Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Ilya E. Lerma, left, and Charles “Chuck” Bennett,right, trial consultants with Trial Structure. Courtesy photos.

Preparing this story, I shared with Charles that 20 years ago and a very green trial lawyer, I was fortunate to have a supervising attorney say, “Don’t miss the brain injuries! Everyone always misses the brain injuries!” while shoving a rudimentary checklist at me. The list covered everything from physical symptoms like nausea, vertigo and sensitivity to light, to memory loss, word recall, and gaps in memory. They were to be covered with every new client. In those days, the medicine had not progressed so that axonal injuries could be detected by MRI unless they were “serious” or “severe” head injuries. For the moderate, mild, or “concussion” cases, we were left to rely only on neuropsychological testing and a scrappy handful of medical articles. It did not play out well. In one case many years ago, the jury “zeroed” my client, Judy* a math and accounting prodigy now unable to manage her own checkbook. Their rationale: The scan at the ER was negative and since no one diagnosed brain injury in the first two months there was “no evidence” of brain injury related to the vehicle crash.

Better medicine and improved technologies have made the practitioner’s job in pursuing such cases markedly better in terms of evidence than those days. However, it’s far from an easy road as most emergency rooms still fail to have good head injury screening protocols and the injured client leaves the ER or GP office with generic studies labeled “normal”. In the dark about the potential for injury, it can be some time before even the client knows something is terribly wrong. This is part of what makes TBI so insidious—-they lurk in darkness until the symptoms wreak havoc in the previously “normal” life.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

Harris County Bench Book 2020Book

Contains procedures and forms for local, state and federal courts in Harris County with contributions from Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Jefferson, Liberty a...

Get More Information

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.