You may be the kind of person who likes to feel ready for the future. You make plans, research your options and prepare for whatever contingencies may arise, whether it is for your next vacation or your retirement goals. One thing you did not plan for, however, was the accident that resulted in your loved one’s brain injury.
The good news is that medical science continues to learn new and better ways to help those who suffer from this potentially devastating injury. The bad news is that science still knows relatively little about how the brain works and how an injury may affect an accident victim’s life. Nevertheless, those who suffer from brain injuries often have similar outcomes and complaints.
What can I expect?
There are simply too many variables to make blanket statements about how a brain injury will affect your loved one. The severity of the injury, the area of the brain involved, the age and overall health of your loved one are just a few of the factors doctors will consider when making a prognosis. Because the brain controls every system in the body, you may notice deficits in any of these areas:
- Physical abilities, such as balance or coordination, mobility, or muscle strength
- Cognitive abilities like concentration, understanding the written word, making decisions and learning
- Communication, including writing, speaking, controlling the volume of one’s voice, expressing ideas or understanding what others say
- Emotional stability that helps control anger, frustration, self-esteem, thinking of others and feelings of depression
- Behavior, such as controlling anger, sexual urges, emotional outbursts, and the impulse to abuse drugs or alcohol
- Socialization, including the fact that others may be uncomfortable if the brain injury affects your loved one’s behavior
Your loved one may also experience headaches or other pain, muscle spasms or seizures, loss or increase in appetite, insomnia, or other difficulties. Some of these challenges may improve over time, but others may be permanent or require intense therapy to overcome.
You can take comfort in the fact that there are resources available to provide rehabilitation and teach coping mechanisms so your loved one can live the highest quality life possible. However, these are not free, and you may worry about the already mounting medical bills. You may wonder if there is a way to hold responsible those whose negligence or recklessness caused your loved one’s injury. By consulting a skilled Virginia attorney, you may find the answers to your questions and guidance in taking the next step.