On August 20, 2020, my good friend and colleague Aaron House and I had the honor presenting at the Missouri Bar Association’s 2020 Solo and Small Firm Annual Conference. This was a continuing legal education program presented to attorneys across Missouri and was titled “Maximizing the Value of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Cases.” In the program, Aaron and I discussed ways for attorneys who have clients with traumatic brain injuries to best represent their clients. We discussed that any attorney handling a traumatic brain injury case must have a thorough understanding of the different parts of the brain and the functions of each, what causes a TBI, the kinds of treatment needed and risks the client who has sustained brain damage faces in the future. We also explained that doctors often diagnose someone who has not had a loss of consciousness with a “concussion” or “mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)” which can seem less serious than a TBI, but that a concussion or mild brain injury is brain damage in every sense of the word.
We also talked about the common symptoms individuals face when they have sustained a brain injury, including disruption of sleep patterns, balance and coordination issues, memory impairment, amnesia, impaired vision, anger, communication and problem solving issues, as well as other issues. We discussed ways to spot these issues and how to address them with your client and treating professionals.
We also discussed recent studies that show that a person who has had even one mild traumatic brain injury, even without a loss of consciousness, is at more than twice the risk of the general population of developing dementia or other neurodegenerative disease. We talked about how to best present your client to a jury so that a jury can understand the extent and severity of their injury. We finished by discussing the types of medical providers and testifying experts routinely used in TBI cases, that attorneys often spend in excess of $100,000 before suit is ever filed and how it is critical for attorneys to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving science surrounding brain injury diagnosis and treatment.