Serious Injuries

Brain injuries

When the brain suffers physical trauma (like a car accident or fall) or is deprived of oxygen (like birth trauma, a stroke, or drowning) the brain itself can become damaged. 

Brain injuries associated with car accidents are called traumatic brain injuries (TBI).  Brain injury severity depends on the extent of trauma and the quality of medical care that the brain injury victim receives. In some cases car-accident-associated brain injury is compounded by medical malpractice. Approximately half of all traumatic brain injury cases are a result of auto accidents. The severity of these types of brain injury can depend on a number of factors such as length of unconsciousness, amnesia, altered mental states, and the neurological deficits sustained. With advances in emergency response treatment and medical techniques to treat brain injury, victims have a greater chance of rehabilitation. Immediate brain injury medical care is crucial to the outcome of a brain injury. Anoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain, must be monitored for and quickly addressed; otherwise the severity of brain injury can increase remarkably. Swelling and bleeding in the brain can compound brain injury and must also be treated immediately. Secondary brain injury such as seizures, edema, and hematomas also need to be watched for and treated. Early intervention and proper health care attention is crucial to brain injury victim survival. If brain injury is not properly treated by professional medical staff it can lead to more serious injuries. Medical malpractice may be the cause of further brain injury if medical professionals fail to act immediately and appropriately in brain injury cases.

The Berkman Law Office, LLC has successfully represented clients suffering from brain injuries and their loved ones located in New York City, the greater metropolitan area and throughout New York State. Our firm’s extensive experience in this area enables us to understand that the long-term effects of TBI can be subtle and difficult to ascertain. The injuries an individual suffers as a result of a TBI can be acute and life changing. Sometimes the effects of what appears to be a minor injury can be perplexing to doctors treating patients. Even mild brain injury can have long-term effects upon personality, memory and the ability to concentrate on everyday routine tasks. Doctors are only beginning to understand these changes and how to document them. Our firm has been successful in properly presenting this complicated information in a way that convinces defense attorneys, insurance companies and juries that these injuries exist and were in fact caused by the accident. By selecting appropriate expert witnesses and working with your treating doctors, we are able to objectively document your injury to obtain the best possible result for you.

We are aware that after experiencing such trauma, your immediate goals involve making sure medical bills are paid and covered, ensuring that you and your family will not suffer financially through any lost earnings, and assuring the appropriate insurance company will cover future treatment relating to the injury. Our expertise extends to aiding you with such crucial matters.

Because of our experience with these types of injuries, we understand the changes in your life and routines. We will handle your case with compassion, as well as strive to prevent the litigation process from creating more stress for you.

Spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries affect between four and five million Americans yearly, and 400,000 live with the continuing effects of these injuries. Injuries to the neck (the cervical spine) or to the back (the lumbar spine) can result in serious damage to the spinal cord causing permanent, and often catastrophic injuries.
An injury to the spinal cord, the central carrier of signals throughout the body, may be simply a bruise (or contusion), or a partial or complete tear. A mild contusion may cause the temporary loss of some function below the site of the injury. A complete transection, or severing of the spinal cord, causes a total and permanent loss of sensation and movement below the site of the injury.

The spinal column

The spinal column is a flexible, mobile assemblage of individual segments of bone which are called vertebrae. There are seven cervical vertebrae (the neck), twelve thoracic vertebrae (chest) and five lumbar vertebrae (the back) all of which move with the structures above and below. The sacrum (located at the base of the lumbar vertebrae) consists of five vertebrae, all of which are fused forming a solid body. The coccyx (tailbone) is made up of four to five bony segments which are fused together to form one bone, although mobile on the sacrum.

The vertebrae are made up of the vertebral body, lying in front of or anterior to the spinal cord, and the posterior portion, which consists of the neural bony arch which is located on each side of and behind the spinal cord. The bodies of the vertebrae are connected together by the intervertebral disc structures (the tough ring of annulus fibrosis and the sem-gelatinous nucleus pulposus). On its upper or superior, and lower or inferior surfaces each vertebral body is covered with a thin plate of cartilage.

The posterior neural arch is divided into anatomical parts. The arch is connected to the vertebra body on both sides by what is known as the pedicel. The vertebra moves with that above and below not solely through the vertebral bodies but also through bilateral joints called the facets. The facets are located on the posterior neural arches. The facet articulating with the vertebra above is called the superior facet; that with the vertebra below is the inferior facet continuing from the facets posteriorly are the laminate, which meet with each other at the midline. Completing the boney neural arch from the midpoint of the neural arch, posteriorly and projecting backward is the spinous process, to which ligaments and muscles are attached.

The Intra Vertebral discs are interposed between the adjacent structures of the vertebral bodies from the second cervical vertebrae to the sacrum forming strong bonds between the adjacent vertebrae. Each intervertebral disc has two parts, the annulus fibrosis and the nucleus pulposus. The annulus fibrosis is made up of laminae (layers) of fibrous tissue. They are arranged concentrically; the outermost of fibrous tissues, the other of fibrocartilage. The annulus fibrosis surrounds the nucleus pulposus and can be compared to a retaining sheath of fibrous tissue. The tension of the elastic annulus fibrosis keeps the nucleus under pressure. The nucleus pulposus has a pulpy or mucoid consistency. Basically, a disc herniation occurs when the nucleus herniates (protrudes) the annulus fibrosis. Depending on the extent and direction of the herniation (anterior or posterior) the nucleus pulposus can encroach upon the spinal nerve roots and subject them to pressure and/or resulting pain in the areas of the body enervated by the effected nerve roots. Herniated discs may be caused by trauma, such as car, truck and bus accidents, construction accidents and other types of accidents which cause severe trauma to the spinal column. A posterior herniation may cause the nucleus pulposus to encroach on the spinal nerve roots causing severe pain and resulting disability for which surgery may be required.

Where brain injury or spinal injury is the result of someone else’s wrongful conduct, experienced attorneys are required. Your lawyer must be prepared to investigate, file suit, and prosecute your claim with intensity and passion. The Berkman Law Office, LLC has the experience, medical knowledge and courtroom track record necessary to make certain that our clients who have suffered back injuries obtain full compensation covering medical expense, rehabilitation cost, lost wages, supplies and equipment, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. 

Quadriplegia, paraplegia and brain damage are catastrophic injuries involving damage to the Central Nervous System.  The brain and spinal cord, the two main components of the Central Nervous System, control neural function throughout the body. 

At The Berkman Law Office, LLC, every case of this type is thoroughly prepared so that the present and future needs of the victim are accounted for both medically and financially.  At the outset, we assemble a team of legal and medical experts chosen for their ability to analyze, document, and persuasively describe their findings with respect to every technical issue of liability and damages that will arise in your case. We consult nationally recognized experts in healthcare, medicine, and life care planning in order to ensure our clients receive full compensation. In cases involving paraplegia or quadriplegia, we work with established healthcare cost data that details known costs associated with current and future nursing care, medical equipment, and other needed medical care including the cost of wheelchairs and required changes to your home and your vehicle. A physical rehabilitative expert (a physiatrist) works with a life care planner to identify and address the physical, medical and day-to-day needs of the victim and individualized plans are prepared to insure that the victim can achieve some level of future independence and a meaningful quality of life. An economist is retained to analyze and quantify the medical costs associated with the life care plan and prepare a report that accounts for rising medical costs, interest and inflation. An experienced Trial Attorney is, in this way, equipped to present all of the damage issues to the jury in clear and understandable terms.

Our goal in all cases is to help you recover the money you will need to make the most of your life in the aftermath of a traumatic accident.


Few kinds of injuries are scarier to imagine than an amputation. Whether the amputation is traumatic, meaning as a result of the accident itself, or surgical, meaning as a result of surgery, the prospect of losing all or part of a limb is among most people’s worst nightmares. Yet it happens all too often, frequently as a result of car and motorcycle accidents.

At The Berkman Law Office, LLC we have a special relationship with amputation injuries, as one of our attorneys himself suffered an above-the-knee traumatic amputation of his leg in motorcycle accident. More than most other firms, we can relate to the day to day life of an amputee and the challenges that it poses.

Amputation injuries and prosthetics pose many risks associated with medical side effects and other amputation complications including:

  • Chronic Neuroma (pain and/or tenderness in the amputation area)
  • Contracture (a fixed deformity at the joint)
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis
  • Gangrene (tissue death)
  • Hematoma (a bleeding blood vessel)
  • InfectionNecrosis (death of the skin flaps)
  • Phantom Sensations
  • Stiffness

Recovering from the loss of limb is a long, slow, and painful process. Rehabilitation from an amputation can take months or even years. Medical expenses can impair a secure financial future. You need expert representation. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney at The Berkman Law Office, LLC.


Neck and back injuries

The Berkman Law Office, LLC serves clients throughout Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, and Westchester County NY. As well as clients in New Jersey.

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