Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

woman holds her head in hands as a policeman interviews her after an accident

Chicago Brain Injury Lawyer

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers at the Law Office of Michael J. Brennan understand the full medical and legal implications of head injuries and understand the stress that a personal injury can add to your situation. When negligence on the part of an individual or company leaves a person with a brain injury, the victim and his or her family should not bear the costs alone. We are prepared to handle your claim expertly so that you can concentrate on recovery.

Brain Injuries Are Hard To Diagnose

Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. No two brain injuries are alike and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.

One of the consequences of brain injury is that the person often does not realize that a brain injury has occurred.

Brain injuries can be classified into three categories: mild, moderate, or severe. Victims of mild brain injuries typically suffer a period of lost consciousness, confusion, or disorientation shorter than 30 minutes. A majority of brain traumas are concussions or other forms of these mild injuries. Moderate brain injury victims experience longer periods of unconsciousness or memory loss.


Concussions are the most common type of mild brain trauma. Concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head. Some concussions cause you to lose consciousness, but most do not. It is possible to have a concussion and not even realize it. Concussions are particularly common if you play a contact sport. Most people usually recover just fine after a concussion, as long as they do not receive another concussion within a close time period.

Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Fatigue

If a second concussion occurs prior to the symptoms resolving from the initial concussion; second impact syndrome (SIS) can occur. An occurrence of SIS; is marked by rapid swelling of the brain, which may prove fatal.  Even a minor concussion can cause secondary impact syndrome. Secondary impact syndrome often proves to be fatal.


A contusion is a direct result of an impact to the head resulting in severe bruising or bleeding of the brain. A cerebral contusion is basically a bruise to the brain tissue. Large contusions often require surgery.


Coup-contrecoup is a result of two contusions on both sides of the brain. The first contusion is a result of the initial impact to the head. The second contusion is a result of the head being hit with such force that the brain slams against the other side of the skull. A coup injury occurs directly under the area of impact. A contrecoup injury occurs on the side directly opposite the impact. In a coup-contrecoup brain injury, both sides of the brain are damaged.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

Diffuse Axonal Injury occurs when the brain lags behind movement of the skull, thus tearing parts of the brain. This often is a result of an intense shaking or twisting of the head, such as a car accident. A diffuse axonal injury to the brain can cause severe problems and even death. A diffuse axonal injury is easily caused by a car accident.


An injury that forces matter from the skull into the brain. It is a result of a gunshot wound, stabbing wound, or any other sharp object.


Disruption of the blood supply to the brain can cause the rapid loss of brain function. A stroke is typically caused by interruption of the blood supply (ischemic stroke) or ruptured blood vessels (hemorrhagic stroke). A physician’s failure to diagnose or properly treat certain medical conditions can lead to stroke.

Traumatic brain injuries

A traumatic brain injury is an alteration of a structural, physiological, or chemical transmitter pathway as well as other brain pathology, and is caused by an external force. A post-traumatic brain injury is the alteration of the neurological function by the traumatic event. Multiple traumatic injuries can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Common Causes of Head and Traumatic Brain Injury are:

  • Falls, Slip-and-fall accidents, falls in nursing homes or hospitals, falls at construction sites, etc.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, etc.
  • Construction Site and Other Workplace Accidents — Falls from ladders or scaffolding, being struck by falling objects, being slammed into structures and objects, explosions, etc.
  • Violence, Assault, and battery, including domestic violence or child abuse, and gunshot wounds
  • Sports and Recreation — Playground injuries, organized team sports, skateboarding, other high-impact or extreme sports
  • Medical Error (Malpractice) — Surgical error, deprivation of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia and anoxia), hospital-acquired infection (HAI), missed diagnosis of brain-threatening conditions, etc.
  • Explosions — Military combat, industrial accidents, crime / terrorism, etc.

How Our Chicago Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help

The brain injury law attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Brennan, are experienced with the tactics employed by insurance carriers and defense lawyers in combating such claims. We have clients who have suffered significant brain injury and did not suffer any impact to the head or even lose consciousness. An insurance carrier would try to discredit an injury in that type of situation. We will not let that happen to someone who has suffered a serious injury.

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