How to Handle a Virginia TBI Claim | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Experience matters.

This is especially true when it comes to hiring a Virginia personal injury lawyer for your traumatic brain injury case. Defense attorneys and expert witnesses for insurance companies have many tricks for calling the diagnosis of a TBI into question. That hurdle is raised by the fact that the injured victim rarely carries visible scars. This all-to-often lead to assumptions that brain injury symptoms are “all in the person’s head.”

Irony aside, anyone who has sustained a concussion, brain bleed or skull fracture knows that their physical, mental and emotional difficulties are very real—and very difficult to overcome.


Here is the full list of TBI symptoms posted to the website of the National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:

Mild TBI

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Tiredness or sleepiness
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • A change in sleep habits
  • Behavior or mood changes
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few seconds to minutes
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Nausea or vomiting​

Symptoms of Moderate or Severe TBI

  • Headache that gets worse or won’t go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • An inability to wake up from sleep
  • Enlargement of the pupil (dark center) of one or both eyes
  • Numbness or tingling of arms or legs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion, restlessness or agitation
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes to hours

Little distinguishes a mild TBI from a moderate or severe TBI other than the persistence and disabling effects of the symptoms. Generally, a concussion suffered without a puncture or fracture of the skull is classified as moderate. Even then, a third or more of people who suffer a concussion continue to experience overt and subtle symptoms months after the event.

Clearly, individuals whose TBI results from the negligence or recklessness of other deserve compensation. Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit following a car or truck crash, motorcycle accident, or slip and fall allows the injured person to hold the responsible party liable for paying medical bills and paying other types of monetary damages.

Succeeding with a claim and securing an injury settlement or jury award requires presenting extensive medical evidence and dispelling myths about injuries that people cannot see. For instance, when our firm won a $46 million award for a man in Northern Virginia who was nearly crushed to death by a derailed train, we interviewed and took sworn statements from several doctors and therapists who testified to our client’s multiple, permanent and profound disabilities. We also commissioned reports from a life care planner and an economist to document the complexities and costs our client’s family would face.

In another case, lawyers with our Virginia Beach-based personal injury law firm helped a man who lost his ability to work and perform simple tasks like fully dress himself to a distracted driver obtain a settlement for $340,000. Achieving that outcome required documenting how the TBI robbed him of the capacity to do math in his head, cope with even small amounts of stress and respond appropriately to his family members’ expressions of emotion.

The countless lawyers who run endless TV ads touting top-dollar settlements rarely have the experience necessary to deliver on promises they should not be making in the first place. All a caring and ethical personal injury attorney can do is rely on their skills as investigators and their knowledge of the legal system to fight for their clients. Anyone with a TBI claim must search for evidence of this before trusting their case to a lawyer.