Traumatic Brain Injuries – The Legal Challenges

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the generalized term for those harms that impact the brain and cause maladies that result in mild cognitive and memory issues to even death. From a legal perspective, TBI cases create a unique blend of challenges to the defendant’s attorney, the plaintiff’s attorney, as well as to the insurance providers.

Brain injuries should not be considered an ‘event.’ A TBI is the beginning of a process typically marred by misdiagnoses, and under-funded neurological disease research. Those with sustained brain injuries must be provided with:

  • Lifelong Management and care
  • Professional, expert care
  • Appropriate rehabilitation therapies
  • Individualized support services

According to the National Brain Injury Association, there are more than 2,000,000 brain injuries in the United States each year. Of those who sustain brain injuries, 75-100,000 people will die each year due to their brain trauma. Additionally, more than 500,000 people will require hospitalization.

Trauma is the most common cause of brain injury in the United States. Typical causes of TBI include car accidents, slip and falls, assaults, or abuse.

From a legal purview, TBI cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. However, TBI cases have unique challenges associated with them that aren’t present in other personal injury cases.

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was developed to help medical professionals to assess the extent of brain injury. The scale uses a variety of assessments based upon eye, verbal, and motor responsiveness.

Legal Challenges Facing Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits

Brain injuries are difficult to detect. Symptoms of TBI include headaches and fatigue, which are rather common making them difficult to definitively tie to the actual brain trauma. One of the greatest challenges facing a Plaintiff’s attorney claim is convincing a jury (or the insurer) that the Plaintiff even had any trauma.

Victims may not be able to help establish liability. One of the most crucial parts of any personal injury case is showing who was at fault.

Symptoms don’t always show up right away. Brain trauma symptoms may be revealed weeks or months later, given the insurance agency a clear opening to argue that these symptoms are unrelated to the brain injury.

Long-lasting effects of TBI are difficult to quantify. The long-term consequences regarding cognition are difficult to definitively pinpoint. Think about it:

  • How can one objectively prove that a person is unable to problem solve following the incident?
  • How can a brain injured person prove that they were in line for a promotion which will not happen due to the traumatic brain injury?
  • How does one calculate lost earnings accurately or fairly?

The Takeaway

Settling a traumatic brain injury lawsuit is challenging for most attorneys. The law offices of Michael E. Fenimore understand the challenging tasks required to prevail in these lawsuits. They possess the professional skill and experience to handle the challenging nature of TBI lawsuits. Contact them today.