What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Head Injury?
February 8th, 2021|
Many injuries have the potential to cause victims to suffer from both short-term and long-term effects. Broken bones, for example, can lead to severe pain and short-term disability, but even when they heal, victims may still experience reduced mobility and range of motion. Damage to muscles and tendons can also make everyday activities and holding down a job difficult or impossible, both immediately after it happens and even years after victims recover from the initial trauma.
But few injuries have the potential for long-term consequences quite like head injuries. Although the brain is protected by the skull, it’s still incredibly vulnerable to injuries and damage. Direct blows to the head, violent neck movement, and sudden deceleration—such as in a car accident—can all cause head injuries that affect victims’ brains. Head injuries like these can result in bleeding, swelling, and even tissue death of the brain.
Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional Challenges Are Common
Victims of serious head injuries that result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can typically experience a wide range of complications ranging from mild to severe.
Physical effects of a TBI
- Headaches—Anyone who suffers from migraines or persistent headaches knows how disruptive they can be to daily life. TBIs can worsen existing headaches or cause victims to experience newly debilitating headaches.
- Dizziness—TBIs can affect balance and equilibrium. Some victims may struggle to regain their balance after their injuries, and they may always feel unsteady on their feet. Some may even require canes, walkers, or wheelchairs for mobility after their accidents.
- Visual difficulties—TBIs often affect nerves and parts of the brain responsible for vision. That can make it difficult for victims to see clearly, focus on objects close-up or at a distance, or track moving objects.
Cognitive effects of a TBI
- Difficulty concentrating—Some TBI victims have trouble concentrating on a specific task or focusing for long periods of time. This can make it difficult for them to work, especially if their jobs or occupations demanded attention to detail and prolonged focus.
- Impaired memory—It’s common for TBI victims to experience some disruption of their memories, whether it’s their memories leading up to the injury, those formed long before the injury, or those formed after it occurred.
- Sleep problems—Sleep is a complex process that is easily interrupted by various health problems and conditions, including TBIs. TBI victims can experience a wide range of sleep impairments, from sleeping much more than usual, much less than usual, or having difficulty staying asleep at night.
Emotional effects of a TBI
- Depression and anxiety—TBIs can make it difficult for victims to manage their emotions. Their brains may also begin to produce too much or too little of critical neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which can lead to mood disruptions.
- Anger—Some TBI victims become much more aggressive and angrier than they were before their injuries. They may lash out at friends and family, use profanity, and even physically strike others—all behaviors which may have been out of character for them. In these situations, this type of behavior may not be the product of stress after the accident—it could be caused by damage to the brain.
- Risk-taking—Victims who were previously cautious and risk-averse may become extremely impulsive and engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as speeding, excessive drinking, drug usage, and gambling. This can often occur when victims suffer damage to parts of their brains responsible for regulating impulses.
TBI Effects Can Persist for a Lifetime—That’s Why Victims Deserve Maximum Compensation
The short-term effects of a TBI are devastating enough. Victims are often hospitalized, experience severe pain, confusion, and nausea, and they may even fall into comas. But even when victims recover from the initial trauma, they may continue to experience debilitating effects for months, years, or even decades to come.
People who suffer moderate to severe TBIs are often never the same as they were before their injuries, and that doesn’t just affect them—it affects their families, too. It’s bad enough when they can’t earn paychecks to support their loved ones, but for some victims, they become strangers to their own spouses, children, parents, and other family members.
Here’s How We Can Help
At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, it’s our job to do three things for you or your loved one when you call:
- Prove you weren’t at fault for your injury.
- Demonstrate all the ways your injury has affected your life.
- Negotiate to get you maximum compensation.
It’s especially critical to accurately calculate how much money victims need when it comes to head injuries and TBIs, as the expenses can be ongoing for years or even a lifetime. Our Indiana brain injury lawyers will fight to get you and your loved ones every penny you’re owed for your medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and every other TBI-related expense you incurred.