Dear Friends, Family, Clients and Colleagues,
I recently successfully settled a mild traumatic brain injury case (MTBI) against American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) resulting from a serious brain injury my client suffered when a heavy display frame fell from an overhead shelf striking her on the head. She was casually shopping at the time. It was a highly contested case in Federal Court, Ft. Worth.
I want to tell you about it. Why?
Because this could happen to any of us, and we need to be prepared. We need to know what to do.
First of all, the word “mild” in “mild traumatic brain injury” is a medical misnomer here. MTBI is a medical classification, but there’s nothing “mild” about MTBI symptoms. They can be – and many times are – completely disabling.
As is most often the case with this type of brain injury, MRI and CT scan testing comes back negative, which upsets and frustrates the patient and leads to misdiagnosis. That happened in the AEO case. I’ve seen this happen many times before. In fact, I have a similar brain injury case pending in San Antonio with even more severe MTBI symptoms. Before I got involved, that client’s brain damage went undiagnosed for almost two years.
I share this with you because you or someone you know may be on a similar path right now. Having a doctor say after testing “there’s no evidence of brain damage and you’ll feel better soon” is not a diagnosis. Concussions can be serious and a post-concussive syndrome from MTBI can be disabling for life. Just ask the NFL.
How can MRI and CT scan testing be negative when brain damage is present? Because the damage is on a microscopic level not detectable by current imaging technology. Surprisingly, a lot of doctors don’t know or understand this. This microscopic damage is called “diffuse axonal injury” (DAI) caused by a MTBI. Upon death it can be confirmed by autopsy. That’s how it’s known to be real. It occurs when a blow to the head causes your brain neurons and dendrites (the communication highways of the brain) to break, twist and shear resulting in a loss of connection with each other. Some of these connections heal, but often the connections are lost forever. To make matters worse, the damaged neurons reactively flood the brain with glutamate (a neurotransmitter) causing additional brain damage. This process is called “exitotoxicity.” By the way, you don’t even need a head impact for MTBI and DAI to occur. Rapid and violent acceleration/deceleration of the brain from a whiplash type event can also cause MTBI/DAI.
Classic symptoms of MTBI and DAI include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, inability to retain and retrieve information, forgetfulness, slowed thought processes, difficulty in multi-tasking, spacial disorientation, blurred vision, hearing loss, sound sensitivity, personality changes and insomnia.
If you or someone you know has suffered a blow to the head or whiplash type injury and are experiencing any of these symptoms, scheduling an appointment with a neurologist is imperative. Immediately. I recommend one that specializes in closed head injuries. Family physicians are great for lots of things, but are notoriously poor at diagnosing, much less treating this type of injury.
If the head injury was the result of the negligence of someone else, I recommend contacting an experienced injury trial lawyer as soon as possible. Not every injury trial lawyer knows the intricacies of the brain and the pathology of brain injuries or how to successfully put together and try a brain damage case. So find a trial lawyer who has successfully handled MTBI and DAI litigation. These types of cases are expert intensive, strongly contested and highly complex.
Stay safe out there!
Representing the Seriously Injured & Victims of Wrongful Death Since 1981.
2909 Cole Avenue – Suite 118 – Dallas, Texas 75204
www.charliewaterslaw.com – 214-742-2223 – ALL CONSULTATIONS ARE FREE