Registered Nurse
25 Years Experience
Former Insurance Company Attorney

Workers' Comp. 101: The Traumatic Brain Injury / Head Injury Case

By: Cynthia M. Hennessey Attorney

Few Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury cases are as complex and involved as those involving traumatic brain injuries, (“TBI”), concussions and head injuries. Regardless of whether the injury is mild or severe, it is necessary to choose an attorney who is prepared to handle the challenges that are unique to brain injury cases.

First, it is vital that your Attorney understand the anatomy and physiology of the brain as well as your treatment records and diagnostic tests in order to understand how the injury has affected you. Many symptoms of brain injury, head injury, or concussion are subtle, yet can be life changing. Over 25 years, I have represented numerous traumatic brain injury cases. While no two brain injuries are ever identical, it is not uncommon for my clients to suffer from many of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Confusion

  • Difficulty focusing

  • Problems with memory

  • Problems following directions

  • Mood Problems, including anxiety, depression, anger, aggression

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Sensitive to light and loud sounds

  • Changes in personality

  • Lack of interest in sex

  • Impulsiveness

  • Saying inappropriate things

  • Inability to enjoy hobbies

  • Lack of interest in social functions

  • Difficulty finding words

  • Difficulty performing simple math

  • Inability to concentrate while reading

Yet, more often than not, the tests and CT scans are all read as “normal”. Yet my client and his family know that he is anything but “normal”. These symptoms can change your life. They can cause marital problems, work problems, social problems, parenting problems. Yet, often times, particularly in the Workers’ Compensation arena, these symptoms are completely overlooked and/or ignored by the Workers Comp doctors, or worse, the injured worker is accused of malingering or exaggerating his symptoms. It is vital that your attorney not just sit back, and accept the Workers Comp doctor’s diagnosis and treatment.

It is vital that your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer has experience with defense experts who are going to testify against you. This includes the rehabilitative doctor, neurologists, neuro-psychologists, neuro-psychiatrists, and concussion experts. These experts are often hired guns. Your lawyer must be ready to take them on. As well, your lawyer must be willing and financially able to hire experts to examine and testify for you. Many law firms just are not financially equipped to handle these costs.

It is also vital that your lawyer thoroughly prepares you for your role in your case. You will almost certainly have a deposition taken by the defense lawyer. This will likely be a long and grueling ordeal, and you must be prepared carefully as to how to handle the questions. Many lawyers simply don’t have the time or the knowledge to adequately prepare you.

As well, traumatic brain injury cases often go to trial. It is imperative that your lawyer has experience in presenting to the Judge or Jury your injury and how it has affected your life. A brain injury has significant “ripple effects”, including marital problems, depression, inability to return to work, and long term financial implications. The Judge and Jury must be taught about the “ripple effects” as well as about the long term prognosis of your injury. This is your lawyer’s job, and must be handled with expertise.

At Hennessey Law Firm, you can be assured we have the experience and the resources to aggressively fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

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