Traumatic Brain Injury and Construction Accidents
When construction accidents happen, head injuries are a tragic and frequent result. According to a study published in the July 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the construction industry had a higher number of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) than any other job sector between 2003 and 2008. Even in the best working conditions, construction workers are constantly in a high-risk environment with little but a plastic helmet to protect their head from injury.
Traumatic brain injuries and traumatic head injuries occur when a sudden blow causes damage, such as a concussion, to the brain. TBIs may arise in the workplace from violent trauma to the head or when it is struck by a foreign object that pierces the brain tissue. Common causes of TBIs on construction sites include falls, hitting a stationary or moving object, vehicle and machinery accidents, scaffolding collapses, crane and forklift accidents, explosions, toxic exposure, nail gun accidents and trench, roof or wall collapses, among others.
TBIs and traumatic head injuries can shatter lives. Each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, approximately 52,000 die from their injuries and another 275,000 are hospitalized. Survivors often face lengthy periods of rehabilitation and long-term disabilities, including cognitive and motor impairment, behavioral problems and speech loss. Many times, the injured person cannot return to work or work at the same level he or she did before the accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury from a Construction Accident?
If you or a loved one sustained a TBI in a New York construction accident and someone other than the employer was to blame, you could be entitled to receive damages if the third party falls outside of the workers’ compensation system. The work injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, PC, are skilled at evaluating construction accident claims and can help you determine whether the negligence of a third party caused or contributed to your injuries. We also can help if you were a non-employee who was injured while visiting a construction site.
Call our firm today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.
We serve construction accident victims in the Bronx and all of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Long Island.
What You Need to Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many people do not realize that a little “knock on the head” could actually result in a traumatic brain injury. You do not have to lose consciousness to sustain a TBI from an injury at work. Nor do you necessarily have to show signs of an injury immediately following an accident.
Neurologists generally categorize TBIs based on the severity of damage to the brain:
- Mild TBI or concussion: Symptoms might include headaches, dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, blurred vision, fatigue, behavioral or mood changes, memory or sleep problems.
- Moderate TBI: People with moderate traumatic brain injuries may experience the same symptoms as those with mild TBI, but they might get worse with time or be accompanied by convulsions, severe vomiting, dilated pupils, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, coordination problems, confusion and agitation.
- Severe TBI: Again, individuals with severe TBI will likely display signs of milder brain injuries, but symptoms may also expand to include brain death, coma, vegetative states and “locked-in syndrome.” Those with more serious TBI will have sustained extreme damage such as bleeding, torn tissues, swelling or other deadly physical nerve damage.
It is important to know that you can be diagnosed with a mild TBI and still sustain serious and disabling conditions as a consequence of the injury. The Brain Injury Association of America estimates that more than 3.1 million children and adults in the United States are living with a lifelong disability as a result of TBIs, and mild injuries are the most common form of injury.
Recovering From a Traumatic Brain Injury
For many people, recovery from a traumatic brain injury is a never-ending journey. The brain is the organ responsible for sending out all of the body’s signals for thinking, sensation, language and emotion. When those signals are interrupted due to a traumatic brain injury, any number of complications can arise; some are a direct result of the injury and others arise secondarily. These include:
- Brain swelling;
- Blood clots;
- Cranial nerve injuries;
- Skull fractures;
- Cerebrospinal fluid leaks;
- Ventricular enlargement;
- Multiple organ failure ;
- Muscle atrophy;
- Speech problems;
- Short-term or long-term memory loss;
- Behavioral problems;
- Personality changes;
- Cognitive deficits (thinking, reasoning, problem-solving abilities);
- Sensory problems (particularly with vision and hand-eye coordination);
- Chronic pain;
- Increased risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Costs Associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries
Neurological injuries such as TBIs or spinal cord injuries are costly, both personally and financially. The CDC found that direct medical costs of TBI and indirect costs, such as lost productivity, totaled $60 billion in the U.S. in 2000.
Because every brain injury is different and the outcomes vary, it is hard to estimate what your injury will cost over the course of your lifetime. The construction accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, PC, will consult with experts who can project what your lifetime losses might be and take into account what the future might hold.
Consider these expenses and how they might impact your family if you suffered a traumatic brain injury in a construction accident:
- Medical bills;
- Hospital bills;
- Rehabilitation and therapy bills;
- Emergency room visits;
- Assistive equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers or other devices;
- Cost of private health aides;
- Cost of a residential facility or nursing home;
- Current lost wages for you (and family caregivers, if they quit work to care for you);
- Emotional distress;
- Pain and suffering.
Our New York Construction Accident Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you survived a traumatic brain injury that resulted from a construction accident in the Brooklyn or New York City, the attorneys at David Resnick & Associates are committed to helping you receive compensation if your injuries were caused by the negligence of a third party.
Contact us today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.