Traumatic Brain Injury are some of the most complex types of personal injury cases. This is because brain injury medicine is still not well understood. Unlike a broken bone, there’s usually not an x-ray or “objective test” to prove someone suffered a TBI.
From the outside, most people suffering from traumatic brain injuries look normal. Indeed, many TBI victims aren’t even aware they have issues until they engage in high-cognitive function activities such as work. They only realize there’s an issue when friends, family, or co-workers point out their change in behavior.
Because of that, it’s often difficult to prove TBI cases, particularly here in Virginia. That’s why it’s so important to choose your attorney wisely because insurance companies will fight these cases vigorously.
With that said, we’ve noticed that insurance companies look to certain aspects of brain injury cases to undervalue them.
Here’s a List of Things that the Insurance Company will look at in your Traumatic Brain Injury case:
- Did you experience a significant impact during your car crash? Was there damage to the cars in the crash? Were they physically moved as a result of the impact? Did you have bruises, scrapes, abrasions, fractures and/or any other injuries that would indicate a significant impact? In reality, even a “minor” impact with no direct impact to your head can lead to devastating injury. Nevertheless, the insurance company will claim that you couldn’t have suffered a TBI without a significant impact.
- Did you suffer a loss of consciousness? Most accident victims don’t articulate to medical providers that they lost consciousness. That’s because they don’t remember. And insurance companies will claim that this alone proves you didn’t suffer a TBI. However, it’s well recognized in the medical community TBIs occur even without loss of consciousness. For more information, check out the CDC’s “Facts about Concussions & Brain Injuries” here.
- Were there any “positive” findings on your MRIs (or other imaging tests)? One thing that insurance companies love to exploit in TBI cases are normal MRI results. However, it is well understood that most TBIs yield normal MRI results. That’s because our current imaging technology can’t detect brain injury damage at the cellular level.
- Were you referred to a neurologist (and what were their findings?) If you’ve suffered a TBI, you may have gone to the ER, your primary care doctor, and referred to a neurologist. But this sequence of treatment doesn’t always happen. And insurance companies will claim that you didn’t suffer a TBI as a result. If you think you’ve suffered a TBI, you should talk to your medical providers about a neurologist. A neurologist specializes in the brain and regularly treats brain injuries.
- Do you have neuropsychological testing? For individuals with chronic or permanent brain injury, this type of testing will be invaluable in establishing your claim. Neuropsychological testing is a battery of cognitive tests to your brain functioning. Typically, this type of testing is ordered several months into a victim’s head injury recovery. And if the victim’s head injury symptoms persist, there’s additional testing a year or so after the initial test. That way the doctors can evaluate whether there’s an improvement or not. (To learn more about neuropsychological assessments, click here).
- Did you have any pre-existing issues? Let’s face it, most of us are not Olympic athletes. We suffer from natural human conditions. We are overweight, have high blood pressure, experience sleep issues, suffer from headaches and migraines, and don’t have the sharpest memory. Just be aware that the insurance companies will point to these issues as to why you don’t have a TBI. You need to be upfront and honest with your attorney because the insurance companies will find out at some point. Don’t limit your attorney’s ability to help you by not being upfront and honest about your general health.
What can I do to do prove my TBI claim?
The list above is important to your TBI case. But just as important are relationships in your life that we will explore to prove your TBI. We know that there are people in your life that can help tell your story:
- Family and Friends who can attest to the change in your cognitive abilities and personality. We will want to talk to people close to you who know the changes that your TBI has caused. Through these relationships, we can help paint the picture of what effect your TBI has had on your life.
- Bosses and co-workers who can establish your inability to perform like you could before the accident. Difficulty at work is a hallmark TBI symptom. Our work is when we are at our “best.” And when we can’t perform, it’s truly devastating. Because of this, it’s co-workers, bosses, and employees who can help tell your story. They know when you are suffering because your work suffers.
- Demonstrated effort to be like you were before the accident. Insurance companies often claim that someone going back to work after an accident shows they didn’t suffer a TBI. They couldn’t have had a brain injury if they are trying to function socially. However, in our opinion, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It shows they want to be “normal.” If you’re “just trying to be you” after your brain injury, reach out to us.
These lists are not meant to be exclusive of every issue in a brain injury case. They are also not meant to be “medical” advice. They are simply observations that we’ve noticed over our time in practice while handling brain injury cases.
Brain injury cases are very difficult to prove. Because of that, insurance companies will try to take advantage of you. This is why it’s so important that you properly prepare for your case and hire the right attorney.
Do you have more questions about your TBI claim? Reach out.
If you’ve got questions about your brain injury case, make sure to reach out to Abrenio Law at Ph. 703-570-4180 for your Free Consultation. If you have any more questions, make sure to visit our Personal Injury Practice Page.