Lawyers who represent victims of traumatic brain injury have a special obligation, because TBI can be utterly devastating, yet difficult to prove. That’s why the traumatic brain injury lawyers of Michigan Auto Law are helping other attorneys handle TBI cases properly. Keep in mind that traumatic brain injury law — and the automobile accident exceptions that exist under Michigan law — require very specialized knowledge. A closed-head injury, often called the “invisible injury” is difficult to detect in auto accident victims. In fact, doctors, emergency rooms and lawyers frequently miss brain injuries; so brain injury lawyers must ask specific questions to document symptoms and problems. If you have questions or wish to speak to a traumatic brain injury lawyer directly about your circumstances, please call Michigan Auto Law at . Otherwise, keep reading to learn more about Michigan brain injury law, and tips that can help lawyers avoid pitfalls posed by the defense in these complicated cases.
Michigan Traumatic Brain Injury Law
Michigan car accident law requires injuries to be objectively manifested, but that doesn’t mean auto accident victims who have traumatic brain injuries but normal MRIs do not have cases. Experienced brain injury attorneys explain how the closed-head injury exception allows people with brain injuries that are not objectively manifested to still receive help.
How TBI Victims in Michigan Can Get to a Jury and Secure Justice
Most car accident victims with closed-head injuries would not be able to have their cases heard in court under Michigan’s difficult threshold law. The TBI lawyers of Michigan Auto Law clarify how the “automatic” route under the closed-head injury exception allows a person with a traumatic brain injury to still get to a jury.
Trap 1: Know Defense Attorney Traps for Michigan Closed-Head Injury Cases
The closed-head injury exception of Michigan’s threshold law states that a doctor’s affidavit is sufficient to carry a traumatic brain injury case past summary judgment in Michigan courts. But Michigan traumatic brain injury attorneys must comply exactly with the statute. Our TBI attorneys note defense attorney traps that could ruin a valid and legitimate case.
Trap 2: TBI Cases in Federal Court
Michigan traumatic brain injury lawyers must be on high alert after a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit case that dismissed the brain injury claim of an injured child. Livonia Shropshire v. Laidlaw Transit, Inc. will effectively wipe out most brain injury cases from car accidents in the federal courts.
Trap 3: Defense Attorney Can Argue Doctor Does Not Have TBI Experience
Michigan TBI attorneys need to be aware of a damaging defense argument that can undermine testimony needed for the closed-head injury exception: That a doctor is not properly qualified under MCL 500.3135. If accepted, the argument could result in summary judgment against a valid traumatic brain injury case.
Trap 4: New Defense Lawyer Tactic in Michigan Brain Injury Cases
Even though the diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury is an exception to the “serious impairment” requirement under Michigan’s threshold law, TBI lawyers may still face summary disposition when the incorrect use of the “objective verification” law is used by defense attorneys.
Trap 5: Defense Lawyers Use Churchman to Kill Michigan TBI Cases
Defense attorneys could use the Michigan Court of Appeals holding in Churchman v. Rickerson to deny a legitimate personal injury claim under Michigan law. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers give the information experts should include in affidavits or medical testimony to beat this unjust trick.
Trap 6: When Defense Lawyers Call a Traumatic Brain Injury Only “Mild”
TBI lawyers must be on alert for the argument presented by the defense in Guerro v. Smith, which says where the trial court — not the jury — decides a plaintiff's brain injury is mild, the court should be allowed to grant summary judgment for the defense.
Trap 7: Insurance Lawyer Trick: Claiming Plaintiff Can't Recover for TBI if Can't Stop Treating
One particularly nasty trick that Michigan insurance companies use to keep accident victims from receiving any compensation for a traumatic brain injury suffered in a car accident is arguing that in order to recover pain and suffering damages, a brain injury cannot resolve and the plaintiff cannot ever stop treating.
Trap 8: Beware of Insurance Lawyers Arguing Objective Manifestation in Michigan TBI Cases
Our TBI lawyers explain that defense attorneys cannot argue that the objective manifestation definition should be read to the jury in the jury instructions.
Documenting Traumatic Brain Injury
After getting past the summary judgment phase of a lawsuit in Michigan, a traumatic brain injury lawyer needs to keep track of the symptoms of a client's brain injury, and document the limitations the brain injury causes, especially by getting testimony from each treating physician about the effect the traumatic brain injury has had on a client's normal life.
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys of Michigan Auto Law
Michigan Auto Law partner Steven Gursten is a member of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Group and lectures on traumatic brain injuries throughout the country. If you are an attorney and would like to refer a Michigan traumatic brain injury case, please contact Michigan Auto Law.
If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident or truck accident in Michigan, we can guide you through the complicated requirements of Michigan’s closed-head injury exception and help obtain the insurance benefits and pain and suffering compensation you need. Because our lawyers have been handling traumatic brain injury cases for more than 50 years, we understand the physical, emotional and psychological hardships that TBI victims experience from automobile accidents. Please call Michigan Auto Law at for a case evaluation with no fee or obligation, or fill out our free consultation form.
We also have a comprehensive resource center to support people with traumatic brain injury. It includes helpful information such as the definition of TBI, symptoms, and what to do if you’re in an auto accident that causes traumatic brain injury.
National Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Network
Here’s a list of trial lawyers from throughout the country who concentrate major portions of their practices on accidents resulting in traumatic brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, closed-head injury, pediatric brain injury, seizure disorders and concussions.