Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is by no means a homogeneous classification of injuries. While a broken bone or torn ligament follows a relatively streamlined path from injury to recovery, the brain is far more complex. The complexity of the brain as an organ means that there is very little similarity and extreme unpredictability when it comes to recovery among individuals who suffer damage. While some experience temporary impairment of brain function after brain injury, others may experience long-term complications, permanent disability, and even death. Some TBI sufferers notice symptoms of a problem immediately or soon after the acute event. Others notice signs of a brain injury weeks or even months down the line. The specific type of brain injury will not determine the exact prognosis for recovery either. In fact, damage in the same area of the brain can affect two people in entirely different ways.
Recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury
The effects of a TBI can touch nearly every aspect of a person’s life. Depending on the type and extent of injury, the location of said injury, and other elements applicable to the individual case, a person may experience physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral side effects after a traumatic brain injury. Some die from injuries involving TBI, as did over 56,000 people in 2014. Among those who survive brain injuries, the consequences can be temporary, lasting several days or weeks, or life-long. Broadly speaking, traumatic brain injuries may cause problems with:
- Sensory perception: vision, hearing, taste, smell
- Balance and coordination
- Cognition (thinking) and learning
- Speech and language processing
- Personality and behavior: impulsivity, agitation
- Mood and emotions: anger, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Some of these changes may resolve in the months and years after injury, while others can have lasting effects. It is difficult to predict the exact trajectory of a person’s recovery after TBI for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most important thing that is needed to further understand the long-term effects of brain injuries is additional research. Beyond that, the specific form of brain injury can affect each individual in a different way. Further, secondary conditions such as bleeding and increased intracranial pressure, manifests distinctly and to a greater or lesser extent in each individual. The person’s age and physical state at the time of their injury is also a significant factor in determining recovery. For example, newborns who suffer brain damage before their brains have completely developed may require lifelong medical care and a variety of treatments and therapies to address the effects.
Healthcare Providers in the TBI Recovery Process
Since brain injuries are highly variable, the resulting issues that a person experiences and the necessary functions they need to address through rehabilitation are diverse. Children, adults, and the elderly may need to work toward improved function in a broad range of areas. Depending on the unique challenges of the person with a TBI, they may engage the services of a variety of therapists and treatment professionals, including:
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) doctors: also known as physiatrists, specialize in the treatment and management of a brain injuries and other conditions. These physicians are trained to manage a person’s medical condition throughout the rehabilitation process
- Physical therapists: assist with movement, balance, and coordination
- Occupational therapists: aid with learning, improving functional skills, and performance of daily activities
- Speech and language pathologist: help with communication skills
- Psychologist: deals with emotional and personality effects of brain injury
Seeking Compensation for Brain Injury Recovery in New Jersey
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be catastrophic for individuals and their families. For those with severe TBI, long-term rehabilitation may be needed to help improve function and quality of life. As for those with moderate TBI, the physical challenges and mental harm cannot be underestimated. When a negligent medical professional, driver, property owner, product manufacturer, or other party is responsible for your TBI, the law provides you with options. You may be able to obtain compensation to cover the costs of medical expenses, lost income, long-term rehabilitation, and the pain and suffering you have been forced to bear after being injured.
To learn more about the legal avenues available to brain injury victims in New Jersey and discuss the possibility of your claim, contact our experienced New Jersey Brain Injury Attorneys today at (973)-435-4551 or fill out the form below to request a free consultation.