While the immediate effects of a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be severe, the long-term collateral consequences can also be significant – and many victims and their families don’t initially realize that their lives will probably never be the same again.
Despite all the advances in medicine, there’s really no “recovery” from a severe TBI. Victims can overcome new limitations and get their brains to “rewire” enough to function better, but they will all have some lifelong problems. These can include:
Problems with memory, attention and decision-making are common with TBIs. These impairments can make it difficult for a person to perform everyday tasks, such as driving, working, managing their finances or even talking.
Emotional and behavioral changes
A TBI can also cause emotional and behavioral changes, such as mood swings, depression, anxiety and irritability. These changes can affect a person’s most important relationships and make it difficult for them to maintain employment or develop social connections.
A TBI can cause whole-body symptoms, like paralysis and weakness. These impairments can make it difficult for a person to perform their regular daily activities, including things like dressing or feeding themselves.
The cost of treating a TBI can be substantial, including hospitalization, rehabilitation and ongoing medical care. This can significantly impact their financial stability and quality of life.
Studies have shown that people with a TBI are at increased risk of substance abuse, with up to 20% developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol after their TBI. This can further erode a victim’s self-esteem, ability to work and their social circle.
If your loved one has recently suffered a severe TBI in a car wreck or some other accident, it’s hard to predict how much of their “old self” they’ll actually recover. In any case, there will definitely be changes that affect your entire family. You have every right to expect any negligent party to be held legally and financially accountable for your losses.