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Why Does TBI Matter in a Car Accident Case?

July 30, 2009 by Steven M. Gursten

In the final blog in my series of tips for lawyers handling traumatic brain injury cases, I want to stress that the crucial question every lawyer must answer before any jury in a brain injury case is: “Why does TBI matter?”

It is not enough to show that your client has an injury. You have to show how his or her life is being impaired by the injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury: It Really Doesn’t Matter What You Call It

The most important point of this blog is to get lawyers to see beyond how they traditionally view traumatic brain injury. TBI can be caused by a car accident or truck accident. Just as important, cognitive and emotional impairments that mirror the consequences of TBI can also be acquired by common post-traumatic physical injuries caused by serious injury accidents.

The critical point is that both can affect brain functioning. Injuries that become chronic can cause chemical and organic changes in the brain, that can then cause the same symptoms as an acquired original TBI from trauma. Pain disorders, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, fatigue and a constellation of cognitive and emotional consequences can be caused by TBI. They can also be reactive to physical injuries that impact brain functioning.

Revisit your most serious truck accident cases. Look at the clients you have who have suffered terribly, enduring multiple surgeries and continuing to suffer chronic pain for long periods of time (over six months at least) after the truck crash. If you see this, you likely also have a brain injury case. You just didn’t know it until now.

Our clients have suffered real injury, and we as lawyers owe it to them to help. Please read my TBI resource center, designed to help personal injury attorneys handle traumatic brain injury cases in Michigan, so we can all serve as true advocates for the injured.

If you are a lawyer, and would like to refer a traumatic brain injury case, Michigan Auto Law would be happy to assist. Or if you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury from an auto 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 our TBI lawyers at (800) 777-0028 for a case evaluation with no fee or obligation.

Steven M. Gursten is a member of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brian Injury Group and lectures on TBI throughout the country. He was recently invited to become the first Michigan traumatic brain injury lawyer to serve on the legal committee for the Sarah Jane Brain Project. In 2008, Steve received a trial verdict of $5.65 million for a TBI victim; the largest reported auto negligence verdict in Michigan for the year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Joe Mad


Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. For more information, you can refer to our law firm quick facts.

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