When your phone rings and a Delaware police officer is on the other end informing you that your loved one was in a car accident, it’s an unsettling experience. It can also be a life-changing event, especially if your family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of a motor vehicle collision.
Whether your loved one is your son or daughter, or a spouse or parent, the first step to providing care after a brain injury is to learn as much as possible about his or her specific condition. Even a minor TBI can have far-reaching, adverse effects.
Blunt force trauma from the impact of a crash often causes brain injuries
If another vehicle hit the car that your loved one was driving or traveling in as a passenger, his or her head might have been struck against a hard surface inside the vehicle upon impact. This is a common cause of TBI. If the force of the crash caused your loved one’s head to be thrust forward and back or twisted or shaken in any way, this, too, could have resulted in an injury to the brain.
The location, size and severity of your loved one’s brain injury helps his or her medical team to make a prognosis, meaning a prediction about what type of recovery you can expect. Sadly, some brain injuries result in permanent disabilities, which would also have an impact on the type of care you provide.
Rebuilding neuropathways in the brain after a TBI
As you help your loved one recover from a TBI, he or she may need to re-learn how to do certain things, such as use a fork to feed himself or herself or perform daily hygiene tasks. While your instinct may be to do these tasks for your loved one, studies show that independent and repetitive activities help rebuild neuropathways in the brain.
This means it is typically best to allow your loved one to do whatever he or she is able to do during recovery. If someone else is doing everything for a patient with a TBI, it is less likely that the brain will be stimulated enough to recover.
When medical expenses cause financial distress after a car accident
Helping a loved one recover from a traumatic brain injury caused by a motor vehicle collision can be difficult and emotionally upsetting. If another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior caused your family member’s injury, it can intensify your frustration and emotional stress.
Beyond that, medical bills that may be piling up can add financial strain to an already tense situation. Many families are able to obtain financial recovery for their losses by filing a personal injury claim against the person deemed responsible for the collision that resulted in a family member’s TBI.