What to Know if Your Loved One Incurs a Brain Injury
When your spouse or family member is injured in a serious car accident, you are likely feeling overwhelmed with both relief that they survived, and stress at the prospect of helping them recover from their injuries. If your loved one incurred a brain injury in the crash, below are facts you should know to prepare you for what you may encounter during their recovery and how you can best support them. In order to ensure that you are able to offer the best possible medical care and rehabilitation you can while still ensuring that you are able to keep up with other daily responsibilities, enlist the services of a compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury attorney to pursue a claim for medical expenses, lost work, and pain and suffering on your loved one’s behalf.
- Brain injuries are common, and should be treated with care
Experts estimate that some 5.3 million people nationwide are affected by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can occur across a broad spectrum of severity, with the mildest and most common form of TBI being concussions. Even those with mild TBIs should seek medical treatment and rehabilitation, in order to prevent long-term effects from the injury. It is not always clear that someone has suffered a concussion, so it’s important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident to allow a doctor to do a full assessment.
- Your loved one may experience temporary changes in behavior, personality, and physical abilities
Concussions and other TBIs can often cause differences in the way the victim’s brain works. For example, many people who experience brain injuries are more easily agitated and frustrated. They might have difficulty remembering things, paying attention to conversations, or learning new things. Some brain injuries result in a difficulty speaking, or understanding others when they speak. TBI victims may have trouble with muscle coordination, difficulty sleeping, and sensory problems (i.e., seeing, hearing, touching, etc.). These individuals may also have more difficulty controlling their emotions, experience mood swings, and exhibit more aggressive behavior than normal. In most cases, these changes are temporary, but in cases of more serious injury, they can be permanent.
- Caring for a family member with a TBI will require patience and perseverance
Caregivers for TBI victims may have a great deal asked of them during a loved one’s recovery period. Not only will you have the task of taking care of your family member’s physical needs and any additional injuries they experienced in the accident, but you will also be doing so for someone who may not be acting like themselves, or who is having difficulty with speech or understanding. Research shows that families who remain flexible to changed circumstances, who view this recovery period as a challenge to be overcome rather than a curse, and who communicate clearly and openly, tend to cope best.
Even if your family member seems to be speaking normally, their brain is likely not moving as fast immediately after an injury. Try to speak clearly and in short sentences. Allow your loved one time to find the right words to say when they seem to be struggling, and offer help only if they seem to be getting frustrated. Take note of tasks or situations where your loved one becomes extra frustrated, and try to limit these situations. Offer a notepad for your loved one to use to write things down while they’re still working on getting the full strength of their memory back. Ensure that your loved one rests often and sticks to the rehabilitation plan prescribed by the doctor.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Virginia car accident, contact the experienced Charlottesville personal injury law firm Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz for a free consultation, at 434-977-7977.