UNION TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER Keith Darce reported that the rehabilitation center at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas sponsored the fifth annual Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference at Scripps Memorial Hospital -La Jolla last weekend. The conference featured sessions on recent research efforts, emergency room care and sexuality after brain injuries. The keynote speaker was Lee Woodruff, wife of ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iran in 2006 by a roadside bomb. Woodruff’s presentation focused on the need for health care providers, who treat victims suffering from brain injuries, to be sensitive to the traumatic effect on patients’ family members. There is a great need for doctors, nurses and other care givers to reach out to family members who can be stricken by fear, anger and depression due to their relative’s injury. The audience also included Nikki Schimmer, 35, who moved in with her parents in the Scripps Ranch area after suffering a brain injury when she fell out of a Jeep in Hawaii where she was working as a pastry chef. Her mother Lana Schimmer said “it has been difficult to watch her struggle day to day with trying to improve, yet she has been persistent in slow progress that is really miraculous to see.”
A major problem has been getting Nikki’s health insurance to pay for ongoing therapy with professionals, her mother said. Nikki’s health insurance has cut off funding for the services she was getting at Scripps Memorial Hospital-Encinitas. This is not an uncommon problem with the rising cost of healthcare and insurance companies unconscionable onslaught on reducing or cutting off benefits, only adds fuel to the fire. In my many years of practice I have represented victims of traumatic brain injury and assisted their families in dealing with insurance companies whether health or liability insurance. Having the experience and incite in dealing with coverage issues is critical to getting the resources to assist them with the financial and emotional issues encountered by the injured and their families. The Brain Injury Association Of America is one of many resources to gain valuable information and guidance in dealing with brain injuries.
If a loved one or some one you know has been injured, getting prompt and accurate advice can make a big difference in the quality of life for someone with a traumatic brain injury. The added stress of dealing with insurance companies should be delegated to a professional. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help in resolving the compelling issues often encountered by the injured and their families.