimately is responsible for its bottom line. The insurance company will do everything it can to pay you as little as possible for your claim or deny it altogether. Far too many people end up accepting a low settlement offer simply because they want the money and don’t know what they are entitled to recover in compensation.

Don’t let this happen to you. An experienced brain injury attorney at Powers & Santola, LLP, will be able to evaluate your case and let you know what you are entitled to recover in compensation. Your lawyer will then work to gather all of the relevant evidence that supports this position and fight for every penny of compensation you are owed.

The difference between what an insurance company will offer an injury victim and what they are actually entitled to is often shockingly far apart. Don’t settle for less than you are owed. Turn to an experienced attorney for help getting the compensation and justice you deserve.

What Damages Can You Recover?

A brain injury lawyer is trained to evaluate a claim, identify the liable parties and seek full and fair compensation on a client’s behalf. As part of that process, the lawyer may consult with medical experts who can verify the costs of treatment and the lasting effects that the victim will be forced to deal with moving forward.

Your attorney at Powers & Santola, LLP, will be on your side – not the insurance company’s side. The attorney will look out for your best interests and seek to protect your future. Your lawyer will have experience with handling brain injury claims and fight aggressively to recover damages such as:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lawyer willing to help car victim.Treatment, therapy and future living assistance
  • Lost wages and diminishment of future earnings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages (in cases of exceptional misconduct).

If your loved one died as a result of a TBI, surviving family members can seek to hold the responsible party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages recoverable through a wrongful death claim include funeral and burial expenses, loss of support, loss of inheritance and more.

Contact a Rochester Brain Injury Lawyer Today

Since 1987, the trial attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, have represented individuals and families in Rochester and across the state of New York. We have recovered numerous multi-million-dollar settlements on behalf of our clients, and we know that our work has made a difference in the lives of countless people in our community. That’s why we are proud to do what we do. We are here to help, and we are ready to fight for you.

Turn to us if you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence. Our consultations are free, and you won’t pay us anything unless we secure compensation for you. Contact us today to learn more.

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