A traumatic brain injury is always serious and sometimes can be a life-threatening injury. If so, survival requires immediate emergency medical care. Unfortunately, even with the best care, a significant traumatic brain injury often results in severe and permanent disability. Coma may last a period of days, to weeks, to months. Thereafter, a period of recovery may occur. However, permanent cognitive deficits often continue, including memory loss, impaired mental capacity, reduced intellectual and academic functioning, impaired attention and concentration, reduced language abilities and reduced visual spatial functioning. Physical function may also be impaired, including loss of use of one or more extremities, impaired balance, visual dysfunction and/or impaired swallowing and communications. These impairments also cause other potential long-term complications. Examples include injuries from increased risk of falls, onset of heterotopic ossification, muscle spasticity and contractures.
Damages to a severe traumatic brain-injured person are always substantial. The cost of acute care and rehabilitation is often hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on person's age, the cost of future medical care necessary to maintain person's health and function and to treat complications can be several million dollars. With rare exceptions, severe traumatic brain-injured victims are either unemployable or employed only part time with frequent absences due to medical conditions. Therefore, their damages also include loss of earnings capacity. Finally, every traumatic brain-injured person's quality of life is drastically affected. This loss, too, is a recoverable element of damages.
Proving damages requires a number of different expert witnesses. Often treating physicians are involved to explain the specifics of the acute traumatic brain injury and the acute care and rehabilitation required to treat the injury. Neuropsychology experts may be required to test and determine the extent of cognitive and functional impairment. Rehabilitation medicine experts testify concerning the future medical care, services and specialized medical equipment needed to meet the medical and disability needs of the person. A vocational expert may be needed to prove the earnings capacity lost due to the injury and disability. Finally, an economist is required to calculate the present value of the economic loss sustained due to the injury.
Lawyers with our firm have represented many traumatic brain-injured victims who were injured in car wrecks, truck wrecks, by defective products and by medication and other medical errors. We have worked with many expert witnesses who are necessary to prove damages in these cases. If you, a loved one or a friend has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact us. Let us put our experience to work for you.