Despite the advances of modern medicine, the brain is still a mystery. Imaging techniques such as x-rays and MRIs can see only so much of the damage to a brain from trauma, and a great deal of damage is so microscopic it cannot be imaged. As a result, closed-head injuries with damage to the brain may be diagnosed, but the actual injury cannot be imaged, resulting in apparently normal x-rays and MRIs. It’s easy, therefore, for insurance companies and defense lawyers to contend that there is no visual evidence of permanent damage. They may also try to attribute symptoms to other causes such as behavioral problems, family issues, drug abuse, personality defects, and so on.
To not be believed is insulting and harmful to those suffering head injuries. They already suffer because they often look fine to coworkers and friends, who don't take the time to observe the changes. We know differently. For example, often their cognitive abilities are signficantly impaired. These impairments can include an inability to remember simple things in the short term, to concentrate and pay attention, to do math, find words in conversation, and to figure things out as they used to before they were injured. Some suffer from headaches, dizziness and a sensitivity to bright light. We prove these impairments using sophisticated testing techniques, which include neuropyschological testing by experts who understand how to detect and measure these impairments.
We focus on creating a time line to prove that the symptoms of the damage to the brain are the result of the accident. This is labor-intensive work that involves reviewing records and interviewing professionals who have had contact with the client both before and after the incident. Younger children often don’t have a lot of standardized testing in school records, so in that case we interview teachers to document changes in ability and personality which the teachers observed firsthand.
Creating Time Line Helps Prove Brain Injury
We represented a child who suffered brain damage when his father, who had a substance abuse problem, drove into a guard rail and caused the child to fly out of the car. The defense claimed that the child was simply not very bright and had suffered no brain damage. By interviewing teachers and others who knew the child before and after the accident, as well as conducting sophisticated neuropsychological testing, we were able to demonstrate that the child’s brain had permanently lost a significant amount of functioning ability. We not only collected substantial compensation for the child to offset the fact that his future earning ability was severely compromised, but also ensured that the trust fund would be kept safe as he moved through his adolescent and teen years on the way to adulthood.
Head Injury Proved Despite Normal X-rays and CT Scans
Our client was standing to the side of the road, when a car, which was cut off by a truck, veered unexpectedly towards him. He was thrown head first into a guardrail. The first witnesses on the scene reported our client was dazed and confused. All x-rays and CT scans, including those performed on his head, were negative for any fractures. Days later it would become apparent he was not all right. Following his release from the overnight stay at the hospital, our client experienced constant right-sided headaches, nausea when he turned his head, and fatigue requiring sixteen to eighteen hours of sleep per night. The insurance company for the offending truck would later claim there was no injury because the x-rays and CT scans of his head were normal. We knew better and immediately referred him to a neurologist specializing in closed head injury. This specialist diagnosed post-concussive syndrome and occipital nerve injury. He ordered a new regimen of medications, as well as nerve blocks to deaden the headache pain which resulted from the occipital nerve injury. With patience and adherence to this new treatment regimen, and several more nerve blocks, our client showed enough improvement to finally return to work. Additionally, our client’s case was hampered as the responding police first focused only on the car which veered into our client. We turned our focus on the truck which cut this car off and started the accident. We quickly located and interviewed a highway worker who witnessed the entire accident and placed the blame squarely on the truck driver. After filing a lawsuit and proving the truck driver was reckless in the way he changed lanes and substantiating our client’s head injury with a respected specialist, the truck driver’s insurance company eventually agreed to settle this case for substantial compensation which took care all of our client’s losses without the case ever going to trial.