Scarlett Law Group
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys - TBI
Biomechanics of Traumatic Brain Injury
A picture is worth a thousand words. Despite this,
some trial lawyers think it is a mortal sin to try a case in an
interesting manner. They seem to think it is beneath their dignity to
make a case a living, pulsating, experience; a vivid portrayal of the
tragedy that occurred. Try a case in a humdrum manner and the result
will be a humdrum verdict. Your lawyer must capture and hold the
imagination and the interests of the jury, as well as garner their
respect. Your lawyer must make the jurors live your case; make them
participate in the joint endeavor of righting a wrong; make them feel
that theirs is the voice of the community.
to its most simplistic, there are three major mechanisms which
contribute to traumatic brain injury. These include: (a) impact of the
brain against the skull; (b) shear between layers of the brain; and
Sadly, more often than not, this is not done. If
anything, technology has hindered society´s ability to "see" through
words. Many jurors, used to watching a drama unfold on television, are
ill-equipped to follow a trial devoid of demonstration. If anything,
the words of the lawyer may do nothing more than lull the juror to
sleep. This is particularly so where complex events occur. In many
instances the only way we can possibly understand the true sequence of
an event is to see it, as well as hear about it.
This having been said, it is also true that a trial
is about moderation. Simply because we can present certain evidence
through a multimedia event, does not mean that we necessarily should.
But where the complexity necessitates the need and the capability is
present, then not to use the technology will guarantee a bad outcome.
It was only 50 years ago that lawyers struggled to
use a blackboard at trial. Today, plasma monitors, and videotapes of
real-time teleconferencing are commonplace. Computer reenactment,
animation, and utilization of high-tech substances, such as brain gel,
can be used with proper foundation. Dramatic impeachment through replay
of videotaped depositions is now an essential part of any trial.
Blackboards, easels, charts, graphs, aerial
photography, photographic blow ups, power point presentations, models,
computer reenactments, plasma monitors, visual presenters, trial
demonstration software, even holograms are used in today´s trials. A
proper demonstration of how an accident or injury occurred may be the
difference between a verdict for the plaintiff or defendant.
Traumatic brain injury or a closed head injury can occur when the head is subjected to a direct external impact (such as where the head is struck, or where the head strikes an object).
Likewise, injury can occur when the head is
subjected to a sudden acceleration and then is suddenly stopped. A
sudden acceleration/deceleration (often times causing diffuse axonal
shearing), (and other times causing coup/contra coup injuries) often
follows a violent flexion - extension movement of the head. This
response is extremely common in rear-end vehicle collisions.
Condensed to its most simplistic, there are three major mechanisms which contribute to traumatic brain injury.
- (a) impact of the brain against the skull;
- (b) shear between layers of the brain; and
- (c) cavitation.
Depending upon how the impact occurred, be it a rear-end collision or
other source, the head starts its movement to the rear while the brain
resists, thereby leaving a space at the back of the skull. As this
force progresses, a centrifugal force lifts the brain thereby leaving
spaces between it. Both inertia and centrifugal force causes the brain
to impact against the skull. This impact may cause damage to the brain.
While the skull provides considerable external protection because of
its strength, its inner-contours are not smooth and are characterized
by sharp, bony proturbences. When a blow is dealt to the head, the
brain is flung against these bony proturbences and is bruised and torn,
resulting in brain damage.
Another mechanism of brain injury is that of shear. Shear is based on
rotational acceleration/deceleration, and a sliding effect of one layer
of the brain upon another. Shear occurs within the brain because of the
difference of density in layers.
Axonal shearing can occur where an axon transverses between two or more
layers of the brain which are subject to shearing forces. Often times,
damage to the axons is diffuse and degeneration happens throughout the
brain rather than in specific clusters. Diffuse axonal shearing is a
common cause of "miild" traumatic brain injury, and is rarely visible
Cavitation occurs when mass moves rapidly through fluid. The pressure
in front of the mass is high and the pressure behind the mass is low.
Vapor filled bubbles form in low pressure. When a mass returns in the
opposite direction, the bubbles collapse. If this occurs often, the
brain can be injured.
Many times, injuries
are found opposite the point of impact. This type of injury is called
the "countre-coup", a French term meaning "against the blow".
Cavitation is the most commonly accepted explanation for this type of
Work-up of the biomechanics of injury are especially
required in the proper trial presentation of any traumatic brain injury
case. The Scarlett Law Group works with the top experts in the world on this subject. Below, you will see the lengths to which the Scarlett Law Group routinely works with biomechanical experts in order to demonstrate the mechanics of injury.
The following case descriptions show the power of using modern technology to win jury trial court cases. Click on the links to learn more in detail about these landmark care results.
Scarlett Law Group represented Claude Herndon as a
result of traumatic brain injury which occurred when the stool upon
which Mr. Herndon was sitting fell into a concealed hole in the casino
floor, causing Mr. Herndon to be propelled forward where he hit his
head upon the casino's slot bank table. First, accurate photographs
were taken of the actual location of the fall. Friction measurements
were taken of the table top, together with appropriate documentation of
the concealed hole and stool.
The Scarlett Law Group likewise represented Mr. Jamil Keegan after he
sustained a traumatic brain injury from a construction site accident.
Mr. Keegan's shirt was caught by pipe then being threaded in a pipe
threading machine. The operator was oblivious to the problem
experienced by Mr. Keegan as his shirt became entangled with the pipe,
wrapping tighter and tighter, before Mr. Keegan was thrown over,
striking his head on the concrete workplace floor. The Scarlett Law
Group obtained an identical pipe threading machine, and in essence,
reenacted the accident.
On July 7, 2005, in Rasmussen v. Shade, et al., SCV 14935, Placer
County Superior Court, Lincoln Division, the jury reached it's Verdict
awarding Kim Rasmussen $1,248,024.00 as a result of injuries he
sustained in a relatively minor rear end automobile accident occurring
in Roseville, California. On August 19, 2002, Plaintiff Kim Rasmussen,
was operating his 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck on Eureka Road near
Sunrise in Roseville, CA. Defendant Bruce Robert Shade caused his 1999
Dodge Durango to rear end plaintiffs' pickup at about 7mph - 12mph.
Plaintiffs truck sustained $498.00 damage to the rear bumper. Despite
the relatively minor property damage, counsel was able to establish
that the rotational forces were sufficient to cause Mr. Rasmussen to
sustain a traumatic brain injury. Leading experts throughout the United
States testified on behalf of Mr. Rasmussen, and the Jury's Verdict
should ensure that he receives the future medical care he so
On April 7, 2005, plaintiff Celia Shi's life was forever altered
when a COACH USA Grey-Line Tours Bus made an illegal left-hand turn
striking Ms. Shi in the crosswalk.
After being struck by the tour bus, Ms. Shi was thrown to the ground
and sustained skull factures with internal bleed. Ms. Shi underwent
four life-saving surgeries with the expert neurosurgical team at San
Francisco General Hospital, led by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Geoffrey
If you or someone you know has been injured
or suffered Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI,
you need the assistance of The Scarlett Law Group.
today to speak with a California Personal Injury Attorney.