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Traumatic Epilepsy

Epilepsy and Seizures are Frequently Caused by a Traumatic Brain Injury

With over 40 years of legal experience in traumatic brain injury law, the New York based brain injury law firm of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP can provide effective legal representation if you have suffered from epilepsy or a seizure disorder following your head injury.

Epilepsy or seizures caused by trauma to the head or brain is known as traumatic epilepsy or traumatic seizure disorder.

Epilepsy and seizure disorders are terms that can bring fear to the hearts of all those who hear them. In many instances, an individual’s epilepsy or seizures can be traced back to a head injury they sustained in the past.

Any type of traumatic brain injury or head trauma can be the cause of epilepsy or a seizure disorder. Common causes include car accidents, construction site accidents, falls as a result of dangerous and unsafe premises, and unsafe worksites.

Head trauma is one of the leading causes of epilepsy and seizure disorders. The medical literature confirms that traumatic brain injury accounts for almost 5 percent of all individuals who experience epilepsy and seizures. Within the first year following an accident involving head injury, the risk of seizure is 12 times as great in the general population.

The greater the degree of brain damage, the higher the risk for the development of a seizure disorder.

All traumatic brain injury can cause traumatic epilepsy

All types of traumatic brain injury can cause traumatic epilepsy, whether the initial head injury was mild, moderate, or severe. Traumatic epilepsy can develop following brain injuries with or without loss of consciousness. Both penetrating and non-penetrating head injuries have been found to be the source of epileptic seizures in victims of traumatic brain injury.

Seizures following brain injury can occur at any time

Early onset seizures

Following head trauma or brain injury, seizures may occur immediately or even days or months later. If the seizure occurs within the first 24 hours following a traumatic brain injury, the seizure is referred to as early onset seizures.

Late seizures

Seizures occurring days, weeks, or even months following a traumatic brain injury are referred to as late seizures.

Types of brain injury associated with traumatic epilepsy

While any type of brain trauma can be the cause of traumatic epilepsy, the most frequently found brain injuries associated with the  development of seizures are:

  • Skull fractures
  • Penetrating injuries to the brain and skull
  • Bleeding in the brain including both subdural hemorrhage and epidural hemorrhage
  • Open head injury
  • Blunt head trauma
  • Mild traumatic brain injury resulting in shearing and tearing and stretching of brain fibers

Brain trauma can cause different types of seizures

Seizures come in all shapes and sizes. Although a seizure will always start in a specific part of the brain, it may or may not spread to other areas.

Generalized seizure

When a seizure begins in one area of the brain and then spreads to other areas, this is known as a generalized seizure or a grand mal seizure.

We are all familiar with this type of seizure which generally results in violent shaking of the arms, legs, head and neck. These are referred to as “convulsions”. But, it is important to understand that there are individuals who sustain generalized seizures and never have any convulsions. These individuals may just appear to be staring off into space and be dazed. They are disconnected from everything around them and are unaware of what is going on for that period of time.

Partial seizure

In partial seizures only a small part of the brain is affected. The seizure or electrical activity remains confined to one area of the brain and does not spread to other areas. The person may be conscious or unconscious during the seizure.

Frequently partial seizures do not involve convulsions. All that the individual may experience is an altered sense of taste or smell, a feeling of fear or uncontrollable outbursts of crying. It can also involve waking up from a sound sleep on a regular basis, bed wetting, sleep walking, or even a sensation of numbness, tingling, or the sound of strange noises or voices.

Getting help for your seizures and epilepsy

It is important that you consult with a trained neurologist who specializes in seizure disorders. These doctors are frequently associated with hospital epilepsy centers.

Not all epilepsy can be diagnosed by using EEG monitoring

A negative EEG does not mean that an individual does not have a seizure disorder. Not all epilepsy can be diagnosed by using EEG monitoring. While this device measures the electrical activity of the brain, the test must take place during the time that the nerves in the brain are misfiring. Frequently, the results of the EEG are normal even though the person actually has epilepsy.

In order to make a diagnosis, a trained epilepsy specialist must resort to careful and detailed questioning of the individual suspected of having epilepsy, as well as their family and close friends. Other times, a person may be hospitalized and monitored continuously using video EEG equipment over several days to attempt to capture a seizure on tape.

Head injury lawyers who understand traumatic epilepsy

For over 40 years, we have devoted our personal injury law practice to representing victims of brain trauma and head injury. We are leading advocates in the United States for survivors of traumatic brain injury including traumatic epilepsy and traumatically induced seizure disorder.

The brain injury lawyers at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP are leaders in the brain injury community and devote substantial time and effort to educating the community on the lasting effects of brain injury including traumatic epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Shana De Caro, Esq:  Past Chair, Traumatic Brain injury Litigation Group, American Association for Justice

Michael V. Kaplen, Esq: Past Chair, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association for Justice

Allow us to put our knowledge and experience about brain injury to work for you.

If you or a loved one suffers from epileptic seizures caused by trauma, including car accidents, bus or train accidents, truck accidents, falls, or being struck by a falling object, you may be entitled to compensation. Contract the traumatic epilepsy lawyers at our law firm for a no obligation consultation. We can be reached toll free at 1 (866) 272-4652 or by email.

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