In the weeks and months after someone suffers a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an auto accident, it is not unusual for friends and family to find that something has changed. The TBI survivor is not how they used to be. They might be more outgoing, moody or blunt. It can almost seem like a different personality has taken over the person’s body.
Personality changes are a relatively rare side effect of a TBI, but they do happen. Damage to the frontal lobe or other parts of the brain can permanently affect things like memory, mood, impulse control, concentration and emotional restraint. Someone who used to be quiet and calm before their car accident can develop a hair-trigger temper and a habit of being “honest” with people to the point of rudeness. A poor short-term memory or trouble handling multiple tasks at once can cost them their jobs and their independence.
Not the victim’s fault
As a writer recently explained in an article about her mother’s 2000 car accident and subsequent personality changes, these differences are not the patient’s fault. They are due to major brain injuries. Like all TBI symptoms, they might improve over time, or they might not. Whatever the future is, they and their loved ones may have to make major adjustments to adapt.
However, the victim of a significant TBI should not have to bear the financial burden of their disability when it was the result of someone else’s negligence while driving. Whether caused by speeding, distracted or drunk driving or some other preventable cause, brain trauma might entitle you and your family to substantial compensation for your lost wages, reduced quality of life, medical bills and so forth.