This blog is the 3rd blog in a series of three that I have written for clients or family members of clients who have sustained a brain injury in an accident of any kind.
As discussed in my previous blogs, a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) most likely cannot be seen on any x-ray type studies. Since symptoms may take a long time to manifest and there exist alternative causes for the symptoms, proving a causal connection between the traumatic event and the brain injury requires a vigorous advocate with experience handling brain injury cases. Cases can be lost even when a wrongdoer has been clearly negligent if such a lawyer is not retained.
There are 3 main ways I work with my clients to ensure that I can prove the injury was caused by the trauma.
#1 – Make sure you are being treated by a neurologist that will be of maximum benefit to you, not all neurologists are created equal.
Some do not concentrate their practices in the handling of traumatically caused closed head injury. Some are very skilled in providing treatment but are uncomfortable when asked what caused the symptoms. Some do not like the idea of having to work with your lawyer, which could include reviewing your entire medical history in order to rule out other potential reasons for your symptoms. Some do not like to testify in Court.
However, a knowledgeable neurologist will be able to explain to a jury how the mechanism of injury affects brain tissue, why a bruise to the brain cannot be seen, and why every person reacts differently to a MTBI.
#2 – Make sure you are being treated by a neuropsychologist that will be of maximum benefit to you.
The neurologist will refer you to a neuropsychologist who will perform a battery of tests to determine if you have cognitive deficits and affect normal functioning. The neuropsychologist could also recommend further treatment to help the neurologist treat these cognitive deficits.
Recently, I represented a CEO of a manufacturing company that was suffering in his job but did not want the lose it. The neuropsychologist, recognizing the nature of the cognitive problems, was able to recommend that the neurologist prescribe a job coach to my client. This help saved my client’s career.
#3 – Co-employees, friends and family will be interviewed.
These people are the best observers of the changes in your cognition, mood, memory, and energy level as the result of the injury.
In the case of the CEO, the neuropsychologist visited my client’s job site and spoke with the managers who had worked with my client before and after the injury. The neuropsychologist was able to utilize this information obtained, in combination with the interviews of my client and his wife, along with the extensive testing done, to reach a complete understanding of the condition and make recommendations for further treatment.
When you or your loved one has suffered any kind of brain injury due to another’s carelessness and has long term consequences that affect aspects of daily life, it is important that you choose a lawyer who understands that treatment is needed, the kind of treatment that is needed, and can help prove that the unseen injury to the brain is real, and not just “in your head.”
Tony Baratta is a trial attorney in Huntingdon Valley, PA who represents clients who have been seriously injured. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and a member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA). Tony is on the board for the Philadelphia VIP, a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys and voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers 2008-2014.