You might think that everything will be back to normal after you complete the treatment your doctor ordered for your head injury, but there are potential long-term effects of head injuries. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can include a mild concussion to a skull fracture or penetration of the skull, and everything in-between. Because head injuries disrupt the function of the brain, the patient could experience problems that last far longer than the initial treatment.
A California brain injury attorney could help you hold the negligent person who caused your head injury responsible for the physical and financial consequences of this type of harm. Your lawyer might use expert witnesses to evaluate and determine the prognosis for your situation and how the brain injury is likely to affect your life.
Long-Term Effects of a Head Injury
The Mayo Clinic says that the patient can develop issues immediately, soon after the accident, or even years later. Regardless of when the complications appear, they can be long-lasting. Here are some of the ongoing adverse outcomes a person can experience after a brain injury:
- Altered states of consciousness, like vegetative state or minimally conscious state. When a person has been in a coma for several days or weeks, he can slip into one of these states. In a vegetative state, the person might make sounds, move, or even open his eyes, but be unaware of his surroundings. A person in a minimally conscious state has some awareness of self or the surroundings but is unconscious.
- Seizures can begin shortly after a head injury or years later. Some people develop post-traumatic epilepsy, which are recurring bouts of seizures.
- Chronic headaches are common after a head injury. For some people, this painful problem lasts for several months, while other people suffer from debilitating headaches for many years.
- Vertigo, a severe form of dizziness, can last for a long time after a head injury.
- The location of the brain tissue damage can affect the type of impairment the person experiences. For example, if the cranial nerves get damaged from a blow to the base of the skull, the person can suffer a loss of vision, hearing, and the senses of taste and smell. The facial muscles can get paralyzed. Ringing in the ears and difficulty swallowing can also result.
- The patient can face a lifetime of cognitive problems, affecting memory, thinking, attention, learning, and the ability to solve problems.
- Speech and language can get disrupted, making it challenging for the person to speak, write, participate in conversations, or understand what others say.
- Some people experience personality changes after a head injury. Friends and relatives might report that the patient seems like a different person. The individual might develop anger management issues, have physical or verbal outbursts, take unreasonable risks, and struggle with self-control. These problems often lead to a break-down in relationships, which can cause isolation and an increase in undesired behaviors.
- Psychological problems, like depression, irritability, and anxiety, can develop after a head injury.
- Some researchers think that head injuries could lead to degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, particularly if the individual had a severe TBI or has experienced more than one head injury.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our California brain injury attorneys can help determine the value of a claim for compensation for a head injury, factoring in both the immediate and the long-term consequences.