At least five million Americans have permanent damage from traumatic brain injuries serious enough to require assistance with simple everyday activities, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. About 50,000 die annually from head injuries.
NINDS also reports that about half of all TBIs are caused by “transportation accidents,” including car crashes. A motor-vehicle driver or passenger can sustain a serious TBI either from head impact with a stationary object like a steering wheel, or even from violent jarring or shaking.
After an accident, everyone involved should seek immediate medical attention even if a brain injury is not immediately apparent. Symptoms may be delayed and a person may function normally immediately after the trauma despite severe brain injury. While brain damage is usually permanent, medical steps can be taken to prevent deterioration and stabilize the patient.
Treatment often requires brain surgery and TBI consequences can include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Cognitive impairment
- Blood clots
- Brain bruising and bleeding
- Brain-tissue tearing
- Brain swelling
- Persistent vegetative state
Tragically, serious TBI can cause permanent personality changes and ongoing difficulty with speech, concentration, short- and long-term memory, sensory processing, confusion, thought processing and judgment. Such major cognitive impact often destroys the victim’s close relationships, and he or she may suffer a social crisis following the medical one.
TBI victims may need ongoing therapy for physical problems like relearning to walk or for emotional challenges related to the profound changes in their lives. They may not be able to return to their previous jobs and may face retraining or permanent inability to work.
Forecasting future financial needs resulting from the TBI can be difficult because of the uncertain progression of symptoms. If you or a loved one suffers a brain injury in a car accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to help you assess your damages and decide the best way to pursue your legal remedies. A lawyer who has worked with other TBI victims will be familiar with expected future needs like medical care, therapies, assistance with personal and household care, wage loss and more.