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Shapiro & Appleton

Traumatic Brain Injury Goes Undiagnosed for a Year

A woman driving a car in Fairfax, Virgin (VA) was hit by a box truck back in April of 2006 and the accident was severe - her car turned 90 degrees and was propelled over 50 feet before coming to a stop. Today, the woman has no memory of the car accident, or turning 90 degrees, or being forced 50 feet down the road. The loss of memory is a tell-tale sign of a head injury, but she didn't receive a proper diagnosis until May of 2007.

The woman felt "loopy" for three days after the car crash and had the understandable frustration of having to get her nearly-demolished car repaired. She realized what happened was not her fault and wisely sought legal counsel. A lawsuit was filed and the woman was eventually examined by a neuropsychologist who was hired by defense attorneys.

This tactic backfired for the defense since the neuropsychologist declared the woman "suffered significant declines in three separate indices of attention," according to Virginia Lawyers Weekly. As a result, a settlement was reached for $562,500. A portion of this settlement went to cover the victim's medical bills ($11,000) along with helping cover lost wages, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.

I'm glad to see this woman receive justice. Her situation illustrates just how subtle the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be. She was still able to go about her daily routine and work, but her memory and ability to process information was damaged. It wasn't noticeable right away. As she said, it was a "loopy" feeling that she probably just chalked up to being a car accident.

We should use this case as an example of the importance of getting checked out by a doctor, and a neurologist, after a major car wreck. You may not think you've suffered a traumatic brain injury, but the effects may be so subtle you wouldn't categorize it as "traumatic" and it could just be a "loopy" feeling. Don't delay; get an examination to see if something is wrong.

If it's determined you did indeed suffer a head injury and believe it was due to someone else's carelessness, please contact a lawyer immediately. As this case shows, an attorney can help you throughout the litigation process and work to get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  

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