Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) often result from motor vehicle crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, sports injuries, assaults and concussive explosions when an outside force, such as a blow or jolt to the head or neck injures the brain.
Even TBIs considered mild, such as a concussion, can cause many behavioral and neurological conditions affecting your quality of life. When someone’s negligence injures you, they may be held accountable for their actions.
Steps to take after suffering a TBI
The treatment for your injuries and the legal case against the negligent party can be complicated. It’s vital to take the proper steps after the injury occurs. The most critical action is assessing and treating the physical and neurological symptoms. Here are three steps to consider:
- Get an evaluation from your primary care doctor
- See a neurologist and make sure they are trained in TBI and concussions
- Schedule an appointment with a neuropsychologist or forensic neuropsychologist
Don’t rely on the advice of your primary care physician for further evaluation, as they may not know which assessments and tests are admissible in a personal injury lawsuit.
Neuropsychologists vs. forensic neuropsychologists
Specialists are crucial for diagnosing the extent and treatment for TBI and proving your legal case. The basic distinctions between the two are:
- Neuropsychologist: A psychologist who specializes in the brain-behavior relationship. They understand how brain injuries affect cognitive functions and behavior. They conduct tests and recommend types of treatments.
- Forensic neuropsychologist: This specialist is similar to a clinical neuropsychologist who can assess brain injuries, but tailor their report for legal proceedings. Courts also use their findings to calculate damages and compensation for victims.
Forensic neuropsychologists typically recommend two types of scans to assess TBIs – the Susceptibility-Weighted MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging.
You are an essential advocate for recovering from TBI
It’s crucial to take an active role in your recovery or have support from a trusted family member or friend if you are severely injured. Remember that your primary care doctor’s advice will typically not address your legal concerns.
For that reason, it’s advisable to get knowledgeable legal advice early on to make sure you take all the steps necessary to recover physically and financially and hold the negligent party who injured you accountable.