When a child suffers a serious fracture in an accident, it’s fairly easy for a jury to understand the seriousness of the injury and its consequences.
When a child suffers a brain injury, however, its much more challenging for a jury to understand the nature of the injury of its consequences.
Often a young child is not able to describe with any detail the symptoms he or she is experiencing and their memories may also be affected by their imagination.
A jury cannot See a concussion or most brain injuries (although some can be visualized on CT-Scans or MRI’s..most brain injuries are not detected that way) and so to the jury, the child may appear very normal.
A personal injury attorney must use preparation, interviewing and other techniques to fully illustrate the damages a child suffers to the jury.
Extensive interviews with teachers, babysitters, parents and pediatricians can help to establish what the child was like before the accident and how he has changed after.
The attorney should obtain all of the school records and educational testing results from before the accident so they can be given to a neuropsychologist, who is an expert at establishing the nature and extent of brain injuries.
The neuropsychologist will do extensive testing of the child, conduct interviews with clients, teachers and friends, and review the school and medical records so he can establish a baseline of the child’s condition before the accident.
The attorney will usually also hire a vocational rehabilitation expert in cases of severe brain injury as that injury will undoubtedly affect the child’s future earnings.
Its often difficult to estimate what the earnings loss will be, but courts and vocational experts often consider the child’s past school records, the earnings and education of the parents and siblings and Department of Labor statistics to form a reasonable estimate of how much the child was likely to earn over his lifetime both before and after his injury.
An arbitration or mediation not to speak of a courtroom is often threatening to children and a personal injury attorney skilled in brain injury cases, will take the time to bring the child to court beforehand to accustom the child to the judicial process and help make it less threatening.
Besides finding the right experts, its critical to spend time and prepare laywitnesses, such as babysitters, teachers and friends to help explain how the child has changed since his accident.
A brain injury attorney who takes the time to explore the child’s life thoroughly, who visits the family home and spends a good deal of time there and who has the expertise to find and work with experienced experts in brain injury cases, will do much to ensure that the child’s recovery will be fair and just.