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traumatic brain injury

Settlement for Woman with TBI, Psychiatric Conditions

Attorneys Stephen M. Smith and David B. Holt of The Brain Injury Law Center partnered with The Mottley Law Firm to settle a case for a woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a head-on collision. The case was especially challenging due to the woman’s complicated psychiatric medical history.Smith’s client, a 54-year-old woman (who will be referred to as “Becky” to protect her identity), suffered traumatic injuries after colliding head-on with another driver. She was driving the speed limit when the on-coming driver careened into her path, hitting Becky straight on. The airbags hit the right side of her face, causing a cerebral contusion.Becky struggled afterward to remember any details about the crash.

Client Symptoms Point to Medical Disorders

For years before the collision, Becky dealt with anxiety, depression and Asperger’s Syndrome. She had also suffered a Transient Ischemic Attack (or mini-stroke), sustained a head injury after falling from a horse and endured a concussion when her head was accidentally slammed by a car door. Becky had been living on disability due to her psychiatric problems and was unemployed.Following the accident, Becky experienced lingering headaches, difficulty concentrating and trouble seeing properly. She was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-traumatic vision disorder (PTVS), convergence insufficiency, cognitive communication disorder, dysexecutive disorder, orbitofrontal deficits, post-traumatic headache syndrome, a balance disorder and insomnia from the car accident.These facts added to the challenges of the case presented in court.

Preexisting Conditions Complicate Client’s Case

Although Becky sustained serious injuries from the crash, she was also already living with significant difficulties beforehand. This was the central topic of debate during her trial. Her attorneys and doctors insisted the crash exacerbated her pre-existing conditions, and that the resulting TBI she suffered was the main source of her problems. In addition to this, her psychiatrist believed her Asperger’s Syndrome made it more difficult for her to cope and heal.However, medical experts hired by the defendant contended that her health problems all stemmed from her pre-existing conditions. The fact that she was already on disability was an added a challenge in court.The debate concluded when a month before the trial, the other driver admitted to causing the crash. The case settled in mediation for $630,000.“This case was very complex, and I truly sympathize with what my client went through. We are pleased to have given her the best possible outcome, giving her hope for the future,” said Smith.

Experienced Brain Injury Attorney Stephen M. Smith

Stephen Smith is the founder and director of the Brain Injury Law Center. He has more than four decades of experience with brain injury cases and is internationally recognized for his work in traumatic brain injury litigation. More than just an attorney to his clients, Smith is an advocate who fights on behalf of those living with this life-changing illness.
womens rugby scrum cap

Rugby Scrum Caps: Protective Headgear or False Security?

In any contact sport, head injury is an inevitable risk. Rugby is no exception, and concussions are a serious concern when it comes to player welfare.Rugby players sometimes wear protective headgear believing it protects against head injuries. However, such protective gear in rugby has serious limitations, and research has found that it might do more harm than good. (more…)


This month, our Teach Believe Inspire award goes to Nicole Wight, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caregiver. She is a mother to two children, MacKenzie and Michael, who have special needs due to TBIs. Wight inspires our team with her selfless endurance and advocacy on behalf of her children.Nicole WightSince a tragic car accident altered the course of her life, Nicole Wight used inner strength and courage to learn a new way of life. She had to for the sake of her children. Incredibly, Nicole Wight also paved the way for other parents and caregivers by sharing intimate details of her journey in raising her children.Her advocacy work on behalf of not only her children but also other families with TBI children makes her our firm’s choice for this month’s award. We believe being a part of a supportive community is a crucial step towards healing after a traumatic event. (more…)
slip and fall accidents

How to Avoid Injuring Yourself When Falling

Falling is something most of us don’t have to think about—until it happens. Yet the injuries that accompany a fall can be serious, even life-altering; falling accounts for one-third of all traumatic brain injuries.Although falls are often unavoidable, many injuries that come with this type of accident can be prevented. Learning how to fall correctly could help save you from debilitating injuries, lost wages, mounting medical bills and lengthy recoveries.Read on to learn 5 tips taken from professionals for how you can potentially avoid serious injury during a fall. (more…)
nfl football helmet

Brain Injury & The NFL: Profit Over People?

American football—for athletes and fans--is not just a game but a way of life. However, many aren’t aware that it’s not all fame and glory. The NLF in particular has long been blamed for glossing over serious injuries, especially brain injuries.A recent study linked football to dangerous head injuries. When scientists conducted autopsies on 202 deceased football players, 99% of NFL players were found to have suffered a type of brain damage called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). (more…)

Ex-NFL Player Accused of Beating Girlfriend Faces Civil Trial

[caption id="attachment_5807" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Curtis Jordan Washington Red Skins Photo: WUSA 9[/caption]A civil trial is set to begin this May for a former Washington Redskins player accused of brutally beating and choking his girlfriend during a heated argument in the early morning hours of January 2, 2015. Curtis Jordan was charged with maliciously wounding Alexandra Dale a few weeks after the incident. Although Jordan was arrested, he was quickly released on bond.

Defense Claims Girlfriend Provoked Beating

Criminal trial defense attorneys contend that it was Jordan’s ex-girlfriend who first attacked Jordan and posed a threat to their client. The criminal case has remained on hold as the trial has been repeatedly postponed. After over three years, it is finally moving forward.Jordan and Dale had dated for about two years. According to the civil lawsuit, the couple spent New Year’s Day together before returning to Dale’s house after midnight where they got into an argument. (more…)

Traveling Exhibit Showcases Art by Brain Injury Survivors

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) impact a substantial number of individuals, contributing to about 30% of all deaths in the United States. For Traumatic Brain Injury survivors, day-to-day life can feel isolated. TBI survivors often face challenges with communication, which can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.Because the injury is highly misunderstood by the public, TBI survivors sometimes feel detached from the rest of society. However, one art initiative plans to bridge the gap between TBI survivors and their communities. (more…)

Know the Signs and Take Action to Prevent Drowsy Driving

fatigued drowsy driverNearly 21 percent of all car accidents involve a drowsy driver. Adults should be getting seven to eight full hours of sleep every night, yet many people suffer from stress, insomnia, or bad habits that prevent them from getting a full night’s rest. Driving while drowsy does more than make you yawn. By making sleep a priority, you can prevent accidents that could change your life forever. (more…)

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