If a loved one was recently involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be living the nightmare many families experience as they wait for doctors to determine the extent of the injuries. Hearing that your loved one suffered a brain injury is one of the most devastating reports you could receive.
Because the brain is the control center of every system in the body, you may have many questions and concerns about how the injury will affect your loved one's future. Of course, every person may react differently to such an injury, and many variables may affect the outcome of your loved one's recovery. It may help you to understand the basics of a traumatic brain injury and some of the common complications victims may experience.
What to expect
Some brain injuries occur when an object penetrates the skull or when the head strikes an object. However, it is possible that the violent jolting that happens during a car accident could cause the brain to bounce against the rough surfaces inside the skull, resulting in swelling, bleeding and tissue damage. If your loved one's injury included the twisting of the brain on its stem, he or she may have lost consciousness and even remain in a coma.
When brain tissue dies following an injury, it does not regenerate, so victims of brain injuries must learn methods of coping for deficits the injury may leave, including:
- Loss of memory
- Inability to control emotions, impulsive behavior or aggression
- Difficulty understanding language or speaking
- Deficits in learning or solving problems
- Lack of realization that he or she has a brain injury or subsequent impairments
- Behavior that is inappropriate
You may see some of these cognitive losses return slowly as brain swelling subsides, but it is likely that your loved one will require different methods of treatment to learn to compensate for any deficits. This may include vocational training, behavior modification, medication and counseling to deal with depression and other side effects of the injury.
While you may not like to think about it, the brutal fact is that a brain injury can be devastatingly expensive, especially since you will want to provide your loved one with every possible opportunity to regain as much independence and quality of life as possible. Some families end up with medical bills reaching into the millions of dollars.
If your loved one's injury is the result of someone else's negligence or reckless behavior, you may have options. Consulting a Pennsylvania attorney may provide you with valuable information about pursuing compensation through the civil courts.