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Traumatic Brain Injury

Coral Springs Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

(DTI) Diffusion Tensor Imaging Can Make Your Case in Mild Brain Injury Cases

Some of the most difficult cases we handle at Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A., are for clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries can be absolutely devastating for not only the person who was injured, but also for his or her family and loved ones. Tragically, in some of the worst cases, an accident that causes a traumatic brain injury is a life-altering event.

In cases where the brain injury is severe, a CT or MRI scan will usually be able to provide visual evidence of the injury. In other words, a radiologist can review the CT or MRI scan and actually see the damage to the brain in the images. Also, just by the very nature of the injury (fractured skull, brain surgery, etc.), brain injury may be obvious.

But one of the problems that frequently occurs in brain injury cases where the injury isn’t as severe is that a person can suffer a mild traumatic brain injury, but the standard radiographic techniques end up being inadequate for evaluating the injury. This is often the case when a person suffers a mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI.

Although CT scans and MRIs are typically thought of as the gold standard in radiographic imaging, when it comes to mTBI, even CT scans and MRIs often don’t show any evidence of an injury.

The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer Who Knows and Understands Brain Injuries

Although we are not doctors, we sometimes actually preliminarily ‘diagnose’ our clients with mild traumatic brain injury. Instead of the hospital doctors, paramedics, chiropractors, or orthopedists, oftentimes we are the first ones to recognize that a client may have suffered a mTBI.

Attorney Dan Cytryn, a practicing attorney for 40 years, has sent many brain injury cases not previously diagnosed by the treating doctors to a neurologist for definitive diagnosis and treatment. Many lawyers don’t recognize this potential problem in a case because they don’t know what the symptoms are.

Here are the some of the symptoms that we look for when we meet with one of our clients to assess whether they may have a mild traumatic brain injury:

  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Feeling foggy or groggy
  • Short-term memory loss

Call (954) 833-1440 or contact us online to get started with a free case evaluation with our experienced mTBI attorneys.

What Is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 166 people die in the United States from TBI-related injuries every day. In 2019 alone, approximately 61,000 people in this country died as a result of TBI-related injuries. In any given year, over 1.5 million people will present to a hospital emergency department as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

More than 250,000 people will be hospitalized with a TBI. Nearly half of the persons hospitalized due to TBI were injured as a result of a fall, with motor vehicle collisions being responsible for around a quarter of TBI-related hospitalizations.

What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

Traumatic brain injury is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, based on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The GCS is basically a scoring system for categorizing the extent of a brain injury, based on a person’s eye opening, verbal response, and motor responses following a head injury. In the case of the GCS, the lower the score, the more severe the brain injury. A GCS of 8 or less is considered severe; GCS of 9 – 12 is moderate; and GCS of 13 – 15 is mild.

What Are the Symptoms of An mTBI?

Although a mild traumatic brain injury is not as harmful as a severe one, the term “mild” is actually rather misleading; a mild TBI is far from inconsequential. In fact, the symptoms following a mTBI can be chronic and debilitating.

A mild traumatic brain injury can lead to long-lasting cognitive problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Double-vision
  • And other troubling symptoms

Just because the medical terminology refers to a brain injury as “mild” certainly doesn’t mean that the negative impact on a person’s life resulting from the injury is in any way slight or insignificant.

CT Scans and MRIs Can Often Fail to Show Evidence of a mTBI

In many instances, there will be no obvious signs of a mTBI in traditional CT and MRI scans. For example, after a concussion, a traditional MRI scan may show the brain to be perfectly normal.

But advances in medical science in recent years have made clear that concussions can have a long-term and damaging impact on an injured person. One problem we frequently see in cases is that a CT scan or MRI often won’t be able to “show” the damage done to the brain as a result of a mTBI, including a concussion.

As a result, defense attorneys and insurance companies will downplay the severity of mTBI and claim that if there isn’t any evidence of it in the CT scan or MRI images, then it can’t be that bad of an injury. Unfortunately, in cases where the plaintiff’s attorney was inexperienced in handling brain injury cases, many of those cases have ended poorly for injured persons because their attorneys failed to adequately demonstrate to a jury the extent of the injury.

Because of how harmful brain injuries can be to a person’s health and well-being, and since the long-term effects of brain injuries can be so detrimental to a person’s future, it is vital that we, as experienced brain injury attorneys, utilize every tool possible to support our clients’ brain injury cases. And that’s exactly where diffuse tensor imaging comes in for clients who have suffered a mTBI.

What Is Diffuse Tensor Imaging?

Diffuse tensor imaging (DTI) is an advanced MRI technique that is capable of providing more information about a person’s brain injury than other radiographic modalities. DTI is used to image the white matter of the brain by measuring the diffusion of water molecules.

Put simply, DTI is able to detect how water travels along the white matter tracts in the brain. Whereas traditional MRI scans cannot visualize the white matter tracts, DTI can effectively image these white matter tracts in the brain.

Advanced neuroimaging like DTI can play an important role in the detection of mild traumatic brain injury. DTI can be particularly effective in detecting diffuse axonal brain injuries in white matter, the most common brain injury in mTBI. A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a type of TBI that follows from a blunt injury to the brain.

Unfortunately, many attorneys are unaware of the potential benefits of DTI and fail to ensure that their clients undergo DTI after a mild traumatic brain injury. As a result, their clients’ cases suffer. A good injury lawyer has to know more than just the latest changes in the law. A good injury lawyer also has to stay on top of the latest technological advances that can be used to benefit their clients.

This means taking advantage of innovative technologies like DTI whenever possible. Our attorneys at Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. are highly familiar with DTI and other advanced medical technologies, and we will be happy to discuss with you the potential benefits of such technologies for your brain injury case.

Is Diffuse Tensor Imaging Admissible in Courts?

The short answer is, generally, yes, DTI data are admissible in court. Although DTI is a relatively new test, it has been gaining more and more acceptance in courtrooms across the country.

DTI results have been found admissible in multiple federal cases in South Florida, such as Marsh v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., 1:17-CV-21097-UU, 2017 WL 6987718 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 15, 2017), where the court noted that DTI testimony “has been previously admitted by a multitude of federal courts” and Ward v. Carnival Corp., 17-24628-CV, 2019 WL 1228063 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 14, 2019), were the court stated that it could find “no basis” to preclude the admission into evidence of DTI results.

Numerous other courts have similarly found DTI data admissible. One federal judge in Indiana stated that “[t]he evidence shows that while DTI is a relatively new technology it is gaining general acceptance as a method for detecting TBI.”

Ruppel v. Kucanin, 3:08 CV 591, 2011 WL 2470621, at *7 (N.D. Ind. June 20, 2011). Another federal court judge in Louisiana noted that there is a “clear consensus of authority” in favor of admitting DTI data in court. Lance Meadors v. D'Agostino, CV 18-01007-BAJ-EWD, 2020 WL 6342637, at *4 (M.D. La. Oct. 29, 2020).

Put 40+ Years of Experience on Your Side

These are just a few of the many instances where trial judges have found DTI results admissible in court. If you’ve suffered a brain injury, whether from a car crash, a slip or trip and fall accident, or even an assault by another person, contact our office today. We offer free and confidential consultations, and we handle cases for people injured all across Florida and, in some instances, for persons injured in other states, as well.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident anywhere in Florida, contact the attorneys at Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. at (954) 833-1440, for a free consultation.

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What You Can Expect From Us
  • More Than 40 Years of Experience

    We have a proven track record of success in accident cases over 4 decades.

  • Board Certified Lawyer

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  • No Fee If No Recovery

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  • Our Results Don't Lie

    We’ve had more than 30┬ácases that have settled or resulted in jury verdicts of one million dollars or more.

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