Diagnosing Brain Injury

Issues in Brain Injury Diagnosis

Brain injuries are often just one of many injuries caused by a serious accident. Unless symptoms are clear and obvious, a mild brain injury can easily be overlooked by doctors and nurses who are focused on other, more life-threatening injuries.

The full extent of a brain injury may not become clear until weeks or months after an accident.

The attorneys of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have successfully represented clients with brain injuries for decades. We can assist you in finding respected medical experts who specialize in the diagnosis of brain injury.

Neurological Workup

If doctors do suspect a head injury, you will most likely be given an initial neurological exam in the emergency room or doctor's office. You'll be rated according to the Glasgow Coma Scale on your ability to open your eyes, speak and respond to verbal and physical stimulus.

Imaging Tests

Your doctor may order an imaging test, like an MRI or CT scan, to determine if there are skull fractures, tumors, a subdural hematoma, penetrating injuries or other observable injuries to the brain.

No imaging test can accurately pinpoint all types of injury to the brain. This lack of objective documentation can make it difficult to prove the extent of injury-related damages.

Neuropsychological Testing

Neuropsychological testing can help pinpoint specific deficits that may be caused by a brain injury. Even these, however, are not infallible. People with extremely high intellectual capabilities will still fall within the normal range on a neuropsychological test even though they are experiencing significant deficits due to a brain injury. Neuropsychological testing is most accurate when a baseline test of the individual's capabilities occurred before the accident.

Personal Observations

The observations of friends, co-workers and family members can help diagnose a brain injury and the personality disorders that sometimes go with it. A physiatrist, a specialist in rehabilitative medicine, will interview people who knew the individual before and after the injury about the differences they have seen in the person's abilities and behavior. These interviews may reveal that before the accident she enjoyed reading and now she cannot read, or before the injury he had a calm demeanor, but now is easily frustrated. These observations can also be helpful from a legal point of view to help document the extent of the damages a person has suffered.

Our lawyers have achieved significant insurance settlements and jury verdicts for people with brain injuries caused by negligence. Contact our office in Santa Monica to discuss our case. We represent clients in Los Angeles, throughout Southern California and the state. We also advise attorneys and clients across the United States on brain injury cases.