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Brain Injury Cases in North Carolina Courts

More than one million people in the US each year sustain a traumatic brain injury (or TBI). There are nearly 200,000 people in North Carolina with traumatic brain injury. A brain injury can be sustained in an automobile accident, or from being struck by an object, such as a golf ball. It can also be caused by medical malpractice. A TBI can be a devastating injury. In addition to purely cognitive problems (e.g. memory, concentration, processing speed), persons with TBI often have behavioral problems (e.g. irratibility). These injuries are often difficult to handle because there are often no visible signs of brain injury. Handling a case involving a brain injury raises several complicated issues.

brain CT Here a CT shows the brain.

One issue facing a person with a TBI in North Carolina is establishing the nature and extent of the injury. This is often done by various cognitive tests, which can ascertain the subject's ability in various areas, and can sometimes confirm a brain injury. The test results can also sometimes be compared with previous tests, or previous performance levels (e.g. grades or standardized tests). In some cases, imaging can corroborate a brain injury, or at least that significant trauma to the head occurred.

Another issue in TBI cases in North Carolina is determining the future limitations and needs for a person with a traumatic brain injury. A person with a head injury may need ongoing cognitive testing, special education, assistance with employment, counseling, and prescription medication.

Legal issues surrounding brain injury cases in North Carolina include the following: whether the plaintiff's doctors, psychologists, and other experts are qualified to testify as to causation and other issues; the effect of a prior brain injury; the difficulty of determining the plaintiff's prior cognitive level; the significance of MRI's or other scans that are negative (i.e. do not show objective evidence of a brain injury).

The following is a list of cases that have been litigated in North Carolina involving brain injuries.

John Kirby has represented clients with traumatic brain injury (or "closed head injury"), and has defended several of these claims in litigation. He obtained a recovery of more than $1,000,000 (one million dollars) for the victim of a car accident, caused by a driver who ran a red light at forty-five miles per hour and T-boned the victim. He has defended a claim where a motorist on a scooter fell onto the roadway, and where a victim was struck by a golf ball, in addition to other cases where the victim alleged a brain injury from an automobile accident in North Carolina. He has also received education specific to cognitive psychology, including the study of the anatomy and functioning of the brain. He has also represented persons sustaining post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and has defended against such claims.