Posted on April 16, 2013 · Posted in Brain Injury

One of the reasons, Jayne, that I wanted to tape this is I wanted to talk to you about the nature of what we do and, and what people can anticipate when they call us.  Obviously this would be better to do when we’re both on the tape, but  let’s talk about the nature of the people that call us.

Most of the people that call our office  of course they’ve been injured in an accident, many of them already have talked to an attorney or have an attorney.  So a very frequent question I get is that I have an attorney that just doesn’t understand my brain injury along with I have a doctor that doesn’t understand my brain injury.

One of the problems that, I guess in a sense I was one of those lawyers at  one  time, too.  There was a time, and I don’t know how many people I represented before I’d gone to a seminar in Houston, Texas and met my first neuropsychologist, listened to a neurologist and heard lawyers who really believed in brain injury.  There were a few really dedicated lawyers in that group and people who became colleagues and friends of mine after that.  But you know, personal injury lawyers start as something else typically.   The good personal injury lawyers probably found an aptitude like I did when they were doing something more broad.  But unless you worked in an established firm and had an established personal injury mentor you’re not going to really ever see the whole picture as you start.  Now, you can represent a dozen brain injury survivors, but if you don’t understand, what you missed on the first one, you may miss it on the tenth and the twentieth.   People say,  how many brain injury cases have you handled?  Well I handled three or four before I’d ever met a neuropsychologist.  Did I make a difference in those cases?  I don’t know. Some of the early cases I had weren’t actually personal injury cases.  They were family matters where I had a couple of clients who were, I represented in divorces who had suffered severe brain injuries.  And, of course after a severe brain injury there was going to be that family conflict.  And in both those cases the clients that were getting divorced because of violence that had happened in their personal relationships.  And I think perhaps that’s one of the things that gave me a better feel for some of the behavioral issues, when I started doing more personal injury cases, is because I had the severe behavioral brain injured clients as family clients and divorce clients and perhaps that was one of the things.  There’s a real structure to a brain injury case.  If you don’t understand the layers of things that you have to prove and you think what you’re doing is walking into court and, and proving up the medical bills and assuming the jury’s going to get the rest of it, you’re going to have a real problem.  And there are certain experts that you have to have, at least in order to make a proper diagnosis. If you don’t bring those experts in, you’re going to have a very difficult time number one proving that there was a brain injury but more importantly than that is to prove the nature of the deficits and the disabilities that come from that and the nature of the future needs and the impact it’s going to have on the person’s personal life, the person’s employment and their day to day enjoyment of life, integration into their community.

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About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447