A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can bring about significant changes in a patient’s life. These changes can be physical, psychological, and financial. With a strong support system and access to high-quality care, many TBI patients can make significant strides in their recoveries. As with any road to recovery, however, there can be bumps and potholes along the way. Learn what your journey forward may look like after sustaining a TBI.
Significant Impact on Health
Since TBIs involve the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord, they often have a significant impact on a patient’s physical and psychological well-being. This impact can vary in duration, but is typically long-term. The recovery timeline for a TBI may be measured in weeks, months, or years. Often, the rate of recovery from a TBI fades over time—patients often experience the most significant improvement in the period immediately after, or for a short time after, the initial accident. Then, progress slows, and recovery may never complete.
This is often truer for moderate to severe TBIs as opposed to mild ones. Many moderate to severe TBI patients experience some degree of the following symptoms for the remainder of their lives:
- Cognitive decline
- Personality changes
- Anxiety and/or depression
TBIs also increase the likelihood for neurological disorders down the line, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Therefore, it is probable that a TBI patient will live with the effects of their injury for the remainder of their life.
Adjustments in the Home
Treatment for a TBI does not end when the patient leaves the hospital. Often, TBI patients will need to make significant alterations to their home environment to support their new health needs. These alterations may include:
- Ramps: Sometimes, TBI patients will require the use of a walker or wheelchair. Most homes are not built to be handicap-accessible automatically, and so will need to be retrofitted with a ramp before or upon the patient’s return home from the hospital.
- Stair lifts: If a home has multiple stories, the stairs may need to be fitted with a lift so a TBI patient who has been handicapped can move around the home.
- Door widening: If a TBI patient has been confined to a wheelchair after their incident, some doors in their home may need to be reconstructed and widened to allow a wheelchair to pass.
It is not only physical alterations that may need to be made in the home. Often, familial relationships will need to be reevaluated as well. For example, if the TBI patient was the main provider for the family before their incident, the family may need to rethink who goes to work or performs duties in the home that the TBI patient can no longer do. Additionally, if a TBI patient must move back in with parents or children after their incident, it may take some time for the family to adjust to this new dynamic.
Uncertainties About Financial Situation
While many TBI patients cannot return to work as they did before their incident, some can. However, their return to work is often adjusted to meet their new health needs. For example, a TBI patient returning to work may return gradually in order to readjust, take more breaks throughout their shift, perform a different role, and so on.
Whether a TBI patient returns to work in a limited capacity, or not at all, there are likely to be significant changes in the patient’s financial situation. It is unlikely a TBI patient will be as financially stable after their incident as they were before it happened.
There are several routes that a TBI patient may take to regain some of the financial stability they had lost. For example, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to people who cannot work due to a long-term medical condition. However, sometimes government benefits do not provide enough income for a TBI patient to receive the high-quality medical treatment they may need for the rest of their life.
This is why it may be beneficial for a TBI patient or their family to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help them file an injury claim. If someone else’s reckless actions or negligence caused a TBI patient’s injury, then that patient may be able to recover significant compensation from the liable party that can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Eligibility for such compensation varies from person to person, so it’s in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney who can guide you through the process. At McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry, P.A., our New Mexico personal injury attorneys have helped countless catastrophic injury victims recover the compensation they need after a devastating accident. Find out if we can help you, too.
Call McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry, P.A. at (505) 405-4441 to schedule a free consultation.