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Long-Term Side Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

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Posted on March 13, 2023

The brain is responsible for the function of nearly all of our body systems. Despite the protection of cushiony fluid and a bony skull, the highly delicate nature of brain tissue leaves humans vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries ranging from mild to catastrophic depending on the severity and location of the injury. Around 176 Americans die from traumatic brain injuries each day, and survivors may suffer long-term negative consequences.

The effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can take months or years of targeted therapies to overcome and some impacts are permanent, with lifelong impairment as a result.

If you or a loved one was injured and suffered a traumatic brain injury, it’s critical to have an understanding of the amount of time, type of care, and expense that may result from this type of injury, especially if you’re seeking to recover damages after a TBI resulting from the negligence or fault of someone else.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Although traumatic brain injuries vary in their location, severity, and impact, a TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. TBIs typically result from a direct blow to the head, a bump, or a sudden jolting motion that causes the brain to jostle, twist, or bump against the inside of the skull. If bruising, swelling, pressure, or tearing damage delicate brain tissue, the brain cells die and cannot regenerate, resulting in an alteration of brain function that can be mild or severe, temporary, or permanent.

Even the mildest TBI—a slight concussion—can have long-term impacts doctors are only just beginning to understand, especially when a person suffers them repeatedly, such as boxers, football players, and other athletes. Common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Falls
  • Acts of violence

Understanding the Long-Term Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injuries

While mild TBIs, such as a single mild concussion, may cause no known lingering or lasting side effects, moderate to severe brain injuries can cause long-term impacts or permanent impairment and disability. Serious TBIs can leave “polytrauma” or negative impacts on multiple body functions. Effects depend on the location of the injury in the brain as well as the severity. Damage to the left side of the brain often causes:

  • Speech disability
  • Logic problems
  • Difficulty understanding spoken language

When damage occurs on the right side of the brain the following difficulties occur:

  • Trouble processing visual information
  • Inability to perform routine tasks

When the frontal lobe of the brain is injured the victim may suffer severe long-term problems with the following:

  • Mood changes
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Planning problems
  • Reasoning difficulties
  • Acting in inappropriate ways or with risky behaviors

Long-Term Challenges After a Brain Injury

Damage to any part of the brain can also cause a variety of other, less specific long-term symptoms including the following:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in vision
  • Balance difficulties
  • Memory loss
  • Language and speech problems

Many aspects of daily life that were once routine, including work, household tasks, and personal hygiene can become much more challenging after a brain injury. Skills that were taken for granted before the accident can be difficult to remaster and may require extensive therapies to rebuild, requiring the brain to forge new pathways around damaged tissue. Over time, many people improve with continued therapy, but some victims face permanent challenges and lasting disabilities after a traumatic brain injury. An experienced San Diego brain injury lawyer can help you recover if you’ve suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Contact us here for a free consultation.