What an Expert Witness Can Do in Your Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Case
There are many types of witnesses who can testify in a civil case. There are eyewitnesses, also called lay witnesses or fact witnesses, who testify about events they saw or otherwise have personal knowledge of, such as records in their possession (custodian of records). There are also character witnesses who know one of the parties to the case personally and can speak to their credibility, veracity, or lack thereof. And then there are expert witnesses who may not have personal knowledge of the case but can offer their expertise to shed light on important issues in the case, such as what caused an injury and the extent of that injury. Medical expert witnesses are sometimes even required in order to move a case forward, such as when the question of medical malpractice is at issue. Below we talk specifically about what an expert witness can do in your traumatic brain injury (TBI) case. If you have such a case, call Neurosurgery MedLegal Services, LLC for expert witness testimony and litigation support from a board-certified neurosurgeon.
Medical Experts Can Explain the TBI Injury, Causality, Prognosis
A broken bone can be fairly easy to identify. It shows up clearly on an x-ray; it’s something most people are familiar with, even if they’ve never experienced one themselves. It’s also relatively simple to explain the costs associated with even a compound fracture, including possible complications and how the injury affects one’s quality of life during periods of recovery, rehabilitation, and prospects for the future.
The same can’t be said for a TBI. Brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe. These are medical terms that need explaining. Even the very idea that a brain injury does in fact exist may be disputed and might need to be demonstrated. A medical expert such as a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or psychiatrist may be necessary to explain that a person has experienced a TBI. A good medical expert will show this fact convincingly and in a way that laypeople can understand, despite the mystery and complexity of a TBI.
A medical expert can also be important to explain how the TBI was caused in the accident or act of negligence at the heart of the case, even when the symptoms the victim is experiencing appear months after the injury-causing event. Brain injury symptoms can seem slight at first but become debilitating over time: headaches become migraines; tingling and numbness become paralysis. The more time that passes between a car accident, say, and the development of TBI symptoms, the more room defendants and their insurance companies have to argue some other event is behind the symptoms. A neurosurgeon or other TBI expert can help establish causation and therefore liability, key issues in most litigated personal injury cases.
TBIs are also particularly complicated injuries when it comes to prognosis. A TBI expert can explain what possible and probable complications a TBI can involve, as well as daily living issues such as employability or employment disability, quality of life, and future costs for medical treatment, medication, rehabilitation, speech or occupational therapy, psychological counseling, etc. Questions like these go to the issue of damages in a TBI injury case, and the more complete and descriptive they can be, the more likely it is that an out-of-court settlement or jury verdict will approximate the actual damages and full value of the case.
TBI Cases Can Benefit From Other Experts as Well
It’s not only medical experts who can assist in a TBI case, but numerous other expert witnesses can prove beneficial as well. For example, an accident reconstruction expert, often a current or former police officer or engineer, can explain how an accident happened and also whether the accident could have caused the injury at bar, questions that go to causation and liability. And when it comes to assessing damages, a team of experts including economists, vocational experts, physiatrists and life care planners can all help prove what the total costs of an injury are for the lifetime of the accident victim.
If you need an educated, experienced, and effective expert witness in a personal injury, medical malpractice, or product liability case, contact the offices of Neurosurgery MedLegal Services, LLC, at 866-659-8051.