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The purpose of a neuropsychologist's evaluation

Ultimately, workers who suffer from head injuries that affect their ability to think clearly react in a timely manner, keep their emotions in check and communicate efficiently are often at a disadvantage if there's no medical way to prove that their conditions are real. However, a perfectly normal-looking brain may still function abnormally for any number of reasons. This can open the injured worker up to allegations that he or she is feigning an illness to get out of work.

If you're in this situation, consider a consultation with a neuropsychologist. How can this help you with your workers' compensation claim?

  1. The neuropsychologist is a highly-trained professional who performs standardized testing to evaluate your mental functioning. The results, if they show your impaired cognitive levels, are valuable evidence for your case.
  2. Neuropsychologists are experts at detecting malingering, which means their report can put an end to any doubts your employer or insurer may have about the validity of your symptoms. This alone is often a huge benefit to those seeking compensation for problems that aren't easy to see on a lab test.
  3. The thoroughness of the neuropsychologist's report can help draw a distinction between the effects of previous injuries, the effects of recent injuries and aggravation of pre-existing conditions. That can end the debate over whether or not you are entitled to compensation due to recent injuries.
  4. The neuropsychologist is capable of making an educated prediction about your likelihood of recovery and what that recovery will look like in the future.
  5. He or she may be able to suggest forms of treatment that haven't yet been tried, such as specific types of therapy or referrals to a different specialty.
  6. He or she is also often able to form an opinion about whether or not you can return to work with your present symptoms. If so, he or she can help determine what limitations or modifications you may need. For example, will you need an assistant? Do you need additional time to complete certain tasks? Will this likely be permanent or something you will eventually no longer need?

The neuropsychologist's expertise is not just identifying hard-to-diagnose disorders but also weeding out malingerers who are trying to exploit the medical or legal system for personal gain. You can help yourself by offering standardized evidence that your mental symptoms are real, not manufactured. For more advice, talk to an attorney today.

Source: Bancroft NeuroRehab, "Workers Compensation and Neuropsychological Evaluations: What You Need to Know," accessed Aug. 25, 2017

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