Brain Injury Lawyer: Watch for Personality Changes

Identifying Brain Injury Symptoms and Seeking Recovery

Video Transcript:

Tad Thomas:

Not all brain injuries show up on radiological films like CT scans and MRIs. So sometimes you don't know.

Rob Rosenthal:

Do you know what the “invisible injury” is, and why it’s called that? Well, we're going to find out today when we ask the lawyer.

Hi again, everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with askthelawyers.com, and my guest is Kentucky attorney Tad Thomas. Tad, good to see again. Thank you for making some time.

Tad Thomas:

You too, Rob.

Rob Rosenthal:
Let's talk about the invisible injury; we're talking about brain injury. Why is it sometimes called the invisible injury?

Tad Thomas:

Rob, it’s called the invisible injury because sometimes it's hard to diagnose. Not all brain injuries show up on radiological films like CT scans and MRIs. So, sometimes you don't know, other than seeing personality changes and the way that someone's demeanor changes.

I had a client once that had this dog that he loved, then he suffered a brain injury and overnight started hating the dog and abusing the dog. They couldn't see anything on an MRI scan or on a CT scan, but it was clearly a brain injury.

Rob Rosenthal:

So, I want to mention, obviously that makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose, but does that also make it difficult for you to prove that there is actually an injury?

Tad Thomas:

It really does. Fortunately, medicine is really starting to come along in that area over the last several years. There's more and more new tests coming out that help us diagnose brain injuries, but the key that we always look for is family and friends. When the family and friends say, “This person is just not the same person they used to be,” that's when we know to start looking at a brain injury. But yes, it is difficult to prove.

Rob Rosenthal:

It's also a wide scale, isn't it? When my son took a bad hit in high school football and he got a concussion, that's a brain injury. But then it can go all the way to the other end of the scale and be something much more serious, right?

Tad Thomas:

Absolutely. You can have something very temporary, like a concussion that comes and goes and in a week, they're fine. My son plays ice hockey like your son, and it's a dangerous sport; you see concussions unfortunately quite often. And sometimes they're called mild TBIs or mild traumatic brain injuries.

In our business, and I think in medicine as well, they'll tell you there is no such thing as a mild brain injury. Even though they're not as severe as other types of injuries or other types of brain injuries, even a mild one can be a real problem.

Rob Rosenthal:

What are some of the challenges that people with brain injuries, like those you've had as clients, may face which other people may not even realize?

Tad Thomas:

It changes everything about their daily lives. It changes their relationships with their friends; it changes their relationships with their family; and it's difficult to treat.

Fortunately, we have contacts in the industry where we can send someone for, essentially, brain injury rehab; and it's very different from physical medicine rehab that you would normally think of. But there are avenues out there for people to get treatment.

Rob Rosenthal:

It would seem to me too that if someone is injured in a car collision and they break a leg, they know they've broken a leg. But the brain injured person may not realize they're injured, correct?

Tad Thomas:

That's right. Look for those signs of family and friends telling you that something's wrong, and you may see it in yourself. You may see that the things that you loved to do and the people that you love in your life don't hold that same level in that same esteem. And you really have to harken back to when that started, and oftentimes it can be a motor vehicle collision, a tractor-trailer collision; it could even be in a medical malpractice case. We have a case now where a woman lost oxygen during a procedure and suffered a brain injury. So it can come from anything

Rob Rosenthal:

And you mentioned family and friends. I would imagine this is the kind of thing that not only affects the injured person, but can affect the entire household.

Tad Thomas:

Definitely, definitely. We've seen some tragic stories of children who wonder what happened, and they wonder why their parent is having these fits of rage that they never had before. It can be tragic, not only for the person who suffered the injury, but definitely for a close-knit family.

Rob Rosenthal:

Is it important, if someone thinks they or a loved one have suffered a brain injury as the result of someone else's negligence, that they find an attorney who specializes in this? Or can any personal injury attorney handle that?

Tad Thomas:

No. I mean, any personal injury attorney can technically handle a brain injury case, but it's important if you're seeking an attorney to ask not only what they know about brain injury cases, but also brain injury diagnosis and brain injury treatment. Like I said, medicine's advanced quite a bit over the last several years. Make sure you're hiring a lawyer who knows what those technological advances are, that has access to really, really good experts who know how to identify and treat the injury.

An attorney should also be a counselor and should help you. If you can't find the right medical resources, attorneys who handle brain injury cases can help with that; they can steer you to the right providers as well. So make sure if you're looking for an attorney that handles brain injury cases, ask them those questions; they should be able to answer those for you.

Rob Rosenthal:

I would also think, Tad, that when it comes to determining possible monetary damages, having somebody who understands that damages might not just be for the hospital payments, but there might be continuation of life damages that should be compensated as well; having somebody with that experience would be really helpful.

Tad Thomas:

Right. You hit two good points. One is knowing what the cost of future treatment is. You need an attorney who knows what that treatment is going to be, and how to quantify that so that element of damages is taken care of and you can get the treatment that you need.

But pain and suffering too. You know, most states have some sort of pain and suffering or lost enjoyment of life, and you need to find a firm that really knows how to, you know, put that into words and be your advocate and your spokesperson in front of a jury, so that you can communicate how this has affected you.

Rob Rosenthal:

Very helpful and very interesting as usual, Tad. Thank you for making some time and answering our questions.

Tad Thomas:

Thanks for having me again, Rob.

Rob Rosenthal:

That's going to do it for this episode of AskTheLawyers™. My guest has been Kentucky attorney Tad Thomas.

Remember, if you want the best information or you want to be able to choose a lawyer that lawyers choose, go to askthelawyers.com. Also, please take a second to subscribe by clicking on the button down in the corner. Thanks for watching. I'm Rob Rosenthal with askthelawyers.com.

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