MINNEAPOLIS CONCUSSION INJURY LAWYERS
CONCUSSION INJURY EXPERIENCE.
The CONCUSSION INJURY LAWYERS at the Schmidt Salita Law Team collectively bring over 100 years of experience in bringing justice to the victims of concussion injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
CONCUSSION INJURY KNOWLEDGE.
The CONCUSSION INJURY ATTORNEYS at the Schmidt Salita Law Team know that over 50% of concussion victims do not initially seek medical attention and that over 50% of those do go to emergency room are misdiagnosed. They know that it is hard to prove a concussion injury when it was misdiagnosed in the beginning. They know how to overcome that hurdle.
CONCUSSION INJURY SUCCESS.
The CONCUSSION INJURY LAWYERS at the Schmidt Salita Law Team have success in bringing justice to the victims of concussion injuries and mild traumatic brain injuries. Recent examples of success in cases where the concussion injury was not diagnosed by the first medical doctors to examine the victim:
-PM-Jury verdict of $2.6 million for victim of brain damage due to infection.
-JC-Settlement of $1.5 million for client whose concussion was overlooked by 3 different medical doctors.
-TA-Recovery at arbitration trial of $2.28 million for traumatic brain injury.
-RK-Recovery of $1.1 million for client whose concussion was overlooked in the ER and not diagnosed until months later.
-JH-Recovery of $500,000.00 for car accident victim with concussion injury.
OUR EXPERIENCED CONCUSSION INJURY LAWYERS.
Our senior trial lawyer Douglas Schmidt personally has nearly 50 years of experience in representing the victims of concussion injuries as a personal injury lawyer. Starting 40 years ago, he has been involved in many cases where the victim of personal injury had clearly sustained a traumatic brain injury that was completely overlooked by the medical community. Two early examples stand out:
Don’s Case: “Don” was hospitalized for 14 days in Level One Hospital while his orthopedic injuries were treated but his traumatic brain injury was completely ignored. Dick was discharged from the hospital while still unable to complete sentences or remember what he had discussed 5 minutes earlier. Family and friends said, “Don has never been the same. It’s like he aged 20 years in one day. He can’t remember what he had for breakfast.”
Larry’s Case: “Larry” was hospitalized for 3 days while his complete loss of memory for prior events continued. He was later assessed as having a permanent 50% loss of memory functions. His other disabilities were a constant headache, irritability to noise, light, and activity, and reduced concentration, comprehension and attention spa.
There were hundreds cases like this over the years. Many were good honest folks who were solid pillars of the community. They were ignored and dismissed by the medical community.
In 1996, as President of a District of the Minnesota Youth Hockey Association, Schmidt became acutely aware of the problems with concussions in youth hockey. He worked with Mayo Clinic sports medicine experts to develop what may have been the first “return to play” assessment protocol. Since then, he has become devoted to the study of the medical research literature about concussions. His research uncovered that medical experts have been sounding an alert for decades about the “silent epidemic” of overlooked concussion injuries. The author has been asked to lecture extensively to medical doctors, chiropractors, occupational therapists, other lawyers, and community groups about his findings.
Concussion injuries have been called “the invisible injury” and “the silent epidemic” of concussions in simple everyday language as much as possible. We call to your attention the long history of neglect regarding concussion injuries:
CENTURIES OF “IGNORANCE AND NEGLECT” ABOUT CONCUSSIONS.
Throughout the history of mankind, for more than 5 centuries, concussion injuries have been grossly neglected. Here is a timeline of this history.
Hippocrates-5th Century B.C.-Concussion Discovery
In the 5th Century BC, Hippocrates “discovered” the “invisible injury”-that human beings could suffer head injuries without a visible cut, bruise or skull fracture. That discovery went largely unnoticed. 1
1953-Dr. Cyril Courville-Recognition of Concussion and Post Concussion Syndrome.
In 1953, Dr. Cyril B. Courville published a book Commotio Cerebri-Cerebral Concussion and the Postconcussion Syndrome 1 in which he decreed the tendency in the medical community to give “short shrift” to the physical injury involved in concussion injuries. Dr. Courville engaged in an extensive review of the medical literature and concluded that “It is now generally agreed that concussion is a direct consequence of the effect of violence on the nerve cells of the brain.”
1986-Minor Head Injury: An Introduction For Professionals.
But “gross ignorance and neglect” persisted. Five centuries later, in 1986, Dr. Thomas Kay, reviewed the medical literature in a federally funded research study by the National Insitute of Health. Dr. Kay called out the “gross ignorance and neglect” in the medical community regarding “minor head injuries in a publication entitled Minor Head Injury: An Introduction For Professionals. 2 In that publication, Dr. Kay recognized the “unique” but “readily apparent” problem of minor head injuries where the victims made “swift and complete physical recoveries” but nevertheless were experiencing “significant cognitive, emotional and behavioral deficits that seriously interfered with their ability to lead fully functional lives”, but with no lingering neurological basis.
Dr. Kay described the typical patient as follows:
… these patients appeared fine until they attempted to resume the responsibilities at home, work, or school. When they did so, a significant number experience great difficulty. They complained of inability to remember, concentrate, organize, handle a number of tasks at once, and get as much work done as efficiently as he used to. The relationship from family, peers, and bosses often suffered, and they developed psychological problems. The doctors were unable to find anything wrong with them, and they were thought to be having psychiatric problems – or worse yet, to be malingering. They became the bane of neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and vocational counselors, all of whose usual techniques did not produce positive results.
1993-The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Defined Concussion.
In 1993, the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee of the Head Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine published a Definition of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussion) that continues to be universally respected today. In fact, this definition was adopted by the World Health Organization and incorporated into the International Diagnostic Codes (ICD10). That definition incorporated the following concepts:
-Concussions occur without a loss of consciousness.
-Concussions occur without a direct blow to the head.
-Diagnostic criteria includes “any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident, including “feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused”.
-Some concussion victims do not have “medically documented factors” (symptoms) in the acute stage (i.e. symptoms can develop later).
2003-CDC Report to Congress-Serious Public Health Problem.
The “gross ignorance and neglect” continued. In 2003, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) declared Mild Traumatic Brain injury to be a “serious public health problem”. See Report to Congress on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Steps to Prevent a Serious Public Health Problem. The report declared that concussions are “one of the most common neurologic disorders, the magnitude of impact of which was being grossly overlooked and under-reported. 3
The “gross ignorance and neglect” continued.
2003-Dr. Omalu “Discovered” Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury in Professional Football Players.
That “ignorance and neglect” continued. In 2003, Dr. Bennet Omalu “discovered” evidence of brain damage in the brain of “Iron Mike” Webster, a previously acclaimed college and professional football player, a condition that is now universally recognized as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). His so-called discovery was reported in the Journal of Neurology in 2005 4 and led to the book and movie “Concussion”. 5 But wait!!! Dr. Omulu’s findings were not a new “discovery”. His findings had been accurately described in Dr. Kay’s Minor Head Injury report back in 1986-but completely overlooked or ignored!
The National Football League (NFL) and its doctors fought “tooth and nail” the concept that its football players could be sustaining permanent and life-threatening brain injuries. In 2006, the NFL Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) called for retraction of the Omulu article, declaring it “completely wrong”. After years of contentious denial, the NFL and its doctors finally conceded in 2009, seven years after Omulu’s discovery, ultimately putting up a compensation fund of over $1 billion. Omulu received the Distinguished Service Award of the American Medical Association in 2016.
Today, Dr. Ann McKee and other highly respected neuropathologists at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank (joint project of the Veterans Administration date, Boston University, and the Concussion Legacy Foundation) have collected and studied over 600 brains to better understand the long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury (MTB) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). “Researchers at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank are dedicated to improving understanding of the long-term consequences of MTB in advancing the diagnosis, treatment and care for veterans and civilians living with MTB and CTE. 6 www.bu.edu/cte/our-research/brain-bank/.
In 2005, Sports Medicine Comes to the Rescue.
The “gross ignorance and neglect” continued. Along the way, sports medicine picked up the challenge and recognized the problem of concussion injuries in all sports, youth, high school, college, and professional. (McCrea. 7)
2011-State Legislatures Pick Up the Cause.
One by one, state legislatures picked up the cause. The legislatures of every state in the Union have now passed laws requiring education and training of coaches, trainers, and other participants in all sporting activities. 8 Adler
2016-The Essential Brain Injury Guide
Along the way, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) declared that concussions were “frequently not diagnosed or underdiagnosed”. The BIAA published its “The Essential Brain Injury Guide” in yet another attempt to bring current research to the public and brain injury professionals 9 Cite Various research studies revealed that between 56 and 88% of concussions are being overlooked and/or misdiagnosed in hospital emergency rooms. Other studies showed that concussion injuries result in continued long-term problems. cite
2018-CDC Again Reports to Congress
But the “gross ignorance and neglect” continued. In 2018, the CDC again reported to Congress on the subject of overlooked and neglects concussion injuries. In the report, the CDC declared concussions to be “the silent epidemic”, calling out the need for “public health policy and public health practice…to better understand the full impact and the long term consequences.”
2018-U.S. Congress Orders Study on Concussion-Related Disability in the U.S. Military.
But the “gross ignorance and neglect” continued. In 2018, the US Congress recognized the huge problem of concussion injuries in the US military and called on the CDC to study the problem of long-term disability in the US military from concussions. The CDC enlisted the National Institutes of Engineering, Science and Medicine. A “blue ribbon” commission was assembled and its report issued in April of 2018. That report concluded that question injuries are a real cause of service-connected disability, noting that some concussion victims never fully recover and experience prolonged functional disability. The report also called out major “misconceptions” regarding concussion injuries, specifically “trashing” the misconception still held by medical doctors who have not undergone TBI training, i.e. that most concussion victims “recover” in a short period of time.
2019-NFL Settles With Players for Over $1 Billion.
It took the National Football League over 14 years to finally accept the role of “subconcussive injury” in causing serious permanent injury or death. The research of Dr. Ann McKee, director of the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank has revolutionized understanding of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) by studying more than 600 donated brains. She reports that, in CTE, a protein call Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. The symptoms do not generally begin appearing until years after the onset of the head injury, often in the 40’s or 50’s. This was over 30 years after the condition was revealed by Dr. Kay and the National Brain Injury Foundation!!!
2020-Report From Iraq
The recent experience of US soldiers in Iraq is extremely informative. On January 8, 2020, US military installation in Iraq was attacked by Iranian missiles. The next day, President Trump announced that had been “no injuries”. The department of defense concurred. Several days later it was announced that there had been only a few injuries, just “minor headaches”. Over the course of the next month, the Department of Defense repeatedly announced an increasing number of traumatic brain injuries. One month later, the number had risen to 109 which represented more than 50% of the 200 soldiers in the compound that was attacked. The lesson to be learned from that experience is profound:
- A very high percentage of traumatic brain injuries are initially overlooked and undiagnosed.
- Many if not most concussion injuries experience a delayed onset of symptoms which can occur over a period of time as long as 30 days.
2020-Current Status-Still in the Dark Ages?
A significant portion of the American public and its medical community remain in the dark ages.
-A high percentage of concussion victims don’t recognize that they have suffered a concussion and don’t seek any medical care. Concussion experts tell us that over 50% of the victims of concussion never seek any treatment and “fly under the radar” of professional care. 13Wright
-Studies have reported that huge number of concussion case are overlooked and misdiagnosed, with percentages as high as 80% of concussion victims that do seek medical attention in hospital emergency departments are misdiagnosed or overlooked. 13 wright; 10 powell; 11 Delaney; 14 Bazarian
-Emergency medicine experts admit to a failing in the ER diagnosis of concussions. They admit that they don’t have guidelines and don’t use standard assessment tools. They are just not trained to perform a proper concussion assessment which takes time that they typically don’t have. Further, concussion symptoms often show up later. Concussion victims often are not aware of their concussion and mentally unable to relate what symptoms they do have to the ER doctors.
-We don’t even have good statistics. The National Ambulatory Medical Care survey was unable to collect data on the two most important symptoms of mTBI, loss of consciousness and amnesia because the records did not contain that data! 14Bazarian We don’t have good statistics about the long-term consequences of concussion injuries. Much work is being done. Brains of deceased concussion victims are being analyzed. Three major studies are underway to collect data about the long-term consequences of concussions. The Brain Association of American tells us that there are significant life-long health problems resulting from concussions. Consensus
LET EXPERIENCE, SUCCESS, AND KNOWLEDGE WORK FOR YOU.
If you are one of the many victims of a concussion injury that has been overlooked by the medical community, please call the Schmidt and Salita Law Team for a no-cost consultation with an experienced CONCUSSION INJURY LAWYER.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team Handles a Wide Variety of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team handles cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian car accidents, and bicycle accidents. It has many years’ experience in workers compensation , products liability and medical malpractice cases.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has extensive experience with concussion injuries, traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, whiplash injuries, broken bones, injured joint injuries (knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, ankle, spinal), amputation injuries, and vision and eye injuries.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has offices through out the State of Minnesota. Its primary location is at Ridgedale Office Center in Minnetonka, near the intersection of I394 and I494. The offices are handicap accessible with ample parking.
The Schmidt Salita Team Offers Contingent Fee Arrangements.
The firm offers contingent fee agreements (You don’t pay lawyers fees until you collect and then only as a percentage of the settlement). It also offers home and hospital visits to clients whose injuries present difficulty in coming to the office.
“PERSONAL INJURY WITH PERSONAL ATTENTION TO EACH CASE”.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has locations throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Osseo, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Blaine, Shoreview, Woodbury, Falcon Heights, Columbia Park, Stillwater, Hastings, Inver Grove, Cottage Grove, South St. Paul, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Savage, Shakopee, Richfield, Bloomington, Chaska, Chanhassen, Edina, Eden Prairie, and Hopkins.
www.concussion.org (International Concussion Society)
www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury. (US Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
www.biausa.org (Brain Injury Association of America)
www.headway.org.uk (British Brain Injury Association)
www.protectthebrain.org (Boston University Research Institute)
www.concussionfoundation.org (Concussion Legacy Foundation)
www.brainline.org (Brainline Association)
www.concussionfoundation.org (Concussion Legacy Foundation)
www.tbicentral.org (Traumatic Brain Injury Research Group, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, funded by the Nat’l Inst. On Disability and Rehabilitation Research)