How Do You Prove Traumatic Brain Injury?


Hi, I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub.

One of the tasks of an attorney representing an injury victim is to find ways to present evidence to a jury to make the complex subject of brain injury understandable.

The concept that direct trauma to the head can cause brain injury is readily demonstrable. But, permanent brain injury is not limited only to situations involving blunt head trauma.

An indirect would include abrupt head movement where the brain impacts the inside of the skull and is damaged during the impact.

The challenge for attorneys is to, through expert testimony, help jurors visualize what may otherwise seem to be “invisible” injuries.

The goal is that jurors have an opportunity to fully and fairly assess the harm suffered by the injury victim. 

There are a variety of ways to break the complex down into simple terms.

Treating medical doctors are not often called upon to explain the mechanism of a TBI injury.

However, most do very well describing how symptoms such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression can be causally connected to traumatic brain injury.

It is helpful to ask questions designed to disclose complex information in small bite-sized chunks.

To ask the right questions, the attorney has to learn the medicine.

Then the attorney must forget what has been learned and ask the question as someone unfamiliar with the medical complexities would ask it.

Medical diagrams and illustrations can be a big help.

Animations showing what happens to the brain when direct trauma is applied to the head, or showing what happens to the brain during rapid deceleration in a crash, can be an immense help also.

PowerPoint slides can also assist during expert testimony to provide a visual itemization of symptoms and test findings.

Sometimes, having a skilled technician explain the purpose of a medical test can illustrate how a brain injury impacts a person.

Co-workers, friends, and relatives can explain changes observed in the patient before and after the injury.

Attorneys must work to bring all of this evidence together.

In short, the attorney is much like the conductor of a symphony orchestra.

The attorney’s job is to ensure that the full injury story is conveyed to the jury in an understandable manner.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at We also invite you to subscribe to our weekly podcast: Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

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