Epilepsy after a Brain Injury in Virginia: How Likely Is It?

Have you suffered a traumatic brain injury in Virginia or D.C.? Have you been down the road to recovery only to discover that there are late-developing and long-lasting effects? The brain is complicated, so doctors continue to uncover new information about patients who have suffered from brain injuries. Most recently, doctors have found a correlation between a traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. You may be familiar with the seizure-causing disorder, but many are not aware that it is a known consequence of a traumatic brain injury.  

Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) can follow any head trauma, including those that occur during car accidents. The more severe the brain injury, the greater the risk is for developing PTE. Those with the greatest risk include:

  • A penetrating head wound (including those involving fragments that could be left behind)
  • Depressed skull fractures
  • Any injury that is located in the central region of the brain or the cerebral cortex
  • An early seizure following the brain injury
  • Intra-cerebral bleeding or intracranial and subdural hematomas
  • Any loss of brain tissue

Unfortunately, the time between a brain injury and developing PTE can vary greatly.  Over half the patients develop seizures within the first year, but 43% of all PTE patients don’t have a seizure for more than a year after their brain injury. Having a seizure doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop PTE, but many wait until they have had two or three seizures to seek a medical evaluation.

Only a neurological specialist can diagnose PTE and explain the best course of treatment.  If you suspect you have PTE, you should seek medical attention right away. Even minor seizures should not be ignored.  

If your PTE was caused by an accident or personal injury that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The brain injury attorneys at Shevlin Smith have the experience necessary to help you through the recovery process. Call our board-certified Fairfax lawyers today at (703) 721-4233.


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