Understanding brain injury is critical for Ohio lawyers representing victims of medical malpractice or motor vehicle accidents that result in stroke or traumatic brain injury. Often the client and client’s family members are aware that the injury victim “acts differently” since the injury, but cannot fully explain the difference. We often hear from family members that the injured party “just isn’t the same,” or is more irritable than usual or seems depressed.
Complicating matters, many medical professionals are not as familiar with the effects of brain injury or stroke as they need to be. Further, community resources for identifying and assisting these individuals are lacking. For instance, in the Cleveland metropolitan area, there is no dedicated brain injury rehabilitation center, despite the fact that it ranks 16th nationally in population.
To be sure, the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries is complex. Often organic brain injury is made worse by depression as the injured individual adapts to their new cognitive status. For more about this phenomenon, click here: http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2012/03/29/STROKEAHA.111.643130.abstract.
There are numerous healthcare specialties that are useful in treating brain injury victims: neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists, physiatrists (also called physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors) and OT/PT therapists are commonly involved. In addition, case managers can be useful in locating resources. Experienced advocates will assist their clients in understanding the nature of the injury and seeking treatment from qualified caregivers.
Depression caused by stroke or brain injury can be treatable with counseling, family support and, on occasion, medication. Ultimately, the goal of litigation in such a setting is to recover sufficient compensation to make up for lost earnings and to cover medical expenses and other life care needs, so that the injured client can recover as much of a normal life as possible.