Does Keller & Keller classify brain injuries based on their severity?

Our firm classifies the level of a client's brain injury by assigning it into one of three possible categories: MILD, MODERATE, or SEVERE. And we only assign this classification after we receive the medical records and statements we gather from our clients' doctors.


Many of our car accident clients often sustain some form of mild brain injury, which normally affects the person for a shorter period of time and can cause symptoms such as confusion, headaches, memory problems, nausea, sickness, depression, and other emotional problems. (The term "mild brain injury" is somewhat misleading though. Any injury to the brain is always cause for immediate concern and can have lasting, long-term effects. Even if you have suffered a mild brain injury, you should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.)


Other clients will suffer from moderate brain injury, and they will experience from many of the same symptoms listed above; however, their symptoms often last longer and the effects can be more profound. Fortunately, in many instances, many of our clients who sustained a moderate brain injury sought out an immediate medical evaluation, received ongoing treatment, and made a very good recovery.


Last, we've also helped clients who sustained a severe brain injury. When the damage is severe, it usually means the client will be facing life-altering after-effects. The more severe the injury, the more likely it can lead to a coma, vegetative state, minimal response to stimuli, akinetic mutism, locked in syndrome, and/or brain death.

What are the leading causes of brain injury?

Car accidents, falls, violence, and sports injuries are the leading causes of brain injury in the United States.

What percentage of brain injuries result from motor-vehicle accidents?

Over half of all reported brain injuries are caused by motor-vehicle accidents. The majority of our clients who have head injuries were either the driver of a car, passenger in a car, a motorcyclist, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist.

Do insurance companies take mild brain injuries seriously?

Unfortunately, not always. 

The job of the insurance company is to settle as quickly as possible for as little as possible, and there is no injury that has more uncertainty attached to it than a brain injury, mild or otherwise. That's why it's critical that you get a proper diagnosis and remain under doctor's care until you are officially released. 

Our job is always to present the most convincing case to the insurance company based on your medical records and experience post-accident. The vast majority of our clients who suffer mild brain injuries are able to return to 100% health, but it will take time. 

How much does Keller & Keller charge to represent me for my brain injury case?

We have a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that we're only paid for our services once we make a recovery on your behalf. 

Can I file a lawsuit on behalf of a family member that suffered a severe brain injury and is now in a coma or has passed away?

It will depend on the liability and facts surrounding the potential claim, but usually a special administrator will be appointed to file on behalf of someone who suffered a severe brain injury.

We will be able to quickly and efficiently analyze any potential brain injury claim based on the information you provide to us in your initial consultation as well as during our preliminary investigation. Once our attorneys have spoken to you about potential estates, power of attorneys, etc., will be able to advise you on how to proceed so as to protect the claim on behalf of your loved one and the family.

How long do the effects of most brain injuries last?

Every brain injury is unique, no two will ever be exactly the same.

Much of your treatment and recuperation will depend on getting the correct diagnosis and ensuring that a good support system is in place. Changes and improvement can continue for several months although sometimes they are so slight they it is hard to notice--it doesn't happen overnight. Some of the after-effects of a brain injury may remain for a lifetime while others may improve to the point that they are not a major factor in day-to-day living. 

What is the difference between acquired and traumatic brain injury?

A brain injury type can be classified as either acquired (ABI) or traumatic (TBI). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a TBI is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI.

The severity of such an injury may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to "moderate" (i.e., a more prolonged change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury). An ABI is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, present at birth, or degenerative in nature.

Causes of ABI include any condition which may cause a lack of oxygen to the brain, such as a heart attack, a stroke, a seizure or toxic exposure. Brain injuries can be very difficult to diagnose, especially in the presence of other more immediate physical injuries.

Any blow or jolt to the head may result in disruption of brain function, and a significant disruption to the brain may occur even in the absence of any loss of consciousness or even a negative CT scan or MRI. It's extremely important to be screened by health care professionals who are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of brain injury.

What is an open head brain injury?

An open head brain injury occurs where a foreign object penetrates the skull and punctures the brain, making it susceptible to infection among the many other serious concerns. Open head brain injuries typically cause permanent or partial impairment to the functions that the injured part of the brain controls.

What is a closed head brain injury?

A closed head brain injury occurs when a person has sustained trauma to the brain, yet does not sustain a skull fracture. Closed head injuries are somewhat difficult to diagnose because there may be no physical signs of injury. Like other brain injuries, closed head injuries must be treated immediately by a medical professional.

What is a brain contusion and how is it caused?

A brain contusion is an injury that may be sustained at the same as a traumatic brain injury. As the result of head trauma brain tissue becomes bruised and swollen, and broken blood vessels may cause blood to mix with the brain tissue. Brain contusions may cause other serious medical conditions, including some that can place the victim in a vegetative state or cause death.

Can toxic substances cause brain damage?

Yes, toxic substances can cause brain damage.

There are approximately 1,000 chemicals that have the potential to inflict serious injury to people, including brain damage, learning disabilities, depression, dementia, and death.

Inhaling, ingesting, and touching these products/chemicals are some of the ways that these people are often harmed. Because another party may be liable for negligence associated with a toxic substance, it is important that you protect any rights you may have to make a recovery by contacting an attorney that is a well-known.

Is it normal for brain injury victims to see various specialists?


Depending on the severity and type of brain damage a person experiences, they may need to visit speech pathologists, neurologists, physical therapists, recreational therapists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals to assist in recovery.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller