Yesterday morning I attended a fascinating presentation by Anne Forrest, Ph.D. which was sponsored by ReMed in West Conshohocken, PA. Dr. Forrest received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University. In June 1997, she was involved in a minor rear-end collision in which she nevertheless sustained a “mild” traumatic brain injury.
In her presentation, Dr. Forrest discussed the difficulties she had with the medical community , legal system and insurance industry, which unfortunately is a story told too often by survivors of traumatic brain injury. Because she did not lose consciousness, many of the doctors failed to recognize the seriousness of her injuries, some of them even implying that it was psychological or even worse malingering. She unfortunately went from doctor to doctor, professional to professional until finally her injury was properly diagnosed.
From the legal standpoint, the person who struck her had very little insurance and she asserted an under insured motorist claim which she ultimately lost when defendants’ IME doctors, who labeled her a malingerer, ultimately prevailed. Yet, eleven years later, with the litigation long since done, Dr. Forrest still has not recovered, and is still hopeful, possibly next week, that she will be able to get her driver’s license back.
Today, Dr. Forrest has become one of the nation’s leading patient advocates for survivors with acquired traumatic brain injury. I certainly applaud her hard work not only in her rehabilitation but in her new professional endeavors.