June 23, 2024

Traumatic Brain Injury Witnesses

Sometimes a survivor of a traumatic brain injury looks and acts normal, but the person is actually suffering from an invisible injury. To a jury, the person may look like any other person, so to make the injury real, witnesses must testify to show how the person changed into a different person from before the traumatic brain injury.

Identify the witnesses to traumatic brain injury before filing a lawsuit. Expert witnesses explain the injury. An expert witness must have personal knowledge on what s/he is testifying to. An expert witness may state an opinion if (1) the witness has scientific or specialized knowledge on the subject in which he testifies that assists a trier of fact, (2) the witness qualifies as an expert, (3) the witness possesses reasonable probability regarding his opinion, (4) the opinion is supported by a proper factual basis.

A lay witness can only testify to what is within his/her personal knowledge. The lay witnesses for a brain injury case may be a parent, spouse, friend, or co-worker. A good lay witness is someone close to the brain injury survivor. The witness should know the survivor for many years before the head injury and have regular contact with the survivor after the injury. A witness who is not related to the survivor may be a better witness than a family member because the witness does not have any interest in the outcome of a case, whereas a family member living with the survivor may be frowned on as wanting money rather than making the survivor whole.

The witness should produce examples on how the injury affected the survivor. For example, when victims of head injuries survive car accidents, a nightmare starts with few residential treatment centers taking insurance or insurance not paying for brain rehab, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Treatment usually gets offered only to individuals with private money, workers’ compensation, or a lawsuit settlement. According to the news article, one man, age 23, suffered a brain injury in a car accident in 2006. After a hospital stay and rehab, he returned home to find the part of his brain that controlled impulses not working. When he got angry, he lashed out at people. His mother took care of him, and ended up with bruises, bites, and black eyes. For this man, his mother would be a potential witness on how the injury transformed the him from his prior life.

For a powerful brain injury case, obtain an experienced Chicago attorney who knows what to look for in “before and after” witnesses.

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