Evidence in Maryland Traumatic Brain Injury Cases

From a medical standpoint, proving a traumatic brain injury in Maryland requires a set of specific types of evidence. The evidence would be:

  • The hospital and/or doctor notes,
  • Physical therapy,
  • Occupational therapy and neuropsychologist notes,
  • Charts, records,
  • Diagnostic reports
  • And test results from any and all health care providers who have treated the client following the event that caused the alleged traumatic brain injury.

If you’re talking about evidence as to how liability would be established that would have to be determined on an accident by accident basis. The evidence you would collect in a trucking case is different from the evidence you would collect in a simple fall.

Proving A Traumatic Injury Took Place

In its simplest form a traumatic brain injury is caused by any sort of structural damage or bleeding of the brain, so you would need to show medical evidence of those conditions. If someone has a mild TBI with resulting cognitive impairments or deficits, any kind of impairment the person has such as loss of vision, headaches, migraines, trouble speaking, trouble thinking, trouble processing things, trouble following conversations, trouble remembering things, short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss.

Those are all examples of cognitive deficits that a person with a traumatic brain injury might have, and the more information you can provide with those things, the more information that it can be used as evidence of the traumatic brain injury affecting your daily life.

Furthermore, if you were seen by a cognitive or neurological specialist, they would examine you and put you through a battery of tests to determine your level of neurological or cognitive impairment as opposed to the baseline for the person of a normal age and ability would have.

What Can Qualify as Evidence of a TBI?

In order to prove that you sustained a traumatic brain injury you will need to show objective medical evidence of damage to the brain and/or the resultant effects of the brain injury such as neurological, neuro-psychological, cognitive deficits or disabilities that have affected someone in the daily activities or their life. Your medical records detailing any structural damage in the brain such as bleeding on the brain or loss of cells or a jostling of the brain stem.

The medical tests used to support a claim of a traumatic brain injury would be an MRI, CT scan, or PET scan of the head and brain.  You could also use a functional MRI to detect the pain matrix in the brain.  You would also use cognitive testing and neurological testing by a neuro-psychologist and a neuro-psychiatrist.

A Glasgow coma reading shortly after the accident or the day of the accident can be used as evidence to support a claim that a person has sustained a traumatic brain injury.  A Glasgow coma scale reading of and it’s also an evidence of potential loss of consciousness, which usually accompanies a traumatic brain injury.

Collecting the Evidence

An attorney would collect the medical records and if the doctors didn’t prescribe or have the person follow up with someone to further evaluate and monitor the symptoms and effects of the traumatic brain injury then the lawyer would point them in the direction of the doctors who can document and manage the person’s traumatic brain injury, especially the neurological and cognitive impairments and deficits.

Presenting Evidence in the Courtroom vs. Settlement Negotiations

The presentation of evidence in a courtroom and in discussing settlement with an insurance company could be like night and day.

In court, we have doctors testifying and explaining the findings of their reports and testifying as to the duration, severity and the extent of the injury as well as the potential for any injuries or deficits in the future.

At settlement or a mediation, you have the doctor prepare a report and you would submit the records and a summary of their records and have the person who was injured either testify or write down a list of all of the ways their life has been affected and all the deficits and impairments that they’ve had as a result of their TBI including any:

  • Loss of vision
  • Loss of speech
  • Loss of function or loss of intelligence
  • Loss of ability to pay attention
  • Loss of memory
  • Loss of understanding
  • Or processing simple concepts of problem solving.

Using Evidence to Establish Liability in TBI Cases

The evidence used to establish liability would vary from case to case and could come in the form of a police report, witness statement, deposition testimony of the parties involved and photographs. Once you establish liability then you need to establish a mechanism of injury regarding the blow to the head and the resulting alleged brain injury.

How Can A Client Help His Attorney Build a Case?

One of the most important things a client can to do help his or her attorney to gather and present evidence in a TBI case is to journal or document all the ways that the injury has affected their life. This would include anything that is out of the ordinary for them or any change in their daily activities. Specifically, this can involve things that were normal prior to the accident but after the accident have become more difficult or impossible for them to do because of the brain injury that they had suffered.

We would want them to document any examples of deficits or cognitive impairments such as the ability to carry on a conversation, the ability to read, the ability to pay attention, the ability to memorize things, loss of memory or other things that can depict how their injury has affected their lives.