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Treating Physical and Emotional Symptoms Before Cognitive Issues in TBI Survivors

Brain injury survivors may battle with a host of cognitive, physical and emotional symptoms. While many types of treatments can take place at the same time, your clients’ treaters will often seek to treat the physical and emotional symptoms before working on the survivor’s cognitive issues.

There are two primary reasons for this: 1) the survivor’s physical pain and psychological injuries may inhibit cognitive therapy, and 2) some of the survivor’s perceived cognitive issues may actually be caused or exacerbated by the physical pain and psychological problems.

We regularly get questions from survivors and attorneys alike confused why cognitive therapy is not started immediately. Understanding that recovery is a process is vital for both attorneys and the survivors they represent. Attorneys must understand that brain injury treatment is often a multi-specialty endeavor. For clients with cognitive symptoms, cognitive rehabilitation programs, speech language therapy and occupational therapy may be part of the treatment regimen. However, it is also highly likely the survivor will also need psychological counseling, psychiatric medication management, physical therapy, pain management, neuropsychological testing and treatment, vision therapy and additional other treatments depending on the injury. If cognitive issues exist, it is important to determine what role – if any – these other physical and emotional factors might play in triggering the cognitive issues.

It is key for attorneys and survivors to understand that brain injury treatment may be multi-faceted and lengthy. In our dedicated brain injury practice, we often spend significant time at the outset of a case explaining to clients and their family members that treatment can take years. We discuss with clients and their families that recovery from a brain injury requires patience and support. However, we also take time with survivors and their families to help them understand that the success of treatment is often dependent on the support from family members.

Additionally, we work with survivors to understand how to take their medical care into their own hands – meaning that their doctors need to fully understand what the survivor is going through in order to treat. We do everything we can to map out for survivors and their families what the next months or years of treatment will look like. Often, treatment is inhibited by fear, exhaustion, or hopelessness on the part of a survivor. But, a good attorney’s help by giving the survivor a full understanding of the different treatment types and how they work can give the survivor confidence in moving forward with medical care. Attorneys can thus have a positive influence on their client’s recovery.

One of the biggest issues we see repeatedly with survivors who come to us for help, or from other attorneys bringing us cases, is that they fail to follow up with additional specialists outside of primary care physicians and neurologists. It is vital for survivors attempting to recover from brain injury to be treated by the correct physicians, counselors and therapists. Often when survivors have not fully accepted their “new normal” it is imperative that the survivor’s family, friends and even attorneys help them to find the treaters they need. It is also important to understand that the recovery process may be slow and that there may be periods of regression.

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  • “John helped me find doctors, he referred me to his neurologist, his physical therapist, I mean, anything I needed he was right there, every step of the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better result from all of this, I would absolutely recommend Gomez Trial Attorneys.”

  • “During the time I was working with Gomez Trial Attorneys, they treated me very, very well. 100% of the time, they believed me, and they were very compassionate. They felt sorry for what happened and they understood the therapy process.”

  • “They held my hand the whole time and kept me in the loop every aspect of my case which was very refreshing to me. They helped me get my settlement offer as fast as possible and I was able to keep my farm”

  • “The Gomez experience was the best experience it could be for me really, only positive things to say. They really were there every step if the way. Thanks to Gomez Trial Attorneys my dad is able to support my family as a single father”

  • “He opened the door for me to join his firm to help other brain Injury survivors and I never met another firm who is like this who was so understanding and caring who took the extra step and walked the extra mile with their clients and this is the best”

  • “I am very satisfied with the outcome with Gomez and I would definitely recommend Gomez to anybody, we tell people all the time, Get Gomez! They are really thorough with everything and they make you feel real comfortable.”

  • “Just helped us through, guided us through, I kept notes all those years, we had questions all the time and they would always keep us informed of what was going on. They just unlayered it, layer by layer, I’ve never seen anything like them. Thank God for them.”

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