Who can I sue if I suffered a brain injury after an accident in New York?

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Michele S. Mirman - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Michele S. Mirman

Located in New York, NYMirman, Markovits & Landau, PC

New York, NY
Phone: 800-381-0183
Fax: 212-227-5011

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If you or a loved one is struggling with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) following an accident, you are not alone. In addition to a physical injury such as a concussion or head injury, you may also have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that changes your personality, memory, cognitive abilities and mood. TBIs are the major cause of death and disability in the United States and account for about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

Many types of accidents can lead to a TBI. Common causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Car accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Trip-and-fall accidents
  • Birth injuries
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents

You should always speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to help you determine who is at fault for your injury. You will also need to find out if the person or entity that caused the accident has insurance that covers your accident. In addition, a lawyer can gather all the information, documentation and proof regarding your injury so that you make the best presentation possible to the insurance company. That will help you get the amount of compensation you deserve. Most people find these steps very difficult without the help of an attorney.  

Naming Your Defendant

Who you sue depends upon the type of accident you have. For example, in a trip-and-fall case, if you fall on the sidewalk in front of a store, that store and the building owner may be responsible for the sidewalk. You would sue both of those entities. If your infant suffered a childbirth injury, you may be suing the doctor, hospital or both in a medical malpractice claim.

If you are in a motor vehicle accident and suffer a TBI as a result, the defendants would be the owners and drivers of the other vehicles involved in the accident. Because a TBI is so severe, you may rely on your own under-insured motorist coverage if the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and you had under-insurance to cover the event. Your lawyer may also investigate whether any other situations or entities contributed to the accident. For example, defective traffic lights, stop signs and roadways could bring the city into the picture as an additional defendant.

Injuries At Work

If your TBI resulted from a workplace injury, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim in New York. TBIs are a common work injury. They often result from a fall or something falling from a height onto a worker. Filing a workers’ comp claim is different from a personal injury lawsuit, and has its own rules and regulations. If you worked at a construction site, you may have a broader range of options. You can bring a third-party lawsuit if a third party’s negligence caused your injury, due to missing safety equipment, defective safety equipment or a defective condition at the site. 

Timing To Bring A Lawsuit

The time you have to bring a lawsuit depends upon several factors, including the age of the victim, where the accident happened, who you are suing, and the type of accident you had. For example, an adult often has three years to sue for a typical personal injury lawsuit, but a child has until they are 18, plus the three years. Time limits are much shorter when you sue government entities.

If you are suing a government entity, like the city of New York, the New York City Transit Authority, or the New York City Housing Authority, you have a very short time to sue. You must file a notice of claim within 90 days of your accident and file a lawsuit within one year and 90 days. United States government agencies and New York state agencies likewise have short time periods for filing. A skilled lawyer will help you through the tangled maze of who to sue and the timing to bring a lawsuit.

A traumatic brain injury is a serious injury that can have a long-term profound effect on your life.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will look at all aspects of your case so that you can recover the just compensation you are entitled to and deserve.  

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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