A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is complex, causing impairments ranging from subtle to serious, temporary, or long-term. A TBI victim in NYC has the burden of proving the existence, severity, and cause of their injury in court. They can do this by using expert witnesses, medical documentation, and the testimony of eyewitnesses to the accident that caused the injury.
When you have suffered a serious injury, you have one chance to get your case or insurance claim right. Once the trial is over, or the case is settled, there is no chance to go back for a re-negotiation. Having a strong and knowledgeable advocate by your side gives you the advantage when you need it.
Difficulties in proving a TBI case
A TBI is different from an obvious and acute injury, like a broken bone, and these differences can make brain injuries more difficult to prove.
- A TBI can be underestimated. Many people are unaware that even a seemingly mild concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. The symptoms may appear minor, perhaps a headache or ongoing nausea, or they can be more serious. In either case, if the head injury is not taken seriously, the brain damage can worsen, and the pain and impairment can continue indefinitely.
- Symptoms do not always appear right away. In some cases, it may take days or weeks for TBI symptoms to appear. An injury victim may not have obvious signs of injury right after an accident but develop cognitive or emotional signs as time passes.
- The effects of a TBI are not outwardly visible. Unless the brain injury is serious enough to cause paralysis, jurors, insurance adjusters, and others cannot see the injury with their own eyes. Descriptions of a victim’s impaired physical or mental functions are not as persuasive as a visible injury.
Even if a TBI is difficult to prove, a skilled New York brain injury lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to meet your burden of proof.
Evidence to prove a TBI case in New York City
Documentation is critical in a brain injury case. Medical reports from an early evaluation and ongoing monitoring, reports of experts, and even your journal tracking your experience help prove the injury. Some of the evidence that your attorney will gather includes:
- Brain imaging – X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are the closest that you can get to photographs of a brain injury. Many of your symptoms may be subjective, but the underlying damage can be objectively shown with imaging technology.
- Psychological and cognitive assessments – Professional assessments can validate testimony of brain injury effects like mood changes, concentration problems, sensory disturbance, slurred speech, or memory and concentration problems.
- Expert testimony – In-person testimony or expert reports from doctors and medical professionals are needed to provide information that is outside the experience of the everyday person. For example, a medical doctor who treats brain injuries may testify about how your injury was caused, how serious it is, and the prognosis. A biomechanical expert may be necessary to explain how the accident led to a head injury. An economist might be needed to establish the lifelong financial impact of TBI-related reduced earning capacity. Accident lawyers have professional relationships with experts who can help prove specific parts of a claim.
- Eyewitness testimony – If there is a dispute over the cause of the TBI, eyewitnesses can help prove the accident and that it caused the injury. Witnesses can also testify about the effects they have witnessed, such as behavioral and cognitive changes that they have noticed after the injury. Family members can also share how your changes have affected them.
- Diaries – If you keep a separate daily journal of your pain and feelings, it can help validate your claim. It is better to do this in a separate diary if you usually keep one because it is admissible in court. You may not want other private recordings entered into evidence.
A lawyer can help prove your TBI case
What it will take to prove your TBI injury and related damages will depend on factors specific to your case. It can seem like an overwhelming job, but at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, our New York City personal injury lawyers have the know-how and the experience to get the job done.
If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, call today to discuss your case. Consultations are free and confidential.