Over the past decade, scientists, physicians, and the general public have come to both a greater understanding and appreciation of how traumatic brain injuries occur and the lasting damage that TBIs can cause. Prior to some of the major sports-related TBI scandals of the last decade or so, TBIs were rarely discussed in popular culture and in the media. Similarly, there were few significant efforts to prevent them, promptly diagnose them, and to rehabilitate patients who suffered from them unless these injuries were particularly severe. Nowadays, most Americans understand that even a relatively minor concussion can have lasting consequences.
Few people are more acutely aware of the significant challenges that TBI patients face than their caregivers are. New parents grappling with babies whose brains were deprived of oxygen in-utero or during a traumatic birth, parents of kids and teens who have suffered as a result of accidents, and parents, spouses, and other loved ones of adults who have been injured in this way all face significant obstacles in providing the best possible care for TBI victims. Thankfully, there are more resources and more information available on this subject than ever before. Although access to these tools does not eliminate many of the questions, concerns, and burdens that caregivers of TBI victims face, it does help to empower caregivers to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances.
The primary challenge that most TBI caregivers grapple with involves the advent of a “new normal” for both their loved one and the rest the family. This is true regardless of whether the recovery process associated with a given TBI is likely to resolve relatively quickly or will be a long-term reality. For example, TBI patients tend to suffer from headaches that may be aggravated by light. As a result, something as seemingly simple as keeping one’s home relatively darkened can become a logistical challenge and a reality that the whole family needs to adjust to. Similarly, TBI patients can become dizzy and disoriented without warning, so safety can become a real issue.
Additionally, the costs and time-intensive nature of addressing a TBI patient’s recovery journey can become overwhelming quite quickly. Although relatively minor concussions tend to resolve in a matter of days or weeks, many TBI challenges take months or years to resolve and may be permanent. It is, therefore, critical that caregivers of TBI victims seek any and all support that they may require from both the medical community and the community at large. When caregivers become overwhelmed, they both risk compromising their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those that they care for. Both national non-profit organizations – like the TBI Warrior Foundation – as well as local community resources can help to ensure that caregivers and TBI victims alike have access to whatever level of support they require.
It is also worth noting that there is a great deal of information and support available to both caregivers and TBI victims online and through social media. Entire virtual communities have sprung up in recent years with the aim of providing support to fellow TBI victims and their caregivers. These communities tend to create lists of resources from which caregivers can seek even more varied kinds of support.
It is precisely because recovering (to the fullest extent possible) and/or managing traumatic brain injuries tends to be a lengthy, costly, time-consuming process that it is critical for TBI victims and/or their caregivers to explore opportunities for legal recourse in the wake of sustaining injury. When those who cause TBIs are not held legally and/or financially accountable for their negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct, TBI victims and their caregivers are saddled with the costs associated with both injury and recovery. Too often, families affected by TBI don’t realize how much their “new normal” is costing them until medical bills, costs associated with rehab and/or management, and the impact of lost wages begins to impact their budgets in debilitating ways.
Most of the time, TBI victims and their families are able to take advantage of at least one type of legal recourse in the wake of an injury. Most commonly, families choose to pursue civil action via the personal injury claims process. This process allows families to seek compensation from those whose negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct contributed to the cause(s) of their loved one’s TBI. Additionally, most Americans who sustain TBIs as a result of work-related activities are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Unless the injured worker was drunk, high, starting a fight, or intentionally trying to get hurt at the time of injury, eligible employees qualify for these benefits no matter what the work-related circumstances were that led to their TBI.
If you are a caregiver of a traumatic brain injury victim, it is important to understand that your loved one may be owed significant compensation as a result of the harm they have suffered. If another’s reckless, negligent, or intentionally dangerous conduct contributed to your loved one’s injurious circumstances (regardless of whether your loved one contributed to those circumstances as well), they may be held accountable via a personal injury lawsuit. Similarly, if your loved one recently sustained a TBI while engaging in work-related activities, they may be owed significant workers’ compensation benefits.
Keep in mind that injury victims are only given “so long” under the law to file claims related to their injuries. As a result, you’ll want to schedule a free, risk-free, confidential consultation with our experienced legal team as quickly as possible. The sooner we can objectively evaluate your loved one’s situation, the sooner we can advise you of any and all legal options that are available to you. If you choose to move forward, we will do our utmost to secure your loved one the maximum amount of compensation to which they are rightfully entitled under the circumstances. We look forward to speaking with you.