Friday, February 20, 2015

What Can I Expect My Doctors To Do When I’ve Suffered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Our firm has written several articles in the past about Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, (MTBI) as well as on the different types of diagnostic tests used to determine whether one has suffered a MTBI. If you have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury as the result of an automobile collision or another type of acute injury, it is important to understand what types of testing your doctors may have you undergo during the process.

Your History

One of the most important things a doctor needs in order to properly treat you is to obtain a thorough and accurate history. Your doctor will ask you questions about your past medical history—injuries you’ve sustained, diseases you may have been diagnosed with and treatment you’ve received as a result. There will also be inquiry into your current symptoms and what precipitated those symptoms. It is imperative that you are as thorough as possible when discussing your medical history and current symptoms. Details must also be conveyed when explaining what happened in the collision or other incident that has caused you to suffer personal injury. Remember that what you are conveying to your doctor will be included in your medical records.

For instance, if you are involved in an automobile collision and your doctor asks, “what happened?” merely answering, “I was rear-ended” only provides a glimpse into the facts surrounding the crash. Instead, articulating the speed you were traveling, where you were traveling to and from, whether you had knowledge the crash was going to occur and were able to brace yourself, whether you were wearing your seatbelt and how your body moved during impact are all details that should be stated in order for your doctor to have a thorough understanding of your injuries. Remember, your medical records will be disclosed to the defense throughout the course of litigation and will also be used at trial. The story that is told throughout your records cannot be overlooked.

Physical Examination

Your doctor will then perform a physical examination of you based on your history and the complaints of your present illness. This often includes examining whether your range of motion has been impacted. This is tested by having you turn your head from side to side and up and down. Your doctor will also test your reflexes and may touch your muscles to determine whether there are spasms.

Neuropsychological Examination

If you’ve sustained any type of brain injury you will most likely undergo a battery of tests that evaluate and measure your cognitive function during a neuropsychological examination.

Tests Included

These types of examination will test how your brain in functioning. This includes testing your executive functions (planning, organization, and ability to grasp concepts) as well as your concentration, your problem solving capabilities and memory. You’ll also be tested on your planning and abstract thinking, visual and spatial perception, motor and sensory skills as well as your academic skills. Your mood is also assessed. If you are feeling anxious, worried, or upset, it could affect your ability to concentrate. Diagnostic testing will be able to show the structure of the brain. A neuropsychological examination, on the other hand, will test how well your brain actually functions when required to perform different tasks.

Unlike a physical examination or other invasive measures, a neuropsychological examination is conducted in a question and answer format, both with verbal questions in order to gain an overview of your history by the clinical neuropsychologist as well as written questions and different hands-on assessments. Testing can take anywhere from 4 (four) to 6 (six) hours and some evaluations are conducted over a 2 (two) day period. Best efforts are required in order to receive the most accurate results.

The Results

After testing is complete, the clinical neuropsychologist will score each individual test and interpret the results accordingly. These results will pinpoint areas of weakness in your examination and sent to your original treating physician who will go over the results with you. Your score will be interpreted by comparing your score with other healthy individuals that are similar to you in age, gender and educational background. All the data obtained from your neuropsychological examination will be analyzed to determine specific patterns in your cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Your neuropsychological evaluation will also be able to correlate the findings on your diagnostic studies. Doing so will assist with developing the best form of treatment moving forward. The results will also illustrate the extent of your injuries in a way that will allow your attorney to advocate on your behalf and obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve suffered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury as the result of an automobile collision or another type of acute trauma as the result of someone else’s negligence, it is critical to work with a team of attorneys who understand the intricacies in the testing and analysis of your results. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group understand the nuances of how a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury impacts individuals and how to best illustrate the extent of your injuries and damages to the insurance company and to a jury of your peers one day at trial if necessary. For more information, call 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

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