Arizona Car Accident Brain Injury Lawyer

This video features Ryan Skiver, a Personal Injury attorney based in Arizona.

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Video Transcript:

Ryan Skiver: 

One of the worst things about a traumatic brain injury is, they'll seem like they're the same person, they'll look like they're the same person, but something about them has changed.

Molly Hendrickson: 

Are brain injuries caused by a crash always obvious right away? Why might something so serious be missed? We're gonna find out right now on this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest is Arizona Attorney Ryan Skiver, and I wanna remind you if you wanna ask Ryan questions about your situation, it's easy, go to askthelawyers.com and click the button up top that says ask a lawyer, or you can always call the phone number you'll see at the top of the screen. Ryan, thanks for joining us today.

Ryan Skiver: 

Thanks for having me.

Molly Hendrickson: 

Let's talk a little bit about your experience. What is your experience representing injured clients who have been diagnosed with a brain injury after a car or truck accident?

Ryan Skiver: 

Sure. I've represented a multitude of people who unfortunately have suffered traumatic brain injuries, a lot of times it unfortunately is missed at the emergency room, unless there is a fractured skull or some serious damage to their head that is noticeable just upon seeing them. Many times the ambulance workers and or the emergency room workers are just wanting to make sure that they're going to be alright and get them off to see their primary care physician. So there's actually a statistic that 56% of mild traumatic brain injuries are missed in the emergency room just because of the way that it presents and the difficulty in diagnosing it right away. A lot of times, it'll take a family member or even an attorney with experience to really recognize some of the symptoms that come along with a mild traumatic brain injury, such as light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, confusion at the scene, those types of things. And so it's important that you get somebody who is familiar with brain injury cases to help you in that regard.

Molly Hendrickson: 

How long have you seen there be kind of a lapse in the injury, and then also the diagnosis, you say that they can be missed in the ER. So what have you seen?

Ryan Skiver: 

Sure, unfortunately, I've seen cases where it's been over a year that they've actually missed the diagnosis because the person looks the same, and that's one of the worst things about a traumatic brain injury is they'll seem like they're the same person, they'll look like they're the same person, but something about them has changed, and that's where family members and friends come in and are so important in explaining changes in personality, changes in behavior, those types of things that can help you to diagnose a traumatic brain injury that may have been missed in the emergency room. Luckily, if we get involved earlier than a year after the crash, we have a better opportunity to kind of go through a questionnaire and evaluate the possibility of a traumatic brain injury based on symptoms the person may be having closer to the crash, because the sooner we can get in, the easier it is for us to look for those and make sure that they get to the type of doctor that will be performing the correct type of tests based on the symptoms that they have.

Molly Hendrickson: 

And brain injuries can have lifelong impacts. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the challenges your clients have faced who have suffered suffer brain injuries?

Ryan Skiver: 

Sure, they are definitely lifelong injuries, it's traumatic brain damage, and obviously the brain is the main computer that runs our entire body, and one of the biggest differences can be personality. Your personality is in the front of your brain, and a lot of times when you get hit from behind, you suffer what's called a coup-contrecoup injury, where you'll go back in your seat and then you'll go forward, and inside your skull, your brain is sitting in fluid and it goes back and forth and will impact the inside of your skull. So we've had clients who were the nicest, sweetest people who adopted a bunch of children and things like that, and everyone raved about what a wonderful person they were before the crash, and then subsequent to the crash, they started having changes in their personality because of the traumatic brain damage, such that they were getting angry really quickly, they're having situations that we call emotional lability, which is a change in their emotions and their inability to control those emotions. So the people around them really notice those things, and the hope is that with time, they will heal, but there are those miserable minority who unfortunately don't recover and suffer those lifelong effects of that traumatic brain damage.

Molly Hendrickson: 

And those effects don't only impact the person with the injury, it also impacts the people, their loved ones, the people around them. Can you talk a little bit about the impact on those people?

Ryan Skiver: 

Sure, like I said, with the traumatic brain injuries, there can be a major change in the their personality, so the person that the family members knew and loved before may not be the same person that comes home, their personality may change completely, and that can obviously affect their relationships and their understanding of that person, and if the person hasn't been diagnosed appropriately with a traumatic brain injury then the family members may not understand why they're acting differently. So it's important really to get education to the entire family about the changes that come with a traumatic brain injury.

Molly Hendrickson: 

And can any lawyer handle a brain injury case, and there are so many lawyers out there, how does somebody narrow down who is the right person to go to for representation?

Ryan Skiver: 

Sure, it's tough to make those decisions. Obviously, there's a lot of lawyers out there that are very good at marketing. But one of the things you wanna look for is experience in the traumatic brain injury arena, essentially. One of the great things about our office is I work with my father, my father is actually a doctor as well as being a lawyer, so he had done internal critical care medicine for 17 years before he went to night school and became a lawyer. So we actually have a doctor on staff that is really helpful in recognizing those issues and being able to help in presenting those to a jury in a way that they can better understand.

Molly Hendrickson: 

Ryan, thank you so much for joining us today.

Ryan Skiver: 

Thank you for having me.

Molly Hendrickson: 

And that's gonna do it for this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest has been lawyer Ryan Skiver, and I wanna remind you, if you'd like to ask Ryan questions about your situation, go to askthelawyers.com, click the button at the top of the page that says "Ask a lawyer" and it will walk you through the very simple process. Thanks for watching, I'm Molly Hendrickson for Ask The Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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