Brain Injury Attorneys Offer Advice on How to Communicate with Your Doctor

  1. When you schedule your first appointment, tell your doctor that you will require extra time. Tell him that you need at least an additional 20 minutes (or more if you need it) for your appointment. The challenge here is to not feel rushed, as when you are stressed your cognition erodes.
  2. If distractions bother you, arrange with the doctor’s office (when you make the appointment) for a quiet place to wait, such as a quiet exam room. If this is not possible, ask for somebody to come and get you in the foyer or your car.
  3. Get to your appointment at least 15 minutes ahead of time, so you can collect your thoughts, become settled and unwind from the drive.
  4. Write down everything you want to tell or ask your doctor. Cross each item off the list after you have covered it. Write down instructions that your doctor gives. Recap at the end of each issue, to make sure you understand.
  5. Ask your doctor to write down your diagnosis. Ask for a written explanation in layman’s language. Ask for a written description of the preferred treatment and goals, with an estimate of the costs and the expected time frame.
  6. Trust your instincts. If you don’t think that a diagnosis is valid, or if you think it minimizes your problems, remember this: YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT. Remember, you are the “expert” about you.
  7. Always ask your doctor about the contraindications when he prescribes new medications. Additionally, have the doctor provide you with a written list. Take charge of knowing everything about the drugs you take.
  8. Ask your doctor to make a notation in your file stating that you should receive a copy of all reports and tests as soon as they are received by the office.
  9. Never sign a blank release form. Make sure all authorization forms are completely filled out. Read what you’re signing. Make sure the release has ONLY the names on it that YOU want. Get a copy of each and every release form/letter you sign.

Brain Injury Lawyers: What Your Attorney Must Know

An attorney representing a client with “mild” traumatic brain injury must know the seriousness and far-reaching consequences that are related to this condition.Your attorney must be thoroughly versed in the literature and must be willing to devote the time and attention necessary to properly represent the victim.Your attorney MUST KNOW that a person can have a serious, permanent and disabling brain injury, even though:

  1. The person is not knocked out at the scene of the accident.
  2. The person may be walking, talking and even exchanging his driver’s license at the scene of the accident.
  3. The person did not sustain any cuts, broken bones or major injuries in the accident.
  4. The person may have a negative MRI, CT Scan or EEG.what_1_mechanism
  5. The defense doctor, or insurance company doctor, will find that the person is neurologically sound.
  6. There was not a “big car accident” and that even a low speed crash can exert sufficient force on the brain to cause a brain injury

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Cause Seizure Disorders And Epilepsy

It is well known that one of the most frequent causes of seizure disorders and epilepsy is traumatic brain injury. It doesn’t matter whether the initial injury to the brain was mild, moderate or severe, any brain injury can result in this condition. The repercussions of this condition affect all aspects of life from school to social situations to work. Because this condition is serious and may last a lifetime, it is important to contact an attorney who concentrates his/her practice in representing persons who suffer from brain injuries.

Q: WHAT IS A SEIZURE?

A seizure is an electrical explosion in the brain. All brain activity is controlled by electrical impulses caused by the individual nerves firing charges that pass from one nerve cell to the next. When a seizure occurs, the nerve cells do not fire properly and instead fire with sudden, short and intense energy.

Q: WHAT IS EPILEPSY?

Epilepsy is simply more than one seizure. Epilepsy is simply the name given to the condition of multiple seizures.

Q: HOW LONG AFTER AN ACCIDENT WILL SEIZURES DEVELOP?

Seizures can develop at any time. Seizures may develop immediately after the accident and are called immediate seizures. If they develop with the first 24 hour hours they are called early onset seizures. They may develop days or even weeks later when they are classified as late seizures. A seizure disorder can even develop after the first year following a brain trauma!We do know that the earlier in time a seizure develops, the greater the risk for future seizures. The risk of future seizures and traumatic epilepsy is increased by each successive seizure.

Q: ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SEIZURES?

Seizures come in all shapes and sizes Although a seizure will always start in a specific part of the brain, it may or may not spread to other areas.

GENERALIZED SEIZURES:
When a seizure starts in one area of the brain and then spreads to other areas, it is called a generalized seizure also known as a grand mal seizure.We are all familiar with this type of seizure which generally results in a violent shaking of the arms,legs, head and neck and is referred to as a convulsion. This event often is associated with loss of consciousness.But a person can have a generalized seizure without a convulsion. In these cases, the person will have just a blank look and will appear to be staring off into space. They are disconnected from everything around them and are unaware of what is going on during this period of time.

PARTIAL SEIZURES:
In partial seizures only a small part of the brain is affected. The seizure or electrical activity remains confined to one area of the brain and does not spread to other areas. The person may be conscious or unconscious during the seizure. The seizure itself may or may not involve the shaking that happens with grand mal seizures. The experience depends on where in the brain the electrical discharge occurs. Frequently the experience is an altered sense of taste or smell, a feeling of fear or uncontrollable outbursts or crying. It can involve waking up from a sound sleep, dizziness, bed wetting and sometimes a twitching of the face, arm, hand or leg. It can even be a sensation such as numbness, tingling, the hearing of unusual sounds or voices.

Q: HOW IS A SEIZURE DISORDER DIAGNOSED?

An EEG, also known as an electroencephalogram is a device used to diagnose epilepsy. It is designed to measure the electrical activity in the brain. BUT, because the electrical firings that cause seizures may not be occurring when the EEG is taken, the results are often normal even though the person has a seizure disorder. In many instances when the EEG is normal, a doctor who wants to confirm the seizure disorder, may order a 24 hour continuous EEG and may also videotape the person in a hospital room for the same time and correlate what they see with the EEG tracings.Sometimes the only way to diagnose epilepsy is by careful and detailed questioning of the individual suspected of having the condition and their close friends and family members.