According to statistics reported by Transport Canada, 172,883 people were injured in car accidents in Canada in 2009. This takes into account minor injuries like sprained ankles, burns, and bruises as well as major ones including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and internal bleeding. What it doesn’t consider, however, is the immense psychological impact being involved in an Ottawa car accident can have on victims. Physical injuries receive swift and comprehensive treatment while the mental health of the patient goes ignored. Whether it’s helping to diagnose a brain injury by evaluating cognitive abilities and personality changes or helping the patient cope with stress and anxiety, a neuropsychologist can be a valuable part of your medical team.
Neuropsychologists study how certain behaviors and psychological processes relate to the structures and functions of the brain. The subset of clinical neuropsychology applies this knowledge to help in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients that have cognitive disorders, learning disabilities, neurological or psychiatric conditions, and physical or developmental issues that have cognitive or mental repercussions.
Car accident survivors often suffer from anxiety and depression related to their crash. Fear of driving or even riding in a car can severely alter their ability to return to work and resume normal everyday activities. In serious cases, post-traumatic stress disorder can cause panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, anger and irritability, and other major personality shifts. Chronic pain and severe physical injuries can also cause psychological distress.
Assessment by a neuropsychologist can be sub-divided into three parts:
- History Taking – This initial interview of the patient identifies the problems the patient is reporting, any cognitive or behavioral changes they have noticed, past developmental or psychiatric problems, and establishes an occupational and educational background. This overall picture of the patient’s history and general health is an important tool when interpreting testing data and forming a treatment plan.
- Testing – Tests used to evaluate cognitive functions may cover personality, the ability to learn and remember new things, visual perception, spatial relationships, verbal function, analyzing concepts, motor function, and emotional stability. While none of the tests are painful, they can be anxiety-inducing in of themselves, so it’s important to choose a neuropsychologist the patient feels comfortable with and trusts.
- Report– The final report written by the neuropsychologist outlines the history, findings from any and all testing, observations, and recommendations for future treatment. This report is not only for the doctors reference, but is also intended as a learning tool and roadmap for treatment for other doctors as well as the patient and the patient’s family. In cases where the patient was injured as a result of their Ontario car accident, this report can also be used by their accident lawyer as proof of injury and ongoing medical intervention.
Cognitive and behavioral therapies, counseling, and relaxation techniques can help accident victims return to a life of normalcy.
If you have questions about your Ottawa, Ontario car accident, teach out to the experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth. We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case. Call our law firm today 613 860-4529.