What Are the Short- and Long-Term Effects of a TBI?

When an accident leaves you incapacitated, regaining your health is your priority. However, some conditions, like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), may have lasting effects. Approximately a quarter of individuals who experience head injuries are left with some degree of disability.

In 2021, over 69,000 TBI-related fatalities were recorded, or approximately 190 deaths every day. Whether you or a family member has been diagnosed with a TBI following a personal injury accident, understanding the short- and long-term effects can help you know what to expect.

Our compassionate Missouri traumatic brain injury lawyers at Cofman Townsley can support you on the road to recovery, assess your damages, and file a personal injury claim so you get the financial help you need.

An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury

A TBI is a form of brain damage caused by sudden trauma or impact to the head. It disrupts the brain’s normal functioning, which can result in long-lasting neurological and psychological effects.

TBIs can be classified into three categories:

Mild TBI or ConcussionMinor car accidents or slips and falls.Often results in a brief change in mental state or cognitive performance. Symptoms can be subtle and may not appear immediately.
Moderate TBIMore severe car accidents and falls from a moderate height.Results in longer periods of unconsciousness or memory issues after the injury. The impact is more significant, and recovery may require extensive rehabilitation.  
Severe TBISevere motor vehicle crashes or falls from significant heights.Typically involves an extended period of unconsciousness or a deep coma after the injury. This level can result in permanent brain damage or life-altering complications.

Immediate Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury

Following a TBI, individuals often encounter a range of short-term effects in the hours, days, and weeks after the accident that can disrupt daily life:

  • Loss of Consciousness: This can range from being briefly disoriented to extended periods of unconsciousness.
  • Headaches: Persistent pain in the head or neck area can interfere with concentration and daily activities.
  • Confusion and Disorientation: Difficulty in thinking clearly, understanding conversations, or remembering new information is common.
  • Dizziness and Balance Problems: These issues can lead to difficulty in maintaining physical coordination.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: This is a common physical reaction, especially shortly after the injury.
  • Fatigue or Drowsiness: Feeling more tired than usual or needing more sleep is another symptom.
  • Blurred Vision or Ringing in the Ears: Sensory disturbances can occur, affecting sight and hearing.
  • Sensitivity to Light and Sound: Bright lights and loud noises can become bothersome or even painful.
  • Memory or Concentration Issues: Short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating are common.
  • Emotional Symptoms: Feelings of anxiety, depression, worry, or fear may occur.

Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

Unfortunately, TBIs often leave a lasting impact, the severity of which varies depending on the extent of the injury. These far-reaching consequences can alter your daily routine, relationships, and how you view yourself.

Here’s a closer look at some of these long-term effects:

  • Persistent Cognitive Deficits: Struggles with memory, concentration, and decision-making can make everyday tasks challenging. This might affect your job performance or ability to manage daily responsibilities.
  • Mood Changes: Experiencing sudden mood swings, bouts of depression, or anxiety is common. These emotional fluctuations can strain relationships and make social interactions more difficult.
  • Communication Challenges: If you find it harder to speak or understand others, it can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations, impacting personal and professional relationships.
  • Physical Impairments: Dealing with coordination problems can affect your mobility, making activities you once enjoyed more challenging or even impossible.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Issues like insomnia or persistent fatigue can affect energy levels and your overall health and mood, making it more challenging to cope with other effects of the TBI.
  • Behavioral Changes: You might notice changes in your personality or social behavior, which can be confusing and hard to explain to others, potentially leading to social isolation.

Rehabilitation and Coping Strategies for Survivors and Family Members

If you or a loved one has experienced a recent TBI, rehabilitation can support your recovery journey. This often involves a dedicated team, including neurologists and therapists, who work closely with you to develop a personalized recovery plan. Physical therapy can help you regain strength and motor skills, while cognitive therapy can help with challenges related to memory and concentration.

For family members of a TBI survivor, participating in support groups or family counseling can provide emotional support and practical caregiving tips. This can include strategies like implementing a consistent routine, helping the survivor use memory aids, and modifying the family home for safety to help everyone adapt to the changes brought on by the TBI.

Get Fair Compensation for a Personal Injury TBI

If you receive a TBI diagnosis after a personal injury accident, you deserve fair compensation for your short- and long-term damages. Our qualified personal injury lawyers will account for immediate medical expenses, therapy costs, and longer-term losses like earning potential and rehabilitative care so you receive the maximum settlement possible. 

We can help you win compensation that reflects the extent of the TBI’s impact on your life and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation.