The long term effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be extensive and far-reaching. Roughly 35,000 people in South Carolina sustain a head injury each year. Though a majority of these people make a full recovery, others are left with permanent effects to their thinking, emotions, and speech. In my countless meetings with brain injury survivors and their families, they almost say it is as if one person existed before the TBI, and another person existed after. The adjustment to a new life, thought processes, or even personality, can be extremely challenging and costly.
If you are reading this article, you likely know that long term complications of TBI may include:
- cognitive problems (e.g., difficulty with memory, reasoning, problem solving, decision making, attention, etc.);
- communication challenges (e.g., difficulty speaking, writing, picking up non-verbal cues, following conversations, etc.);
- emotional issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, anger, etc.);
- disinhibition and impulsivity;
- ringing in the ears;
- loss of smell;
- impaired vision; and
- balance issues.
This list is unsettling, though far from complete. According to the Mayo Clinic, a traumatic brain injury also increases the risk of ailments usually brought on by aging, such as:
- Alzheimer's disease;
- Parkinson's disease; and
The True Costs of a Head Injury
TBIs can cost survivors far more than medical care. From marriage to friendships to employability, permanent brain injuries rarely leave any part of life untouched. Too often I have seen families and savings destroyed by these injuries.
On the one hand, a survivor's cognitive deficits and mood swings can make it difficult to keep a job. On the other hand, they require medical treatment, therapy, and medications. Thus, without the means to pay for necessary care and counseling, TBI victims often spiral downward. The financial stress, coupled with the depressive anxiety brought on by head trauma, can be too much for a family to bear. Spouses, siblings, parents, and friends need to understand what victims are experiencing, not only to help the survivor, but to maintain their own well being.
Getting Help After a TBI
The long term challenges and complications brought on by head trauma require help. Fortunately, there are resources in South Carolina to assist survivors and families. Cognitive, speech, occupational, and physical therapists can make a huge difference after a TBI. Likewise, neuropsychologists, counselors, support groups, and brain injury associations will provide guidance and empathy.
While an attorney is certainly not your first need, if you want justice from our legal system after a brain injury, I strongly recommend setting up a free consultation with me. As a member of the American Association for Justice's Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, as well as a sponsor of the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, I assure you that I place special emphasis on TBI cases. Along with compensation for past medical expenses, I will work to ensure all future costs - including those to personality and quality of life - are paid for by the negligent party's insurance company.
South Carolinians living with brain injury no longer have to feel lost, alone, or misunderstood. We want to help survivors and families get the medical, psychological, and legal help they require. To set up a free consultation, call me today at 803-790-2800.