Life After a Brain Injury: The New Normal

Life after a brain injury is complex and uncertain, especially when the injury is severe. Even in the case of a concussion, the impacts can be long-lasting. It is imperative that anyone who has this type of injury takes their time trying to heal so they can have the best outcome possible.

Many factors affect the type of impact the victim will have after the accident. More serious effects can mean the person is unable to work, might need personal care assistance and could require extensive medical care.

Immediate days after the accident

The days following a brain injury are often frightening. There is a chance that the person will have to be hospitalized, especially when the injury is extensive. Bleeding on the brain is possible. This could require the victim to have a pressure monitor placed, which is done using a surgical procedure that implants a sensor in the skull. If the pressure increases to an unsafe level, the person would need further surgical intervention.

A person who doesn't require hospitalization, such as someone who has a concussion, will have to be monitored closely at home. Any signs that their condition is worsening will require them to go back to the doctor. This can include loss of consciousness, dizziness, changes in mood, nausea or vomiting, a persistent headache or loss of ability to communicate.

Life in the long term

Since damage to the brain isn't usually outwardly noticeable, people might assume that the victim is healed long before they truly are. It can take weeks, months or even years to fully recover. Doctors will often prescribe brain rest to help give the person the best recovery possible.

Brain rest means doing as little thinking or cognitive activities as possible. Even things like watching television are likely going to be off-limits or severely limited. The need for brain rest probably means the person can't go back to work right away.

The entire family will be impacted by the drastic life changes. Not being able to work can negatively affect the budget. Mood swings and changes in abilities can be hard for some family members to understand, especially young children.

Seeking compensation can help the victim and their family members cope with the financial aspects of the accident. A civil lawsuit also aims to hold the person, or parties, who caused the accident accountable for their negligence or recklessness.