Traumatic Brain Injury: Proving or Challenging the Existence and Extent of Brain Damage Using Expert Witnesses

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will offer advanced guidance to personal injury attorneys proving or challenging the existence and extent of injury in traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases. The panel will explore what types of experts should be engaged, what to look for in credentialing and demeanor, and strategies for establishing bias, over-reaching, or even incompetence in opposing experts. The panel will review the reliability, usefulness, and admissibility of not only traditional imaging tools but newer tools, such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Abbott Laboratory's rapid handheld TBI blood test approved under FDA's Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions.


In 2019 there were approximately 166 TBI-related deaths of Americans every day, making it a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. To prove injury, practitioners have to consider the variety and complexity of brain injuries, the lack of objective diagnostic tests, the reliance on self-reporting of symptoms, and heightened scrutiny of claims by the defense.

Evidence of brain injury--brain malfunction--comes in three broad forms: brain imaging evidence, such as CT scans, MRIs, PET, and DTI, showing physical changes; neuropsychological test results; or lay testimony showing changes in memory, cognition, mood, and behavior. Counsel must coordinate multiple experts, and both sides must understand the mechanics of deposing and cross-examining them.

More recently, a blood test that purports to permit emergency room physicians to rule out mild TBI has been approved. Counsel must assess its usefulness and admissibility. Attorneys should also know when to consider consulting experts and understand best practices in recording any testing or examinations.

Listen as this experienced panel offers advanced guidance for establishing or challenging the existence and extent of traumatic brain injury and reviews best practices for assembling and coordinating the right experts.



  1. Defining TBI
  2. TBI experts
  3. Supporting and challenging imaging
    1. Traditional imaging
    2. DTI
  4. Understanding the rapid handheld TBI blood test
  5. Supporting and challenging behavioral testing
  6. Cross-examination strategies
  7. Recording examinations


The panel will review these and other pivotal questions:

  • What is the new rapid handheld TBI blood test, and is it admissible?
  • How should attorneys for both sides evaluate causation?
  • Should every TBI plaintiff undergo neuropsychological testing?
  • What are best strategies to present evidence of cognitive or behavioral dysfunction?


Chernak, Frank
Frank A. Chernak

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads

Mr. Chernak is a partner in Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department, Chair of the firm’s Labor and...  |  Read More

de St. Phalle, Eustace
Eustace de Saint Phalle

Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver

Mr. de Saint Phalle has established himself as one of California’s top personal injury trial lawyers, having...  |  Read More

Kutcher, Jeffrey
Jeffrey Kutcher, MD, FAAN

Global Director
The Kutcher Clinic

Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, an internationally recognized expert and sports neurology pioneer, specializes in the...  |  Read More

Sachs, Kimberly
Kimberly L. Sachs

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads

Ms. Sachs focuses her practice on complex litigation matters in the areas of sports law, intellectual property,...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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