One could argue that there’s no such thing as a “minor” brain injury. Brain trauma has lasting consequences, ranging from chronic headaches to problems with memory, speech, and motor function. In many cases a brain injury shortens life. Medical treatment for such injuries is often a long, difficult road. In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, brain injury poses unique challenges.
Types of brain injury
The complexity of brain injury lawsuits is partly due to the wide range of potential causes and effects of such injuries. Some injuries are caused by blows to the head: a driver’s head strikes the wheel during a collision, a shopper slips on a store’s wet floor, someone strikes another person with an object. Other injuries come from less obvious sources. Exposure to some toxic chemicals can cause brain injuries. An injury to another part of the body can release blood clots that can find their way to the brain and cause strokes.
The medical field recognizes a wide range of specific brain injuries. These include:
- Hematoma: clotting or concentration of blood outside the blood vessels, potentially causing unsafe pressure and damage to cells.
- Hemorrhage: bleeding between the skull and brain (so-called subarachnoid hemorrhage) or within the brain itself (intracerebral hemorrhage), which like a hematoma can cause pressure damage, as well as dizziness, headache, and other problems.
- Concussion: an injury caused by a blow to the head or a sudden stop, which often has short-term consequences like headaches and blurred vision, but can have longer-term effects especially if the victim has suffered concussions before.
The evidence problem
No two brain injuries are alike. Quite often an injury’s full significance can only be understood after some time has passed. Doctors use a range of methods to evaluate brain injuries, from external examinations to CT and MRI scans. Modern imaging equipment can reveal incredible details about the interior of the brain, allowing doctors to pinpoint trouble spots and make accurate diagnoses of issues like clotting and bleeding.
Some brain injury patients suffer neurological issues that are not going to show up in an imaging scan. Problems with speech, memory loss, or sleep disruption are examples of challenges that can’t be illustrated to a jury in a picture. A defendant in any personal injury case has a significant incentive to limit the scope of liability and will take exception to any symptom that the plaintiff can’t prove is related to the original injury. It’s very important that the injured plaintiff have the help of experienced attorneys who can organize evidence, coordinate witnesses, and anticipate the defense’s counterarguments before they arise.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has provided personalized, caring advice to clients in the Las Vegas area. If you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury and you would like to discuss your legal options, reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.