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Memory Loss Is a Devastating Effect of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Memory Loss Is a Devastating Effect of Traumatic Brain InjuriesTraumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have serious and lasting effects on the victim and their family. While mobility issues and cognitive decline are often cited as the most severe, memory loss is especially devastating. Not only can TBIs affect a person’s ability to live a “normal” life, but it can also take an emotional toll on the victim and family members.

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), an organization focused on gathering data on severe injuries, highlights that even a mild TBI can significantly impact various types of memory, especially when injuries go untreated. They define four distinct categories of memory loss:

  • Long-term memory: A TBI jeopardizing long-term memory can pose significant challenges in creating and retaining new memories. Everyday tasks, including fulfilling Atlanta job responsibilities, become serious obstacles for individuals grappling with long-term memory loss.
  • Short-term memory: Short-term memory loss, a common consequence of brain injuries, hampers seemingly routine activities. Forgetting items like house keys or the day’s events becomes frustrating, often making victims unreliable in work and family duties. This can lead to loss of work and damage to family structure.
  • Prospective memory: Responsible for remembering tasks like medication schedules or refueling a vehicle, prospective memory can be compromised by a brain injury. Daily routines transform into struggles, affecting the individual’s ability to navigate daily life seamlessly.
  • Memory of the injury: Many survivors of brain injuries struggle with memory loss related to the accident itself. The inability to recall details of the incident can be particularly problematic when filing injury claims. Providing consistent and accurate statements becomes challenging, hindering legal proceedings. However, if victims seek prompt medical attention, after their injury event, the medical documentation of their TBI will provide official context as to the reason for their memory loss.

The link between TBI and dementia

According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, there is a clear connection between head injuries and the risk of dementia. The study reveals that having a head injury is linked to a 25% increased risk of dementia, compared to individuals without a history of head injury. However, having multiple r head injuries can increase the risk of dementia by 100%. In total, 9.5% of dementia cases in the study population could be attributed to at least one previous head injury.

There have also been numerous studies about the links between head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which often presents with memory loss. While science has not yet determined how head injuries lead to CTE, the Mayo Clinic posits that it may be related to “second impact syndrome, in which a second head injury happens before previous head injury symptoms have fully resolved.”

Factoring memory loss into damages

When grappling with memory loss after a TBI, the victim’s tangible losses extend beyond medical bills. Memory loss is more than trivial missteps that we all make from time to time, like  forgetting where you left your keys; memory loss can develop into forgetting how to navigate through life.

For example, anomia is the cognitive disorder that often underlies memory loss. This disorder obstructs word retrieval, particularly nouns, like names of family, friends and co-workers as well as necessary job items. Its impact on communication underscores the multifaceted challenges of memory loss, significantly affecting daily functioning and social interactions.

Imagine being unable to drive because you lose the memory of how to operate a vehicle safely. Picture being at your place of work, frozen, unable to recall the tasks and skills necessary to perform your job. This is the stark reality for many TBI victims.

Memory loss is a profound disruption that reshapes every facet of a victim and their families lives. Thus, when assessing damages in the wake of TBIs, your experienced Atlanta TBI attorney will consider the extensive repercussions of memory loss on an individual’s ability to function in the world, and factor that into the compensation you are owed by the liable party, including:

  • Lost income: Compensation for job loss due to memory loss, covering ongoing financial needs and future earning potential.
  • Medical expenses: Coverage for rehabilitation, ongoing treatment, and associated medical bills.
  • Support services: Reimbursement for caregiving, physical, occupational and emotional therapy, and home modifications to aid in coping with memory loss challenges.

What noneconomic damages can be pursued as a result of memory loss from TBI?

The hardships and emotional toll caused by memory loss associated with brain injuries will be factored into your noneconomic damages. It is not just about immediate repercussions but also the enduring challenges that victims and their families will experience for years after a TBI. From communication struggles to learning impairments, memory loss may present challenging obstacles to TBI victims.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an incident leading to a TBI, seek prompt medical attention first. Next, get the experienced Atlanta TBI attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP on your side to handle legal matters while your family focuses on recovery. With well over $500,000,000 in verdicts and settlements, we are ready to fight for yours or your loved one’s rights after a TBI. We maintain an additional office in Savannah and proudly serve all of Georgia. Call or complete our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

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