For those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury in the course of a car crash, the long-term effects may never really go away. The consequences of TBI can detract from a person's earning capacity, physical function and enjoyment of life.
Understanding how TBI can continue to affect life is vital to properly evaluating a car accident case and fighting for fair compensation.
Specific effects may vary widely
The first thing to know is that no two brain injuries are exactly alike. The brain is a sensitive and complex structure that manages a myriad of functions in the human body. The particular effects of a trauma can depend on factors such as the seriousness of the injury, the damaged area, whether the initial injury causes the spread of damage due to swelling or bleeding, any other health conditions already present and more.
The same symptoms can produce different results
Additionally, how impairment of a particular function will affect your life can depend a lot on the importance of that function to you. For example, when considering earning capacity, difficulty walking may have less of an employment effect on an office worker than on a construction worker.
Functions TBI commonly affects
The major areas that potentially suffer due to TBI include cognitive abilities, language, moods, behaviors and motor function. Cognitive functions that TBI often noticeably affects may include focusing, retaining new material, solving problems, processing language and adapting to change. Many also find a diminished ability to plan and organize.
Some TBI sufferers experience significant changes in behavior and personality. They may develop impulsivity, mood swings and irritability. Many people who experience these symptoms also do not realize their personalities have changed and have difficulty adapting their behavior appropriately for a given situation.
Physical changes often include issues with the senses: blurred or decreased vision, ringing in the ears and changes in smell or taste. Some people develop vertigo, while others may experience seizures ranging from relatively mild to major with loss of consciousness. TBI may affect motion, speech and bladder or bowel function, as well.