Illinois brain injury lawyers should be aware that traumatic brain injury can occur in the absence of loss of consciousness. There is overwhelming ignorance in the medical community that there is even the possibility of permanent brain injury in patients who do not suffer loss of consciousness following a trauma to the head.
Serious researchers have now concluded that traumatic brain injury can occur without a documented loss of consciousness. See Neuropsychological Assessment, 3rd, by Murial Lezak; Sports and Concussion Guidelines promulgated by the American Academy of Neurology in conjunction with the Brain Injury Association; the treatise Prognosis of Neurological Prognosis of Neurological Disorders.
I have represented numerous clients whose emergency room physicians failed to diagnose traumatic brain injury merely because the was no documented loss of consciouness. If the client has continuing cognitive difficulties it is wise to refer the patient to a neurologist, neurosurgeon, or rehabilitation physician who have experience in diagnosing and treating patients with traumatic brain injuries. Frequently, the attorney must retain an expert to perform a neuropsychological assessment of the patient to confirm the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury. It is critical to remember that just because a treating physician or emergency room physician does not diagnose a traumatic brain injury because of no documented losss of consciousness, does not mean that the patient does not indeed have a traumatic brain injury. The best evidence of serious brain injury comes from family and friends who can document personality changes or cognitive impairment that developed following a traumatic brain injury. Promptly retaining an attorney with experience representing victims of traumatic brain injuries is critical in securing a favorable outcome for clients some of whom will suffer of life with cognitive impairment.