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Doctors of Chiropractic -The “Safety Net” for Overlooked Concussion Injuries.

From left to right: Attorneys Stephanie Schommer, Dean Salita, Doug Schmidt, Mary Beth Boyce and Joshua Laabs.


The Concussion Injury Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team work very hard to screen their new injury clients for concussion injuries that may have been ignored by the client and overlooked by the medical community.  The Schmidt Salita Law Team includes professionals that have extensive experience in screening for concussion injuries.  Senior Trial Lawyer Doug Schmidt has worked to develop public attention for overlooked concussion injuries ever since 1996 when he worked with the Sports Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic to develop a protocol for sideline assessment of concussion injuries and return to play criteria.               

The Schmidt Salita Concussion Injury Lawyers wish to share some of the basic facts about concussion injuries:

  • Fact:  A concussion is a brain injury.
  • Fact:  Concussions are often called “mild” traumatic brain injuries, but the long term consequences of concussions are often not mild.
  • Fact:  Overlooked concussion injuries have been declare a “major health problem”. 
  • Fact:  Doctors of Chiropractic can play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of concussion injuries which are so often overlooked by medical doctors. 
  • Fact: Over 50% of concussion victims never seek any health care at all.
  • Fact:  Of those that do seek medical care, over 50% are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed in the Hospital Emergency Department. 
  • Fact:  Many concussion victims victims are often seen for the first time  in a focused setting of chiropractic care.
  • Fact: Doctors of Chiropractic have a professional duty to assess, diagnose and treat concussion injuries.  
  • Fact:  Many concussions result in long-term, permanent conditions.

The Brain Injury Association of American reports that concussion victims have serious long-term consequences with a reduced life expectancy of 7 years with the following increased risk factors:

The National Institutes of Science, Medicine and Engineering has declared it to be a MYTH that nearly all concussions “recover”.

The world’s most respected neuropsychologist, Dr. Muriel Lezak says that it is wrong to use the term “recovery” in describing concussion cases:

I do not use the term “recovery” when discussing brain injuries.  Damage that is severe enough to alter the level of consciousness even momentarily, or to result in even transient impairment of sensory, motor, or cognitive functions, is likely to leave some residual deficit.”

Perhaps the most statistically reliable study has reported that:

  • 73% of concussion cases with symptoms lasting 3 months never recover.
  • 67% of those who recovered did so in the 1st year.
  • 100% of those with symptoms lasting 3 years never recover.

Basic Concussion Screening Is Very Simple-But Often Not Understood.

Basic concussion screening is not difficult. Remember that the goal of screening is not to reach a definitive diagnosis. Instead, it is simply to do a “quick and dirty” preliminary screen to look for presumptive evidence of a concussion that would call for a referral to a concussion expert. (Remember that 90% of the medical community does not fall in the category of “a concussion expert”!)

Step #1: Ask detailed questions about the patient’s memory of the traumatic event, both before and after. Remember that loss of memory of details before the trauma is “anterograde amnesia” which is strong evidence of a TBI. Loss of memory of details after the trauma is “retrograde amnesia”, which is stronger evidence of a concussion than actual loss of consciousness.

Step #2: Ask about loss of consciousness (LOC). Remember that LOC can be total (coma) or partial (lethargy or stupor). Mere confusion or disorientation is a partial loss of consciousness sufficient to be evidence of a concussion injury.

Step #3: Use one of the well-recognized screening tools such as the Rivermead Post Concussion Questionaire or the SCAT5. Either can be given to the patient for self-assessment in the waiting room and then reviewed with the Doctor during the examination.  Both the Rivermead and the SCAT5 ask the patient to identify classical symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome.

Doctors of Chiropractic Can and Should Be the Safety Net for Concussion Injuries Overlooked by the Medical Community.

Studies tell us that as many as 3 million concussion injuries fall through the cracks of the medical community. Doctors of Chiropractic are wonderfully situated to provide a safety net to those who seek chiropractic treatment. Here is one of many success stories of where a Doctor of Chiropractic has been the “safety net” for a person whose severe concussion injury was totally ignored by the medical community:

                                                            Jennifer’s Story: 










Jennifer is one of the poster cases of the Schmidt Salita Law Team’s success in providing professional concussion injury legal services to its clients.

Jennifer was a middle aged woman who was stopped in rush hour traffic when her car was rear-ended at 30-40 mph by a huge semi-truck. Her car was totaled.  The huge semi-tractor smashed into the rear of Jennifer’s car and rode up over the top of it.  The front bumper of the truck ended up in the back seat of her car.

She was evaluated at the scene by an EMT crew that released her without any further care of attention.  She was seen at the Emergency Department of a local hospital with no concussion screening used. She was discharged with massive concussion symptoms but no concussion diagnosis, no concussion treatment and no patient information sheet as to the concussion symptoms that she and her family should watch for.

Two days later, she presented at the Urgent Care Clinic of a major health care network, complaining of “whole body pain”, again with no concussion screening and no diagnosis of a concussion.

Five days later, she was seen by her primary care physician-again no concussion screening.  By this time, her concussion injury had been overlooked by an EMT crew, an Emergency Doctor and his entire crew, an Urgent Care doctor, and her family doctor!!!

Thankfully, her MD referred her to a Doctor of Chiropractic who took a history of the classic symptoms of a concussion injury: forgetfulness, loss of concentration, headache, dizziness, ears ringing, fatigue, depression, light sensitivity, and irritability-and diagnosed the concussion. A referral, made to one of the few medical doctors who are Board Certified in Traumatic Brain Injury Medicine, confirmed the concussion diagnosis and instituted appropriate therapy.

The Concussion Injury Lawyers on the Schmidt Salita Law Team worked hard to bring justice to this case.  It was settled for $1.5 million dollars.

The most important take-away fact of Jennifer’s case:  The Doctor of Chiropractic outperformed 3 medical doctors, recognizing the acute symptoms of concussion, and served as the safety net for this victim of a serious concussion injury. Bravo!!!

Then, a great Concussion Lawyer Team brought justice in the form of a $1.5 million settlement to the concussion victim-notwithstanding the misdiagnosis of three medical doctors.


Minneapolis MN personal injury lawyers

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.



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.