Traumatic Brain Injury
At the end of the day, there is really only one thing that separates human beings from all the other creatures walking the earth with us: our minds. There are other animals that are faster, others that are stronger, and others that are much more physically adaptable to their surroundings than us. It is the human mind, our consciousness and the ability to form abstract thought – which from a neurophysiologic perspective all occurs in our brains – that distinguishes human beings from every other creature on the planet, and make us what we are. That is why, when the brain is injured in an accident or due to the fault of another, our whole world can be turned upside down.
Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, occurs when some external force causes some type of brain dysfunction. It can often result from a violent blow or jarring to the head or other parts of the body, often referred to as a “closed head” injury. An object piercing the skull, or a shattered piece of skull, can also cause a traumatic brain injury (referred to as a “open head” injury). The symptoms of TBI are many, and include: short term memory problems; problems concentrating; problems with word-finding; losing the car keys or cell phone more frequently than you used to; leaving a stove unattended or children unattended in a way you never would have before; a loss of patience; decreased ability to multi-task (lack of executive function); decrease in judgment or sense of socially appropriate behavior; headaches; problems with sleep; and occasionally an unexplained metallic taste in the mouth. For more information on the potential causes, symptoms and treatment for TBI, we recommend you refer to the TBI section of the Mayo Clinic website which we find has one of the best descriptions of TBI and its causes and symptoms available.
From the standpoint of lawyers who specialize in cases that often involve traumatic brain injuries, it is important to understand that sometimes a life-changing traumatic brain injury can be caused by a blow to the head or shaking of the body that does not pierce the skull or cause any bleeding or tissue injury that is detectible on a CT (computerized tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) study of the brain. In fact, in most of the TBI cases our office has handled that have resolved for six or seven-figure settlements or trial verdicts, our clients had clean CT and MRI studies. Yet their traumatic brain injuries were affecting their lives in profound ways that they and their loved ones were having trouble explaining or understanding.
Because TBI is hard to detect, in many cases, despite the best efforts of physicians, it goes undiagnosed. At The Zinn Law Firm, one of the things we specialize in is looking at the mechanics of how the injury occurred and looking closely at the medical file to see whether TBI is suspected or has been diagnosed by any of your treating physicians, or if you have complained of symptoms that may otherwise support a finding of traumatic brain injury. But we do not stop there. Through representing dozens of clients who suffered some level of traumatic brain injury, we have learned from the experts we engaged in past cases, as well as many of the physicians who were actively treating our clients. We are well versed on the best methods to determine whether there may be a potential TBI involved when our clients come to us. One method is to help our clients find a skilled neuropsychologist who can administer special testing that can help determine if you are suffering from subtle effects of TBI. There are also special types of MRIs that can be administered beyond the typical procedures performed in the emergency room where a patient was originally seen. Finally, often the most important way to rule TBI is to talk to family members, spouses or partners, close friends and even work associates, if necessary, to understand if they see subtle differences in the injured person’s behavior or tendencies before and after the injury occurred. Please learn more about methods to determine TBI here.
Please see our list of representative traumatic brain injury cases that the firm has resolved, and a sampling of current cases involving TBI issues the firm is handling. If you think you or a loved one may be dealing with the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury due to the fault of another, The Zinn Law Firm can help you sort it out, get to the right physicians to make a determination, and obtain the proper recovery.