TBIs and New York lawsuits: Three common questions

Traumatic brain injuries can result in serious complications that come at a great expense for the victim. In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit can help provide funds to cover these costs.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) as a "blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain." This type of injury can result in symptoms that are relatively minor and last for a short period of time, or severe symptoms that greatly disrupt the victim's daily life and are permanent.

Brain injuries and data: How common are TBIs?

These injuries are fairly common. Approximately 1.7 million people in the United States suffer from a TBI every year.

Severe, life-long complications connected to these injuries are also common. The AANS reports that over 5 million people in the U.S. are currently living with a disability that is the direct result of a TBI. The National Institutes of Health reports that TBIs are "the leading cause of death among individuals under the age of 45."

Brain injury causation: What are common causes of TBIs?

TBIs can result from any number of incidents including car accidents, assaults and falls. In many cases, the injury is the result of another individual's negligent or reckless behavior. In these cases, the victim may consider moving forward with a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, the lawsuit could lead to monetary awards that would help cover the costs that result from the injury.

Brain injuries and lawsuits: Should I sue?

Those who are considering a lawsuit likely have a number of questions. Three of the more common include:

  • Is a lawsuit the right thing to do? If another person is responsible for the injury, it is wise to consider a lawsuit. The cost of treatment for these injuries adds up very quickly. Victims may require hospital stays, surgery and medications. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical devices may be required and the individual may have difficulty returning to work. A successful lawsuit can help the victim afford these expenses.
  • What type of lawsuit should I pursue? There are different types of lawsuits that are available for different types of claims. A person who suffered the injury due to a car accident would build a much different case than one who was injured due to medical malpractice or when assaulted by another person.
  • Is there a time limit? In many cases, a statute of limitations applies. This means that there is often a time limit for when a claim against a responsible party can move forward. In the instance of a car accident, New York state law generally provides that the claim must occur within three years of the crash while an assault is generally give a one year time limit.

Due to the presence of statute of limitations laws, it is wise for those who suffer from these injuries to promptly seek legal counsel. Your attorney will review the details that resulted in your TBI and provide guidance to better ensure your right to legal remedies is preserved.