The brain is the central command computer of the human body. A traumatic injury to the brain can have full-body consequences, and affect your life for years. What are traumatic brain injury long-term effects, and how can a lawsuit help pay for on-going treatment?
The Brain Injury Law Center has compiled the following information on the long term effects of brain trauma. If you need legal representation after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), call us today at (757) 244-7000 to discuss your circumstances in a free consultation.
What Is a TBI?
A traumatic brain injury or TBI is described as any injury that affects how the brain works. Traumatic brain injuries can come in the form of mild or severe concussions, and can be caused by bump, blows, or jolts to the neck and head. The effects of TBIs can harm a person’s capabilities for brain and bodily function.
What Are the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The severity of TBI symptoms vary depending on the extent of the damage done to the brain. TBIs can cause physical, sensory, and cognitive issues.
- Physical symptoms: Headaches, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, seizures/convulsions, and/or a weakness/numbness in fingers and toes
- Sensory symptoms: Pupil dilation causing sensitivity to light or blurred vision, loss of consciousness, and loss of coordination
- Cognitive symptoms: Issues with speech, mild or profound confusion, unusual behavior or combativeness, and coma or an inability to wake from sleep
These are the more immediate signs that a brain injury has occurred, and such symptoms require emergency medical attention. After the initial treatment, long-term effects of TBI present unique needs and challenges.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The consequences of traumatic brain injuries can be chronic, including permanent disabilities that change a person’s quality of life. Once a patient is out of the hospital, it doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods. Long-term effects of TBI can change many aspects of a person’s life, including:
- Loss of mobility: The ability to move freely, walk, or drive can be severely impacted by a brain injury, sometimes causing permanent losses. Fine motor skills like buttoning clothes, carrying objects, or avoiding falls could all be compromised indefinitely. A person may also develop epilepsy, making normal daily activities far more dangerous.
- Loss of employability: An initial brain injury often causes a loss of wages for the time it takes to seek treatment. However, long-term TBI effects may cause an inability to ever return to work or school again, due to a loss of manual or cognitive skills essential to performing the work. Such losses damage both a person’s financial future and their sense of purpose.
- Damage to relationships: Brain injuries can cause difficulty with socializing, including recognizing facial expressions, and remembering conversations and shared events. These struggles could end previously held relationships, and prevent new relationships from forming between friends, family, and romantic partners.
- Interruption of basic functions: Problems with swallowing, using utensils, and maneuvering around a bathroom safely profoundly disrupt a person’s quality of life. Such functions are incredibly difficult to rebuild after injury. Also, these abilities may degrade later in life as complications after a traumatic brain injury.
- Untimely death: Traumatic brain injury shortens a person’s life expectancy by an average of 9 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is true even in cases of mild TBIs that have received full professional treatment and care.
The long-term effects of TBI are significant and life-threatening. The best possible scenario for those who’ve been injured is to have every resource possible for treatment, therapy, and support.
The long-term effects of TBI can be life-threatening—the best scenario for recovery and a dignified quality of life requires financial resources for treatment, therapy, and support.
What Can a Brain Injury Settlement Do For You?
When you suffer an avoidable injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the damages endured. When it comes to brain and spinal cord injuries, the injuries are often irreversible. However, a damages award or settlement can make a significant difference to your treatment options, quality of life, and the health of your family and loved ones.
A successful settlement or verdict could help cover the cost of:
- Medical bills for the emergency and ongoing care and therapy received after a traumatic brain injury
- Property alterations to outfit a home with any safety or mobility aids needed to improve a brain injury victim’s life
- Loss of income from employment, including lost wages and the loss of future income and benefits that would have been earned if the injury hadn’t occurred
- Pain and suffering endured, both physical and psychological—these are concepts an experienced brain injury attorney will help translate into financial figures
- Wrongful death in the form of estate fees, burial expenses, and the premature loss of a family member’s companionship and guidance for surviving loved ones
Another component of compensation could come in the form of punitive damages, or fees charged to punish the wrongdoer which are then awarded to you and your family. These are meant to teach a lesson, and may help improve behavior or safety standards, and prevent future injuries from happening.
Punitive damages may be applied to individuals or companies, depending on who is held liable for the injuries. A negligent driver may be the liable party after a car accident injury. A property owner may be held accountable in cases of premises liability, such as slip-and-fall injuries caused by unsafe maintenance. A company may be held liable if their product caused injury by design or by malfunction, as could be the case with a defective helmet.
Your dedicated brain injury lawyer will do the work to investigate and document liability, ensuring that you get full consideration under the law.
How Can You Contact The Brain Injury Law Center for Help?
Many people will suffer from traumatic brain injury effects years later, long after the initial accident or event that caused the damage. In order to secure long-term treatment and a better quality of life, patients need access to financial resources. Where those funds come from depends on who is proven liable in a legal setting.
The Brain Injury Law Firm was founded by Stephen M. Smith, a graduate of Marquette University’s Neuroanatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord program. His combined knowledge of the effects of brain injuries and personal injury law make him and his firm uniquely skilled at building and winning cases for TBI patients.
Contact The Brain Injury Law Center by calling (757) 244-7000, or filling out our online contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation. While many of the long-term effects of brain trauma cannot be undone, there are legal resources available to help improve the quality, length, and dignity of your life, as well as the financial future of your loved ones.