Traumatic brain injuries frequently cause a variety of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. Even a concussion can cause serious health issues including headache, dizziness, emotional instability, behavioral changes, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances and physical symptoms. www.biami.org – Brain Injury Association of Michigan. Yet, attorneys hired by insurance companies will argue in personal injury lawsuits that accident victims cannot suffer serious consequences from mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions.
They will frequently argue that it is impossible to have long term consequences from mild brain injuries or concussions and that brain injury symptoms are resolved within two or three months of an accident. Insurers will also argue that normal findings on cranial tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results can rule out a serious brain injury.
Defense attorneys will make these arguments with insurance doctors (so-called independent medical evaluators) even though it is well documented that these scans cannot rule out all types of brain injuries and it is possible to have a severe brain injury and be in a coma even though the scan results are normal. Further, recent studies show that mild traumatic brain injury or concussions can cause chronic cognitive symptoms beyond three months post injury contrary to the defense arguments that symptoms are fully resolved within months of the accident.
A recent research study, “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) and chronic cognitive impairment: A Scoping Review, Plos One 12(4): e017487. https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.premed.1000097 found that approximately half of individuals with a mild traumatic brain injury demonstrate long-term cognitive impairment.
In order to prevail in lawsuits involving mild brain injury or concussion, attorneys representing the accident victim should be prepared to rebut these arguments with qualified expert witnesses, effective cross-examination of defense experts through the use of authoritative research studies, and extensive knowledge of brain injury symptoms that typically follow a traumatic injury. Use of neuropsychological testing is also helpful to establish objective impairments caused by brain injury.
It is important to document a brain injury victim’s pre-injury level of functioning in order to make a valid comparison of a person’s pre and post injury status. Work colleagues or close friends are frequently able to provide observations of decreased work performances or decreased social activities after an accident. An occupational therapy evaluation can also frequently demonstrate changes in an injured person’s ability to function in the community and at home through the use of standardized testing with a comprehensive evaluation.
It is important to hire an experienced attorney with knowledge of brain injury litigation defenses in order to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in these cases.
If you or a member of your family has been in an accident and suffered a brain injury, our Personal Injury Law Firm can help. Logeman, Iafrate & Logeman, P.C. have extensive experience in claims and lawsuits involving brain injuries and have helped countless clients throughout Michigan recover losses and fight for their rights. Our Ann Arbor Michigan Law Firm specializes in traumatic brain injury, construction accidents, car accidents, uninsured accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, pedestrian accidents, no fault, and more! Call today and schedule your Free Consultation.