How Do You Prove a TBI in Philadelphia?
December 11, 2021
Getting full, fair compensation tasks community members with a burden to prove traumatic brain injury. Given you or a loved one may be suffering the debilitating effects of what is commonly called a “TBI,” a compelling case must be made to persuade an insurance company, Veterans Administration (VA), or the courts that you have suffered serious harm.
Everyday people often ask, “How do you prove TBI?” The answer is typically by enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who gathers medical test results, eyewitness accounts, and expert testimony in the field, if necessary. At Wapner Newman, our experienced lawyers know how to prove traumatic brain injury in court and to the VA to secure full, fair compensation for our clients.
What is a TBI?
A hard impact to the head or violent jolting of the body can result in a TBI. Of course, an object that penetrates or fractures that skull will almost certainly result in a significant brain injury. These injuries range in severity from mild cases that temporarily affect cells and tissue to significant health and cognitive conditions from damaged brain tissue or bleeding. The long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries can result in a requirement for ongoing treatment and care. A TBI can negatively affect quality of life or even prove fatal. That’s why it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney if you or a loved one needs to file a brain injury lawsuit.
How to Prove Traumatic Brain Injury in Court
It’s not uncommon for family members to experience frustration when a loved one suffers a TBI. The people in your orbit witness the sometimes heartbreaking effects that resonate in daily activities. To you, the brain injury appears so obvious that anyone should be able to see it. But in terms of proving a traumatic brain injury in court or to an insurance corporation, a small window exists to persuade others.
That’s why a skilled attorney builds a persuasive narrative around eyewitness accounts of the incident. Those reports are supported by tests which the medical community generally agrees are reliable indicators of TBI. The National Institute of Health endorses the following diagnostic methods.
- Computerized Tomography: Commonly referred to as a CT or CAT scan, X-ray images are taken of the brain from various angles to form a comprehensive picture. This technology has been instrumental in identifying brain bruises, bleeding, and other damage.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging: An MRI employs magnets and radio waves to create a detailed mapping of the brain. Considered more in-depth than a CAT scan, this imaging method is generally used as a go-to resource when a CAT scan doesn’t adequately pinpoint the soft tissue injury.
- Glasgow Coma Scale: This brain activity test is typically administered by a healthcare professional in a one-on-one setting. It measures someone’s functionality in three critical areas — speech, eye movement, and agility. A healthcare worker conducts an interview and rates the responses to standardized questions. Scores above 13 usually indicate mild conditions. Ratings below eight typically indicate a significant TBI. The Glasgow Coma Scale is also used to monitor and assess an injured person’s rehabilitation or decline.
- Intracranial Pressure: An ICP ranks among the more invasive tests doctors recommend when swelling of the brain occurs. A probe is usually inserted through a person’s skull to monitor swelling and avert further damage. If your doctor requests an ICP, you or a loved one likely suffered a serious injury.
Since the concept of TBI was introduced in 1992, science has brought effective testing tools to bear. Medical professionals are also keenly aware of the seriousness of TBI and utilize wide-reaching strategies to diagnose conditions. These assessments look at the use of language, muscle coordination, lung function, behavior, and cognitive assessments. A thorough and persuasive case to prove traumatic brain injury leverages diagnostic data that enjoys expert consensus.
Documenting Symptoms Can Help Prove Traumatic Brain Injury
With more than 30 years of scientific evidence supporting the sometimes catastrophic effects of TBI, researchers have identified a wide range of telltale signs. If you or a loved one suffered a hard impact to the head or a violent jolt to the body, it’s essential to watch for symptoms. The Mayo Clinic highlights the following signs that you may have a TBI.
- Headaches or Dizziness
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Fatigue or Drowsiness
- Difficulty forming Words
- Out-of-Character Mood Swings
- Moderate TBI Symptoms
- Loss of Consciousness
- Loss of Coordination
- Bouts of Confusion
- Loss of Physical Strength or Numbness
- Seizures or Convulsions.
The importance of documenting these and other telltale signs of a TBI cannot be understated. Community members who sustain a TBI are too often forced to manage intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities for the remainder of their lives. Building a robust case to prove traumatic brain injury can have a substantial impact on whether people get the full, fair financial support they deserve.
How Do You Prove a TBI to the VA?
It’s not unusual for a veteran of the U.S. military to sustain a TBI during their service. Brain injuries often occur in combat, military vehicle collisions and training operations, among others. If you are eligible for VA disability benefits and experience telltale signs of a TBI, it may be in your best interests to undergo testing. The VA generally considers long-term symptoms and ranks traumatic brain injuries into categories based on severity. These are factors used by the VA in assessing impairment:
- Reduced Motor Activity
- Cognitive Impairment, including Diminished Memory, Concentration, and Attention
- Reduced Judgement Capabilities
- Visual and Spatial Difficulties
- Impacted Communication Skills
- Difficulty with Behavioral and Social Skills.
It’s important for our valued veterans to know that the symptoms they are experiencing cannot be part of a previously identified condition. However, if new or previously unidentified symptoms emerge, a case can be made that you suffered a TBI and qualify for VA benefits.
Contact Wapner Newman for a Traumatic Brain Injury Case Consultation
If you or a loved one recently suffered a head injury or are experiencing symptoms, scheduling a consultation with an experienced brain injury lawyer is crucial. Traumatic brain injuries can cause lasting cognitive, emotional, and psychological conditions that impact your quality of life. Treatment and care prove costly, and it would be fundamentally unfair for an injured person to shoulder the financial burdens. At Wapner Newman, we fight for injured community members and veterans to ensure that you get the full, fair compensation you deserve. Contact our Philadelphia office today for a no-cost consultation at (215) 569-0900.