Q: Last summer I was driving on Niagara Falls Boulevard. My 16 year old son was sitting in the front passenger seat with his seat belt on. While we were passing through an intersection on a green light a car ran the light and struck my car on the passenger side. My son’s head hit the side window hard enough to break the glass. We were both checked out at the hospital, and they kept my son over night for observation.
He did have a concussion, but the CAT scan of his brain was negative. Since the accident my husband and I have noticed that our son has just not been the same. He was always an honor student, and now his grades have dropped off. It also seems as though he is much more irritable than ever before. At first, we thought that these changes were perhaps just due to adolescence, but now we’re not so sure. Is it possible that he suffered a brain injury in the accident, and if so do you think that he has a case?
A: We would strongly encourage you to have your son evaluated by a neurologist and a neuropsychologist. Even though the CT scan that was done at the hospital was negative, a neurologist may want to order an MRI. This is a different diagnostic test, which may provide different information about whether your son suffered an organic brain injury from the blow to his head. A neuropsychologist will be interested in the results of the diagnostic studies, but he or she will address your son’s issues from a different perspective.
Typically, a neuropsychologist will put the patient through a battery of tests for the purpose of determining whether a brain injury is causing the changes which you have observed. We have a number of clients who have suffered head trauma where there has been no clear evidence of brain injury on CT scan or MRI. In these cases we have found neuropsychological testing to be very valuable. The personal injury attorneys at Cellino & Barnes help car accident victims get the justice they deserve.