The unpredictableness of traumatic brain injuries

One of the worst things about a traumatic brain injury is its unpredictability. Patients may continue to experience repercussions years after an injury.

The statistics are sobering and affect many Texas residents. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that in 2013, about 2.8 million people in the United States experienced a traumatic brain injury. Often, a brain injury means having disabilities for life. It can mean struggling with memory, speech, movement and much more. A brain injury can also mean death; about 50,000 people in 2013 died due to TBI-related causes. However, one of the worst things about TBI is living with the unpredictability that brain injuries bring.

The recovery process

Some TBIs are mild; others are severe. Those that are mild sometimes accumulate so that the net effect is that of a serious injury.

Each TBI case is unique. For instance, a doctor cannot look at a patient who is in a coma and say with certainty, "She will be fairly alert when she wakes up. However, you can expect her language, thinking and emotion to be affected." There is just no way to know these things, and that is true regardless if the TBI was sustained in a car accident, in a fall or in another way.

In fact, TBI can make a person more prone to having diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and it may lead to epilepsy. Of course, these potential outcomes or other potential outcomes sometimes take quite a while to manifest.

Another factor that potentially complicates recovery from a TBI is whether a patient has a pre-existing medical condition such as migraines or neurological issues. After a TBI, pre-existing depression can worsen, causing a domino effect.

Working with the medical care team

It is imperative that patients with TBI and their families work with medical care teams to facilitate the best recovery possible. For example, parents should give their children with TBI only the medications approved by their doctor. If a doctor says to avoid certain activities, the patient certainly should.

At the end of the day, though, patients often follow all orders exactly and do not recover to a point anywhere close to where they were to before the injury occurred.

Financial compensation helps

Many parts of dealing with a TBI are emotional. An injury may directly affect a person's ability to monitor emotions, for one thing, and there are indirect effects. As an example, not being able to work may cause a person to lose self-esteem and spiral into depression. Relationship breakups can also wreak further havoc with a person's emotional, mental and physical functioning.

Seeking the help of an attorney in Texas to get financial compensation for a TBI might help in a patient's recovery. It can help by adding more financial resources and by giving patients and their families a sense of taking action.