Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a serious and continuing health problem. Most recent data from CDC indicates TBIs are on the rise with an increase in TBI-related emergency department visits and hospitalization from 2002-2006. Worse, many TBIs go unrecognized. The impacts of even mild TBI, and the effects, are misunderstood by the victims themselves, their families, and even within some members of the medical community. Given the complexities surrounding brain injury cases, an increasingly troubling...
An increasingly troubling phenomenon is the number of TBI victims retaining legal counsel woefully unprepared to recognize and effectively represent their unique interests. The effects can be devastating if not recognized by a practiced brain injury attorney. Just last year, our firm retained a TBI victim who had previously retained an attorney insistnt that the client take a $3000 offer. Only after the client fired that attorney, and then spoke with us about the matter, were we able to assess the true significance and value in her case. One year later, her case was settled at $400K.
The lesson is that TBI cases stem from an inherently complex neurological system and the average person, let alone the average attorney, simply does not have the knowledge nor experience to fully assess and advise a client appropriately. Without adequate skill and training, the client is left without adequate resources to treat their ongoing disability. Even the attorney is worse of—the insurer knows that in the future, this attorney can be duped and the settlement offer will so reflect. Ultimately, future TBI victims suffer as well.
Most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control estimate that in the United States, 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually. (Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG…). While “falls” represent the singles largest cause of TBIs (35.2%), the second-largest category for external causes is motor vehicle-traffic related at some 17.3%.
It can take time to fully realize the effects of an acute MTBI. 25-35% will report unrelenting complaints 3-6 months later. Many of these persist indefinitely. Generally speaking, if symptoms persist past the 6-month point, they are permanent. One of the most under-diagnosed problems of all time (Croft, Whiplash and MTBI, 28)