Proving Traumatic Brain Injury
Finding ways to present complex evidence to a jury in a way that is straight forward and understandable is key to successfully trying a TBI case.
In brain injury cases the medicine involved addresses an injury category that is not readily visible as is a fractured arm or leg.
Direct trauma to the head is readily demonstrable. But, permanent brain injury is not limited only to situations involving blunt head trauma.
Indirect brain injuries include abrupt movement of the head where the brain impacts the skull inside the skull and is damaged during the impact.
The challenge for attorneys is to, through expert and lay witness 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 too.
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.
If you have been in any kind of a car accident caused by the negligence of someone else, and were injured or sustained property damage in a car crash in Merrillville, Crown Point, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Portage, Valparaiso, or in Lake or Porter County, or any part of northwest Indiana contact our firm for help. We put our experience and resources to work for car crash injury victims throughout northwest Indiana with one object in mind: to maximize your compensation. Call our number (219)736-9700 for assistance today.
*If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read or listen (now available in audio book format) to “Fighting For Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight Into What It Takes To Win” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.