Traumatic brain injuries can be debilitating and have a serious impact on the entire family.
Traumatic brain injuries — commonly called TBIs — can happen in any number of ways. Anytime a person’s head is struck by an object (or their head strikes an object), a TBI can result. It can happen in a slip and fall, a bike accident, a car, truck or bus accident, while playing sports, in a workplace incident, or even during a violent assault.
Approximately 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries in a given year. While the severity of a TBI can vary greatly, even mild TBIs can have lasting effects on both the victim and his or her loved ones.
The first concern after an accident is how the victim is doing. If a person has suffered any type of brain injury, they should seek medical care immediately — and seek compensation for their injuries wherever possible. However, one aspect of TBIs that many people overlook is how it can affect the people closest to the victim — their family and friends.
How Families Are Impacted
Traumatic brain injuries often require long-term medical care and rehabilitation. They may require hospitalization, ongoing care at a rehab facility, specialized medical equipment at home, and even round-the-clock care from medical professionals.
Even if medical care is being provided by professional staff, family members often fall into the role of caregivers for their injured spouse, sibling, parent, child, or another loved one. This can be a heavy burden on a family as they struggle to meet ongoing responsibilities of their own on top of taking care of a loved one who has been hurt. Think of it this way: a wife whose husband has suffered a TBI now has to take care of her own responsibilities, such as work and childcare, in addition to those of her husband, who is now not able to take of his share of the family workload. This may mean being the only parent to take the kids to sports games and practices, to and from school, or taking them to the doctor. It often means being the only adult doing basic household chores—including mowing the grass, shopping for and cooking food, doing the laundry, and more. It can be a tremendous physical burden on a family member.
But beyond the actual physical necessities, in the aftermath of a TBI, many family members find themselves coping with emotional or mental health issues. Many victims of TBIs suffer from depression or other mental health issues that can impact the entire family. This can increase the difficulty of caring for a loved one who may be angry, anxious, or even violent as a result of his or her injury. The family members may themselves be mourning the loss of the person that they once knew and the life that they used to live. On top of helping their loved one recover from their injury, this can be incredibly difficult.
The family may also be struggling financially after a traumatic brain injury. The victim may never be able to work again, and the medical expenses involved in caring for a person with a TBI can be significant (including therapies, special equipment, appointments, surgeries, and mental health care). Family members may be unable to work (or to work full-time) to care for the victim, adding further strain to the family’s finances.
Understand how a TBI impacts the entire family is crucial to getting the fullest possible recovery in a lawsuit for an accident involving a brain injury. It often isn’t enough to simply get medical coverage or lost wages for the person who was hurt; it may require seeking additional damages to help the family navigate the situation for years to come. That is why it is so important to seek out an attorney who has specific experience in handling personal injury cases involving traumatic brain injuries. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we understand how a TBI can impact an entire family physically, mentally and financially. We will work hard to ensure that you recover fully for your losses. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment at no cost or obligation to you.