I have represented a number of clients with traumatic brain injuries and handled million of dollars of settlements on their behalf. Brain injury cases are complex and difficult. Traumatic brain injury (sometimes called “TBI”) are often invisible to the casual, untrained observer because many crash victims are more worried about their painful bodily injuries than memory loss or confusion.
The Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled that neuropsychologists can give court opinions on the cause of brain injuries. Bennett, et al v. Richmond (January 31, 2012). Neuropsychology is a specialty field of psychology that focuses on the relationship between brain impairment and behavior in individuals due to head injury. In the past, Indiana appellate courts have restricted legal opinions on head injury to medical doctors. In the Bennett case the Indiana Supreme Court found that a well qualified neuropsychologist had the training and expertise to offer the conclusion that a crash victim had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
I’m very pleased with the decision. We have screened crash victims with head trauma for TBI injuries for many years. It should give us some advantages in TBI legal cases. Those of us who work with brain injured individuals know that neuropsychologists work on the front lines with TBI patients. In fact, many medical doctors overlook the TBI diagnosis. Many of my clients didn’t know that they were demonstrating the classic signs and symptoms of a TBI injury until I talked to them and suggested they ask their doctor about neuropsych testing.
If you have questions about TBI, please feel free to call me or contact your local Traumatic Brain Injury Association.