One of the most important parts of our jobs is to make sure that we understand our client’s case and injuries. Mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions are often overlooked and misunderstood. In injury cases, they require a special amount of expertise to properly evaluate and present. At Hill Law Firm, we make sure to discuss concussions with our personal injury clients when we meet to make sure they do not ignore symptoms they may have.
Justin Hill: Welcome to Hill Law Firm Cases, a podcast discussing real-world cases handled by Justin Hill and the Hill Law Firm. For confidentiality reasons, names and amounts of any settlements have been removed. However, the facts are real and these are the cases we handle on a day-to-day basis.
Justin: When I started practicing law, there wasn’t much attention or import given to concussions. Back then, people would say that you rang your bell or that you just banged your head too hard. What happened with the NFL brought this issue and the seriousness of concussions to the forefront of everybody’s minds. All of a sudden, people that had downplayed concussions were able to see the actual effects that concussions had on people in the near term and the long term.
This also changed the way attorneys and insurance companies approached and addressed concussions. Attorneys used to ignore, if not downplay, the severity of a concussion in a case. Insurance companies used to give it little or no weight in evaluating the claim. That’s changed.
One thing we do with all of our cases as they come in, is we make sure to screen our clients for issues related to concussions and whether they suffered one. We’re not medical providers and we can’t provide medical advice, but one thing we make sure to do is tell our clients to give their doctors a complete and accurate picture of any symptoms they’ve suffered following their crash, or whatever incident led to their head injury.
We walk through a screener with our clients and it’s amazing how many times when you actually start asking them the questions, they recognize that they’re suffering something they did not know they were. We asked them questions about whether or not they had a loss of consciousness or an alteration of consciousness following the crash. Were they knocked out? A lot of times, people say they weren’t knocked out and then admit there’s a long period of time they just don’t remember.
We then walk through symptoms, headaches, ringing in the ears, light, sound sensitivity, memory issues, vision issues, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, balance issues, sleep problems. There’s a whole litany of symptoms that can arise from a concussion. It’s important that our clients tell their doctors all of the symptoms they’re suffering if any following a crash. The only way a doctor can properly provide medical advice and treatment is with a complete picture of what’s going on.
More lawyers are doing it now than they were before, but we take special interest and pride in how much attention we give to our clients, and how we ensure that we make sure that every issue our client is dealing with is properly investigated. The only way we know what our client’s medical picture is going to be, is if they go to all their doctor’s appointments and listen to their doctor’s advice. We encourage our clients to go to all their doctor appointment visits and follow their recommendations.
After that, we’re able to get a full picture of our clients’ injuries and any long-lasting effects or medical needs they may have. Mild traumatic brain injuries are one of these areas that we take special interest in because it’s one area that a lot of lawyers ignore and it’s an area that a lot of clients attempt to ignore. Nobody wants to admit they’re having issues with their head or their brain or concentration or memory.
One thing that we’re sure of is that when we meet with a new client, that we walk through every possible issue that we can with them to make sure that they’re doing everything in their power to not give the insurance company an excuse to deny their claim or delay their claim.