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What can I expect after a loved one’s brain injury?

Despite the constant improvements to safety features in modern motor vehicles, each year, millions of travelers require medical attention as a result of serious crashes. While some recover quickly and move on with their lives, others deal with the aftermath of their injuries for years or even for the rest of their lives. In many cases, these accident victims have suffered traumatic brain injuries that leave them struggling with everyday tasks.

If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident, the shock and heartbreak may feel overwhelming. You may be wondering what you can expect for your loved one’s recovery, but it may already be painfully clear how such an injury can change the lives of every member of the family.

Not the same person as before

Since the brain controls every other function in the human body, even a minor injury may cause deficits in one or more areas. These deficits may be temporary or long-term, and generally fall under the following categories:

  • Cognition: Your loved one may experience memory loss, difficulty thinking, and inability to focus his or her attention.
  • Senses: Your loved one may lose some or all ability to see, hear, feel, or utilize other senses of perception.
  • Motor skills: A brain injury can result in physical weakness, loss of balance, and lack of coordination.
  • Behavior: A brain injury may impair your loved one’s ability to control emotions, anger, depression, or other behavioral issues.

In fact, some families report that, after their loved ones suffered brain injuries, they experienced dramatic personality changes that were difficult to adjust to. The more serious the injury, the more likely such deficits will occur, and the more likely such changes will be permanent. Accident victims who are in a coma after their injuries often emerge with significant changes in the way they think and behave. More urgently, a traumatic brain injury is likely to shorten the victim’s lifespan.

Everyone pays the price

Nationwide, traumatic brain injuries cost nearly $77 billion in medical expenses, including hospitalizations, medication, and therapy. The cost to you may seem just as overwhelming, especially since you may not yet know the extent of your loved one’s injury or the amount and types of care he or she may require.

This burden may be particularly difficult to bear if the brain injury resulted from someone else’s negligence or reckless actions. You would be wise to take advantage of every available resource for medical, emotional, financial, and legal assistance for your loved one.