In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion about the long-term effects of concussion on a person’s cognitive and behavioral functions. This is a departure from the past, in which the study and treatment of brain trauma were largely focused on the more overt physical effects of catastrophic brain injury. This changed view is evidenced by the appearance of a new diagnostic category—mild neurocognitive disorder—in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). One of the results of this shift in perspective is a growing reliance upon neurocognitive testing—a tool that can be indispensable to the evaluation and treatment of accident victims who have suffered blows to the head.
Neurocognitive tests, administered by neuropsychologists, assess the impairment or reduction of cognitive function and shed light on the mental health disorders often associated with these deficits. The most commonly used test is the Folstein test, otherwise known as the Mini-Mental State (MMSE), which evaluates such things as attention span, language function, short and long-term memory, spatial perception, and judgment.
The information gleaned from these tests can make a real difference to an accident victim who has sustained a head injury. The effects of head trauma caused by a car or truck accident can be subtle ones that do not show up in brain scans. Neurocognitive testing is an extremely useful tool, as it pinpoints and clearly identifies cognitive deficits and reduced functioning.
A Car Accident Victim Who Has Sustained a Head Injury is in a Lonely and Frightening Place
He or she can suffer debilitating losses which—because they are largely invisible—go unrecognized by friends and family, medical professionals, and insurance companies alike. It is extremely hard to experience the loss of memory, spatial sense, and thinking skills, not to mention changes in personality and outlook when others see you as being perfectly healthy and unchanged.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car or truck accident and has symptoms that do not show up in medical examinations or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs), you should consider pursuing neurocognitive testing. As a practicing brain injury and car accident attorney with decades of experience, I believe that this type of testing is imperative for all accident victims who sustain head injuries.
At a time when the public is transfixed by stories of football players whose lives have been affected by repeated concussions—and the fact that the National Football League recently paid $765 million dollars to the retired football players who sued them—equal light needs to be shed on accident victims who suffer similar injuries. And, it is not only those who experience devastating injuries such as paralysis, paraplegia, or severe cognitive impairment in motor vehicle accidents that need support; those with seemingly minor injuries need and deserve the same.
Pennsylvania Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Jeffrey Reiff Has the Experience to Help Your Case
Jeffrey Reiff is a brain injury and car accident lawyer who has advocated for head injury victims for the last three decades. He has been recognized by his peers as having the highest possible rating in both legal abilities and ethical standards. He is consistently recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorneys.