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The lasting consequences of a TBI caused by an auto accident

The sudden, violent impact of a car accident can subject the people inside a vehicle to all kinds of forces that can result in a traumatic brain injury.

Whether it’s a whiplash-related concussion, a penetration wound or a closed head injury, TBIs have the potential to be life-altering. Long after an accident is over, the victim of a TBI and their family may still experience the consequences of that event. Here are some of the long-term challenges they frequently face:

Physical impairments

Moderate to severe TBIs can affect almost any part of a victim’s body, depending on what parts of the brain are affected. It’s not uncommon for TBI patients to have mobility issues due to spasticity or weakness in their limbs, dizziness, fatigue or actual paralysis. Some may also have difficulty controlling their hands, trouble speaking distinctly (or at all), and sensory impairments that affect their sight, ability to taste things or sense of smell.

While physical and occupational therapy can help some TBI patients regain some of their abilities, many permanently need assistance handling even their basic needs and cannot live independently.

Emotional changes

Since the brain is what makes someone who they are, it’s not surprising that many TBI victims undergo drastic personality changes after their injuries. Some become socially withdrawn and many suffer from problems regulating their moods, which can make preserving their friendships and other relationships even harder. Some TBI victims even end up spiraling down into addiction in an effort to cope with their situation, and depression and anxiety are also common.

Cognitive deficits

Many TBI survivors struggle with memory issues, which can make it impossible for them to keep a schedule, remember appointments, or concentrate long enough to do everyday activities with any degree of reliability. Problem-solving, decision-making and organizational skills may also be drastically reduced. Since language and processing skills are also controlled in the brain, the TBI survivor may also have difficulty understanding others or expressing their thoughts, which often serves to deepen their sense of social isolation.

The problem with a traumatic brain injury is that it’s not over when cars all roll to a stop – or even when the victim is released from the hospital. Victims of a TBI may suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives, which is why it is so important for them to fully explore all possibilities for compensation.