Brain Injury and Problems
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any sudden physical trauma to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in adults, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. For those who survive a traumatic brain injury, there are multiple physical, emotional, social, and financial effects.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Is a Life-Changing Event
A traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a sudden forceful blow to the head. This may be from a motor vehicle accident, fall, sporting event, or physical assault. The blow causes bruising, tearing, and bleeding of brain tissue and blood vessels. Normal brain function and activity is disrupted.
There are several types of traumatic brain injuries:
- A focal brain injury is damage that is confined to one area of the brain.
- A diffuse brain injury affects more than one area of the brain.
- Closed traumatic brain injuries do not involve penetration or breakage of the skull. Damage occurs from shaking or sudden forward and backward movement of the brain inside the skull.
- Penetrating or open brain injuries occur when bones in the skull are broken.
In addition, there are two stages in a traumatic brain injury. The primary brain injury happens at the point of impact during the traffic accident, fall, or assault. A secondary brain injury involves changes to the body’s chemical and cellular systems in the hours and days following the primary impact.
Your Brain May Never Fully Recover From a Traumatic Brain Injury
Medical professionals cannot predict a person’s recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Most experts agree that brain cells do not usually regenerate once they are damaged or destroyed. Some brains learn to reroute or make up for injured or lost tissue. Each brain injury and recovery is unique to each patient.
It is generally agreed that recovery from a severe brain injury is a prolonged process that includes specific treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation. Your traumatic brain injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can pursue damages to help you pay for these treatments.
Common Physical Effects From a Traumatic Brain Injury Florida
People with moderate or severe TBI can have multiple physical problems that last for months, years, or the rest of their lives.
Some of these physical problems include:
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Difficulty speaking
- Paralysis or weakness
- Vision problems, such as blurry or double vision
- Poor balance
- Fatigue and decreased endurance
- Swallowing problems
- Poor coordination
- Seizures and an increased risk of epilepsy
- Sexual dysfunction
Help for Physical Effects of a TBI
A traumatic brain injury survivor may need help with activities of daily living (ADLs). The cost of caring for a TBI patient can easily bankrupt the average family. There is also the stress of being a constant caregiver that helps with many physical and life functions, including:
- Feeding, grooming, bathing, dressing, and toileting
- Nutritional care
- Dispensing medicines
- Helping with walking and transferring
Traumatic brain injury patients may also need to alter their home to accommodate a wheelchair and other adaptive devices.
Changes to Your Emotional and Cognitive Health After a TBI
Traumatic brain injuries affect both the patient and family members with many emotional and cognitive problems. You may not remember an important event, like your wedding day or the birth of a child. Sometimes, a traumatic brain injury transforms a quiet and congenial person into an aggressive bully. These changes are equally distressing for both patients and family members.
Other cognitive problems from a traumatic brain injury are:
- Impaired long- and short-term memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor judgment skills
- Impaired problem solving
- Loss of organizational skills
- Sleep difficulties
- Inability to manage time
- Difficulty starting or focusing on a task
- Deficits in attention and concentration
- Depression and anxiety
- Personality changes, such as aggression and lashing out
You May Experience Social Effects
Many traumatic brain injury survivors spend long weeks in the hospital followed by treatment at a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility. This disrupts their typical social patterns and interaction. A catastrophic injury can make people feel awkward and, unfortunately, their solution is to avoid the patient. This can make you feel isolated and alone.
In addition, many TBI patients are unable to return to their earlier activities, including sports and hobbies. You may also find it difficult to be around people if you have trouble speaking or finding words. Even the act of going to the grocery store or your place of worship may seem insurmountable as you recover.
Treatment for Physical, Emotional, and Social Issues
While there is no guarantee that a traumatic brain injury patient will return to their pre-injury status, there are many resources to treat and cope with these changes.
You may find help from trained professionals who may include:
- Internists and specialists
- Rehabilitation nurse
- Social worker
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Speech/language pathologist
- Psychologist, psychiatrist, or other licensed mental health provider
- Case manager
- Respiratory therapist
- Recreation therapist
- Spiritual advisor
Of course, these services and programs may be beyond your budget or not covered by your health insurance. Most traumatic brain injury survivors and their families find themselves struggling financially.
The Financial Impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury
You may be able to work after your traumatic brain injury. However, you may not be able to return to your earlier employment due to physical and cognitive impairments. Your inability to work, combined with ongoing medical costs, can diminish you and your family’s quality of life.
A Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
If your traumatic brain injury was caused by someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. A Florida personal injury lawyer with the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will evaluate your case and seek recovery if you qualify. You have the right to seek compensation from the person or people who caused your injury and damages. For a free consultation, please call (954) 633-8270.