How to Survive a Neuropsychological Exam

brainWhen a motor vehicle accident occurs, the human body can sustain all types of injuries. Sometimes, the impact of a car accident can be so serious it can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Trauma to the head can cause physical and mental complications. To evaluate a personal injury claim, insurance companies are allowed to hire experts to test physical injuries and mental trauma. This is called a neuropsychological examination or neuropsych exam. Specific rules must be set up between a brain injury victim and the insurance company before a neuropsychological evaluation. This keeps the game fair. This agreement is known as a stipulation. Think of it as a small contract. When writing a stipulated agreement, we recommend the following terms.

Lay the Ground Rules During the Neuropsychological Exam

It is a simple concept, but if you do not protect yourself, you will be taken advantage of by crafty experts. Since an attorney cannot be present during the exam, it is crucial to list who will be present. Usually, this is limited to the expert and the client, and no one else. To protect yourself, the plaintiff's attorney and defense counsel need to agree on what types of neuropsychological exams are going to be administered. Neuropsychological testing can be tricky, so it is vital to agree to all of the exams ahead of time so that no funny business happens. Like every game, there is a time limit. For these exams, a general rule of thumb is usually four hours of testing by the hired expert witness. One common thing that some experts try to sneak in is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. MRI machines can be faulty and can create false or misleading results for a head injury. Before the examination, a top-rated Vallejo brain injury lawyer will provide all of the previous images and medical records to the expert. This avoids the client from having to take unnecessary tests for the expert to make their report.

Audio Recordings During a Defense Medical Exam

Since a Vallejo brain injury attorney cannot be at a defense medical examination (DME), audio records are allowed. But there are some limits. Audio recording can only occur before and after the DME, but not during. Many clients get nervous when they first meet a new doctor, and it can be intimidating. It is like have jitters while being on a first date. Only in this example, you are going on a date with an expert who is trying to defeat your traumatic brain injury claim. Experts know this and can take advantage of the situation by asking questions that could harm your personal injury accident case. To protect against this, audio recordings should be demanded both before and after the examination.

Get a Copy of Everything

When a client has a neuropsych evaluation, many types of neuropsychic exams can be administered. From the results, scores are given. Once the evaluations are completed, the expert will write a report based on the raw data that was gathered. This report will be relied on by the insurance company to support their opinions on psychological trauma. Often, if not always, the expert paid by the insurance company will testify at trial that there is nothing wrong with you. To fight this, it is essential to get all of the information that was taken. This includes the tests that were administered, the raw data that was collected, and the expert's final report. You must demand a copy of all of these items. This information is vital because it will be used by your own expert. At trial, your expert will work with your Vallejo traumatic brain injury lawyer to use this information for their own testimony at trial. This allows your team to plan and then question the credibility of the expert to prove that your injuries are indeed real.

Hiring Your Own Experts

Good seafood is not cheap, and cheap seafood is not good. The same can be said for expert witnesses. Neuropsychological expert witnesses are essential members of your legal team. To arm your expert with all of the information they need, it is crucial to consult and retain an expert at the beginning of personal injury litigation. A good expert witness will be able to advise on what tests are being used and why they are being used. This helps not only with the terms of the stipulation agreement, but it also allows your own expert to prepare for trial. This keeps the insurance company honest and provides better results at trial. Again, it is all about keeping the game as fair as possible.

A defense medical examination is a difficult thing to prepare for since many details need to be discussed. These exams can be crucial to the success of a mild or severe traumatic brain injury case. As always, it is vital that you hire a traumatic brain injury attorney in Vallejo who understands the personal injury claims process and is ready to fight for your best interests.

The video below discusses a neuropsychological assessment and what you can expect from it.

Brain Injury Lawyers in Vallejo

I’m Ed Smith, a Vallejo brain injury lawyer. Following a traumatic brain injury, you and your family may face many challenges. Let me handle the details of your TBI case while you focus on recovering from your accident. Call (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

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I have been awarded membership into the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel in recognition of my work as a Vallejo traumatic brain injury attorney.

Visit our Verdicts and Settlements page to see the TBI case results we have previously obtained.

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