Brain Injury and Finding the Right Attorney


A brain injury case is unlike any other in many ways. It costs more, takes more time, and requires that the attorney has the resources to undertake such a case. Brain trauma survivors and their families have had their resiliency tested on a grand scale and want an attorney who will get the job done.

If the attorney lacks experience, the lawyers for the defense will know it and take advantage of their inexperience. If the attorney cannot fund the case, the likelihood it will succeed is lowered. It is also essential that the attorney establish a rapport with the client and their family to make it to the finish line together. So, let's look at the essentials of a brain injury case and the duties the plaintiff attorney must fulfill.

Traumatic Brain Injury Team With Experience

Our investigators are experienced in finding the evidence we need to win your case, and our lawyers use a mix of legal acumen and passion for fighting for our client's rights. We leave no stone unturned as we move through your traumatic brain injury case. Whether it is negotiating with the insurer or dealing with a negligent motorist, we will be there for you. Talk to us about your case for free by calling (415) 805-7284 or (800) 404-5400. We can also meet in person or virtually. Once you retain us, you will not pay for our services until you win the case. 

Clients Are Survivors

When the members of our firm meet with our brain trauma injury clients, we see them as survivors of a difficult journey. We get to know our clients directly but also through their family, who give insight into the person they were before the accident.

We believe in a holistic approach to the law. This means it goes far beyond categorizing a client as a case. Rather, we see our clients as individuals who are coping with changes in their lives as they try to heal physically, financially, and psychologically. Many brain-injured clients need not only our legal services but also our support to regain a new footing in a different reality. It is impossible for us to truly understand what it feels like to suffer a brain injury, but we are often in awe of their hope for the future and their determination to move forward. We make every effort to provide supportive information in terms of community resources, medical care, and interactive family clinics.

All Brain Injuries Are Different

No two brain injuries are the same. It is essential that an injury attorney becomes familiar with the way a brain injury is diagnosed and how the trauma to the brain affects the person's outlook. It is also necessary to speak to medical experts or become familiar with medical literature that speaks to the person's prognosis in the future. 

Without this knowledge, it is difficult to adequately deal with arguments by defense attorneys. If caught unaware, an attorney will be unable to respond to the defense when they minimize the client's damages to lower the price the at-fault party must pay. We went through this learning curve many years ago and continue to stay updated on new treatments and diagnostic methods. Our firm brings this knowledge to the courtroom and to the negotiation table and uses it to win the compensation our client deserves.

Advocating for a Brain Injured Client's Medical Care

Clients, especially those with mild brain injuries, could be undertreated due to inadequate medical care. For example, someone who suffered a concussion after a traumatic car accident may be told to go home and rest. While rest is important in a mild traumatic brain injury, some people face a difficult time trying to regain the mental prowess they once enjoyed. The doctor in charge of their care either in the emergency room or in an outpatient clinic may not be aware of new modes of treatment that are available. The medical community has learned much about concussive events over the past decade, particularly in sporting events

After a Concussion

The individual should rest both mentally and physically for the first few days after being carefully checked using CT/MRI scans, cognitive and motor tests, as well as checking for vision and hearing abnormalities. The patient should refrain from strenuous efforts mentally during this period. As the person starts to improve, rehabilitation for vision, balance, and cognitive functions may help the patient to recover. Different specialists may be consulted and added to the patient's team. Patients and their families often need supportive information, and an attorney can help. Depending on the length of time the attorney has worked with brain-injured clients, he or she will have built a full roster of experts who can be called upon to help their client. 

Appropriate Medical Care for a Brain Injured Client

Physicians are called upon to provide the best care possible after a traumatic accident. Attorneys have the responsibility to review the prescribed medical care and ensure that everything that can be done has been done. As an advocate for a client, an attorney's knowledge of brain trauma must be extensive. 

Typically, the first point-of-care for a brain-injured patient is the emergency room doctor who will more than likely call in a neurologist for a consult. This is a base-line consult. Abnormalities found during this examination may strongly suggest that the patient requires the services of other specialists. Some specialists are:

  • Psychologist
  • Vocational/occupational therapist
  • Speech therapist
  • Neuroopthalmologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Cognitive rehabilitation specialist
  • Neuroradiologist 

By taking advantage of all therapy types, the chances for recovery are vastly improved, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brain injured patients are frequently helped by entering a comprehensive rehabilitation program. A team evaluates a patient's progress after determining deficits caused by brain injury. Members of the team are also positioned to provide meaningful testimony in a civil trial. 

Getting to Know Clients and Their Families

The old adage that someone will not know what a person is going through until they walked in their shoes is true. That applies to brain-injured clients and their families as well. An attorney needs to provide the insurance company or a jury with a true picture of how the brain injury has affected their client. Without spending time with a client, the attorney will lack the information that is needed to do this. It is also necessary to ask a client how they physically felt after the accident occurred. Relying on medical records alone may cause the attorney to miss some of this important information. 

Why Is Pertinent Medical Information Missing?

Although a doctor takes a detailed history when a patient presents in their office or the emergency room, there is always room for error. Sometimes, patients do not provide all the information that is needed. They may have been overwhelmed by the incident and were unconscious after the accident. Others may think that some symptoms are insignificant since they were told they had a minor injury. 

Alternatively, the patient may focus on symptoms they believe are more serious or be unwilling to admit to memory loss. By asking a client to focus on even obscure symptoms, the attorney may obtain a true picture of the deficits the accident caused and help the client obtain needed medical care.

Building a rapport with the client's family is an important feature of understanding the changes the brain-injured client suffered. A brain injury affects both the client and his or her family financially. Families in this situation are desperate for information on their loved one's injury, and it is vital to help them find it. is a valuable source of information.

Prior Head Injuries and Other Aspects of a Client's Medical History

Lawyers on both sides will review the individual's medical history. The defense will use any prior medical condition to say a brain-injured client is lying about their symptoms and infer it happened before the recent accident. After a serious head injury, this may seem like an ugly way to mount a defense, but it is done all the time. 

The client needs to understand this maneuver before being present in court. It is important for the attorney to decide ahead of time whether the client can handle spending time in court. From a physical point of view, the noise, lights, and accusations might be too much for the client to take. Overall, this can add to the effect the brain injury has on the client. 

Investigations in a Brain-Injured Client's Case

Our firm dispatches our investigators to the site of the accident to collect evidence against the at-fault party. They query witnesses and use accident reconstruction techniques along with video footage to show the incident in real-time. We speak with medical experts and treating physicians to determine the extent of the injury and its future effects. Once all evidentiary data is accumulated, our lawyers use it to build a strong case for our client.

The video below provides a better understanding of traumatic brain injuries.

San Francisco Brain Injury Lawyer

I'm Ed Smith, a San Francisco brain injury lawyer. Our firm is committed to ensuring that those who suffer from brain injury due to negligence receive compassionate representation. Call us for a free case review at (415) 805-7284 or (800) 505-5400. You can reach out to us online

We've assisted residents of San Francisco since 1982 to obtain the compensation they deserve in car accidents, wrongful deaths, and other traumatic injuries.

We are proud to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

Learn more about our law firm on AvvoYelpGoogle

See our past cases on our Settlements and Verdicts page.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 2.10.21]

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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