This article is part 1 of a 2-part series on brain injury litigation, specifically, how lawyers link trauma to brain injury. This series can also offer helpful information for TBI victims and their loved ones about basic insight into the strategy necessary for building a successful case.
Article, Part 1:
- The Challenge of Proving a TBI Case
- Evidence & Admissibility in Court
- Connecting Trauma to Brain Injury
- Demonstrating Extent of Brain Injury
- Notable Recoveries for TBI Victims
The Challenge of Proving a TBI Case
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases can be challenging to prove. Many victims who suffer head trauma do not show outward signs of a violent event.
Concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries are difficult to diagnose, though they can lead to serious problems, especially if they are left untreated. A TBI client may suffer cognitive, physical and emotional problems yet may have no disfigurement and appear unharmed to a jury. Because of this, visual evidence and tools are critical in the field of brain injury litigation.
Evidence & Admissibility in Court
Before a trial, counsel will determine which parts of a case may be used as evidence or demonstrative aids.
Demonstrative evidence – visuals such as x-rays, diagrams, and simulations – serve to illustrate or explain substantive evidence.
Substantive evidence includes testimony and transcripts.
By using demonstrative evidence, an attorney can:
- Connect the violence of the traumatic event with brain injuries
- Demonstrate the extent of physical brain injuries
- Prove the client suffered neuropsychological effects resulting from trauma
Connecting Trauma to Brain Injury
It is crucial to demonstrate the extent of the violence to a jury in brain injury litigation.
- For example, providing the jury with photographs from the scene of a car accident can create a link between the event and the TBI.
Images can be incredibly powerful and can sometimes make or break a case. If possible, take photographs of the exterior and interior of all vehicles involved, as well as the scene of the accident. Ensure that photographs include important details, such as damaged areas of a vehicle or the victim’s injuries. Photographs can be enlarged to show the jury the severity of the impact.
Demonstrating the Extent of a Brain Injury
When it comes to developing demonstrative evidence to prove the extent of a brain injury, imaging studies are vital to a case’s success. Cases supported by medical imagery are much easier to prove than those without.
Several types of images are used to rule out or confirm intracranial injuries:
- CT (CAT) scans are normally used to evaluate patients for intracranial hemorrhaging. They can detect significant intracranial injuries but are not as effective at catching more subtle injuries.
- MRIs detect less obvious injuries and have 100,000 times the resolution of CT scans. MRIs are not typically used during initial observation, but rather performed later to determine the cause of unusual behavior or cognitive abnormalities.
- SPECT scans measure blood perforation. During a SPECT scan, radionuclides are injected into the blood and the brain and mapped out according to the amount of blood that travels to certain areas of the brain. Injured areas are detected as they generally require less blood.
- PET scans create maps of glucose use in brain tissue. Functional brain cells use glucose at a higher rate than damaged or dead cells.
- MEG brain scans can help doctors see the physical evidence of TBI
Notable Recoveries for TBI Victims
Suffering brain injury is serious and can be life-changing. The attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center have helped numerous clients with proving their cases successfully.
Here are just a few of our notable recoveries:
- Motorcycle Accident — $14.59 million
A woman suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident caused by a defective tire tube. Both the motorcycle dealer and the tire manufacturer agreed to settle.
- Largest Slip & Fall Verdict in Virginia History — $12.26 million
This case involved a man who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury during a fall.
- Truck Accident — $10.22 million
A jury reached a verdict of more than $10.22 million in a case brought against Werner Transportation on behalf of a woman who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in a crash. This was believed to be the largest-ever personal injury verdict in Norfolk, VA.
More About TBI Litigation
To learn more about brain injury types and their effects, read on to Linking Brain Injury to Trauma, Part 2.
An experienced attorney is imperative to building a solid case. The attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center have dedicated their careers to serving victims of brain injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury by no fault of your own, contact our office today for a free case review.