November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month
An estimated 2.3 million adults and 450,000 children in the United States currently suffer from epilepsy.
Epilepsy or seizures are well known to be caused by accidents and brain trauma. Traumatic epilepsy or traumatic seizure disorder is frequently induced by traumatic brain injury. The epileptic seizure disorder may be triggered by brain injury whether mild, moderate, or severe. Traumatic epilepsy may develop following brain injuries with or without losing consciousness. Both penetrating and non-penetrating head injuries have been found to be the source of epileptic seizures in victims of traumatic brain injury. The risk of developing epilepsy increases with the severity of the initial brain injury.
Seizures can take place days, weeks or even months following a traumatic brain injury.
Attorneys frequently encounter posttraumatic seizure disorders in clients that have fallen, been have been struck by a falling object, or involved in vehicular accidents. The mechanism of injury is diverse, and does not require actual physical contact between the head and another object, but may only involve violent motion of the brain within the skull from sudden acceleration or deceleration. A history of a piercing brain injury or a brain hemorrhage should alert an attorney to the possibility that the trauma that the client has sustained might precipitate traumatic epilepsy. In clients exhibiting symptoms of the post-concussive disorder, a referral to a neurologist to rule out traumatic epilepsy is recommended.