Long Term Effects of a TBI & How this Affects Your Settlement
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most severe and unpredictable injuries a person can experience. No two brain injuries are alike; two people could sustain very similar TBIs and experience vastly different effects. Some people make full recoveries from TBIs within a few weeks while others struggle with difficult adverse symptoms for years. If someone suffers a TBI due to the negligent actions of another and decides to take legal action against the responsible party by contacting a brain injury lawyer, the long-term effects of the TBI will have a strong influence on the plaintiff’s overall recovery.
Potential Complications from a TBI
TBIs can cause a host of long-term problems. Even a seemingly mild TBI like a slight concussion may eventually lead to the development of serious symptoms like cluster headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, or cognitive impairment. Some TBIs may damage the brain’s ability to manage certain bodily processes, both conscious and unconscious.
Concussions are the most commonly seen TBIs and most often result from sports-related accidents and motor vehicle crashes. Most concussion victims recover within a few weeks with rest and avoiding strenuous activities, but Post-Concussion Syndrome may persist for months or even years in some concussion victims.
Post-Concussion Syndrome is a general term for experiencing negative symptoms of a concussion for an extended time. For example, a concussion victim may experience severe headaches for weeks following a concussion whereas another concussion victim may feel perfectly fine after only a few days.
More severe TBIs like penetrating head wounds, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, or chemical exposure-related injuries typically lead to more severe symptoms and have a greater chance of causing permanent damage. Individuals who suffer such severe TBIs may require ongoing medical treatment, multiple surgeries, or even permanent in-home medical care and supervision if they develop disabilities that interfere with their ability to perform basic tasks.
How Long-Term TBI Complications Influence Case Settlement Awards
When an individual suffers an injury from the negligence of another party, a personal injury lawsuit offers the best chances of helping the victim recover from his or her losses. The more significant the damages, the greater the recovery. A concussion caused by negligence may lead to several weeks of discomfort, entitling the victim to some measure of compensation for medical treatment and pain and suffering. By comparison, a TBI that causes a permanent severe disability will likely entitle the victim to a more substantial recovery.
In a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff can claim compensation for any and all medical expenses resulting from another party’s negligence, and this includes both immediate and future medical expenses. For example, if a TBI victim requires emergency life-saving medical treatment and then occupational therapy and physical therapy to restore bodily functions, the victim could claim hospital bills and other immediate medical costs as well as the projected costs of necessary future treatments for rehabilitation.
Proving the Extent of Damages in a TBI Lawsuit
Suffering a traumatic injury and developing a permanent disability as a result is a life-changing experience, and the psychological damage endured by severe TBI victims generally leads to substantial compensation. Ultimately, the more significant the change in the victim’s lifestyle following the TBI, the greater the potential recovery will be.
A plaintiff’s attorney will likely call on expert witnesses who can testify in support of the plaintiff’s claims. For example, if a plaintiff developed a permanent neurological disorder from a TBI, an expert witness with a background in neurology or psychology could help the court better understand the full extent of the plaintiff’s position. Expert witness testimony can verify claims of long-term damage and pain and suffering. Many people who suffer severe TBIs must rely on family members to take legal action on their behalf when a severe TBI incapacitates them or results in a permanent cognitive impairment. These individuals need compassion and support, and a personal injury lawsuit generally offers the best chances of economic recovery after a TBI caused by negligence.