Brain Injury Lawyer New Jersey

New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Over 1.4 million Americans sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury each year, and more than 5.3 million Americans currently require lifelong assistance in order to perform daily activities. A traumatic brain injury can cause a wide range of disabilities, which can affect a person’s thinking, comprehension, emotions and behavior. Traumatic brain injuries can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.

Those suffering from traumatic brain injuries often have questions about their rights and need help in determining what benefits are owed to them. Stark & Stark’s attorneys have devoted themselves to obtaining the compensation our clients deserve and provide each client with personal guidance in order to coordinate and promote the healing process.

When hiring a personal injury attorney to represent a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, is it necessary for the attorney to have specialized knowledge of brain injuries?

Yes. The attorney you hire should have specialized knowledge and experience in the field of neurolaw and in handling traumatic brain injury cases. Just as a person with a brain injury would not be treated by a general medical practitioner, he or she should not be represented by a lawyer who is a general practitioner.

When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, inquire whether the attorney has handled brain injury cases, whether he or she has published or lectured in the field of traumatic brain injury, and most importantly, whether he or she understands the unique problems of a traumatic brain injury victim.

You should also review the attorney’s qualifications, such as whether the lawyer is board certified by your state’s bar or Supreme Court or by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and whether the lawyer is listed in the National Directory of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services, published annually by the National Brain Injury Association.

During my case, is it common to meet with my attorney’s legal assistants or associates rather than with my brain injury attorney?

When you begin working with a brain injury attorney, it is important to understand the course your litigation will take. Ask for a description of the work to be performed personally by your attorney and the work which will be delegated to others in the office. Litigation may take years and there are many situations which occur that do not require the expertise of the attorney, but can easily be handled by the attorney’s associate or legal assistant. Discuss your expectations with your brain injury attorney so that he or she understands your needs. As a client you have many rights, including the right to be kept up to date on developments in your case, the right to review your file, and the right to speak with your brain injury lawyer.

Can my insurance company and the defendant’s insurance company obtain my past medical records, which I believe are personal and privileged?

One of the most disturbing events for you, as the plaintiff in a personal injury action, is the intrusion into your privacy by attorneys and insurance adjusters. This intrusion is even more pronounced for the traumatic brain injury plaintiff.

When you pursue a claim against the party that caused your brain injury, all lawyers involved in the case are entitled to “discovery.” Discovery is the process by which brain injury lawyers try to find out information important to the case about both you and the defendant.

If you bring a claim for traumatic brain injuries, your entire medical history, both physical and psychological, becomes subject to discovery and review by not only your brain injury lawyer, but also by defense counsel and the insurance companies.

In defending personal injury cases, attorneys delve into a plaintiff’s past to uncover information about any pre-existing injury or complaint to which the plaintiff’s present condition can be related.

You may be familiar with the concept that conversations between you and your doctor, including notes about your treatment, are confidential or “privileged.” Under most state statutes, when a person brings a personal injury claim for injuries, that person waives the physician-patient privilege, allowing the defense access to all relevant medical records.

In addition to medical records, any records dealing with your emotional or psychological problems may be important to your claim. When a person asserts a mental or psychological problem as part or all of a personal injury claim, most courts have held that the psychotherapist-patient privilege is waived.

If your medical records contain prior medical, psychiatric or psychological information that you and your brain injury lawyers feel is not relevant to your claim, your brain injury lawyers should make a motion with the court requesting that the court review the records to determine if they should be released.

The process by which the defense physically obtains your medical records is fairly straightforward. To obtain your records, defense counsel will issue subpoenas or forward requests for medical record release authorizations to you. Most states require that copies of these documents also be delivered to your brain injury lawyer.

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