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How are Biomechanical engineers used in a brain injury case?

Biomechanical engineers frequently answer questions of injury causation and prevention in traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases. They may compare forces of accelerations experienced by the dead in an incident to those required to cause the diagnosed injury.

By analyzing the mechanics of the impact to the head from the accident, biomechanical engineers can show or refute injury causation. These experts can also determine the effectiveness of safety equipment or devices that could have been used to prevent the injury.

In the Florida case of Berner v. Carnival Corp., the Plaintiff, Berner was a passenger on a Carnival cruise ship when he was attacked and beaten by two fellow passengers. Berner was punched on his face so hard that he fell to the floor, immediately losing consciousness. Berner suffered a traumatic brain injury and injuries to his face in the carnival cruise ship incident.

Berner called a biomechanical engineer to give three professional opinions: (1) during the assault, Berner was struck with sufficient force to cause his right orbital socket to blow out fractured; (2) the force to cause his right orbital blow out fracture was sufficient to destabilize Berner, causing him to fall and strike his head on the floor; (3) The energy on Berner's head upon striking the floor was sufficient to have caused his mild to moderate brain injury. While the defendant in that case tried to exclude the expert, the court determined that the biomechanical engineer used well-reasoned and established methodologies to conclude the impact energy on Berner's head on striking the ground was sufficient to cause the TBI. The court stated that the expert testimony was both relevant and reliable and denied the defendant's motion to exclude the expert testimony.

If you are a Texas lawyer or other individual with questions regarding the use of experts in a Texas brain injury case, feel free to contact an attorney at 713-454-7875.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

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