- 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.
- 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.
- Get to your appointment at least 15 minutes ahead of time, so you can collect your thoughts, become settled and unwind from the drive.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Selecting the Most Qualified NY Personal Injury or Brain Injury Lawyer for Brain Damage Injury Cases
Unfortunately, many persons have not received and will not receive adequate compensation for their traumatic brain injuries because they did not have proper representation. A lawyer representing a person and their family for traumatic brain injury should possess knowledge, education and experience in this area of litigation. In most states, injured persons have the ability to retain a lawyer by the use of the contingent fee agreement. The lawyer does not receive any fee until the conclusion of the case. Under this system, an injured person and their family can afford to retain the most qualified legal representative.Since the results of your law suit will have important and long term impact upon the quality of your life, it is important to determine who the best lawyer is for your brain injury case.Some things to ask any attorney who you are considering retaining in a brain injury case:Q: How many cases similar to mine have you been involved with as the principal attorney over the past three years?
Q: What percentage of your practice is devoted to representing persons with a traumatic brain injury?
Q: Will you be handling my case personally or will you be referring it to another lawyer or law firm?
Q: What have been your results in representing persons with cases similar to mine?
Q: Have you written and published any articles on traumatic brain injury?
Q: Have you lectured to any bar associations, brain injury associations or other groups about the effective legal representation of persons with traumatic brain injury?
Q: Do you actively participate in your state’s brain injury association?
Q: Do you regularly attend conferences and read textbooks and articles about traumatic brain injury?
Q: Have you ever received any professional honors and awards concerning your representation of persons with a brain injury?
Q: Does your law firm have the financial resources to advance, even if in excess of $50,0000, to properly prosecute my case, if necessary?
Planning for receipt of large sums of money also raises serious questions concerning eligibility for government benefits which are dependent upon financial circumstances. Programs such as Medicaid have income restrictions placed upon individuals. If funds are received without considering Medicaid implications, a claimant runs the risk of become disqualified from Medicaid and thus losing these important and valuable benefits.
WHAT IS A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
A Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT) sometimes known as a Special Needs Trust is a trust that is designed to supplement Medicaid benefits instead of eliminating or replacing these benefits. The trust is set up to provide for a claimant’s needs that are not provided for by Medicaid and to supplement those needs that Medicaid does provide for.
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW:
At the time that the trust is set up, if Medicaid has spent any money for the benefit of the claimant, they first must be reimbursed before the money can go into the trust.
At the time that the claimant dies, before any money that remains in the trust can be distributed to beneficiaries, Medicaid must be paid back for the amounts they spent during the lifetime of the trust.
A trust can only be created for a disabled person under the age of 65.
WHAT CAN THE SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST PROVIDE FOR?
Medical costs of needs not covered by Medicaid
Expenses for home care attendants not covered by Medicaid
Rehabilitation expenses not covered by Medicaid
Special living facilities not covered by Medicaid
Transportation expenses such as cars and special vans
Educational equipment such as computers and other learning devices
Recreational expenses such as vacations or other travel expenses that will enhance the quality of life for claimants.
The additional costs of private accommodations in shared housing units.