Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are life-changing for victims. TBIs happen for many reasons, including auto and truck collisions, slips and falls, bicycling incidents, motorcycle crashes, and other causes. Pedestrians may suffer a TBI if they are struck by a car. Some brain injury victims never fully recover. Many TBI victims do find a way to have a quality life – with extensive rehabilitation, self-care, and support from family and friends.
A few stories from several healthcare and support organizations illustrate the struggles and triumphs of brain injury patients. These and many other TBI stories are posted on Brain Injury Peer Visitor, a nonprofit organization that offers in-person support visits for TBI victims whose injuries are due to car wrecks, cerebral palsy, falls, sports injuries, strokes, surgery, and other causes.
Ann – A car wreck survivor
Ann is a former elementary school teacher and a corporate executive who suffered her TBI in 1998 in a car collision. Due to her injuries, she was not able to work because of chronic pain and memory loss. Her difficulties were both physical and emotional. She worked to improve her health and was instrumental in starting the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association.
Ann said that she did not even know that she had a brain injury until a year after her car accident. None of her doctors told her she might have a TBI. One neurologist said she had “post-concussive syndrome.” She realized she could not do many things after the collision (she had multiple injuries from the collision) but did not link them to a brain injury. She does credit her doctors for giving her life back.
She said her physiatrist helped her understand her physical injuries and how they were all interrelated. Several neuropsychiatrists helped her understand that she was not crazy – that many of her symptoms and behavioral changes were common for a TBI patient. Support groups also helped.
Ann indicated that it took her years to accept the “new her” and to raise her children – three of whom now work in the healthcare profession. Her advice to TBI patients who become depressed is to “push the envelope.” Identify the things you can do and eliminate the things you cannot. Helping others also helps yourself.
Anne – A cycling incident victim
Anne’s TBI occurred due to a cycling incident. She said the injury caused three types of problems – cognitive, functional, and emotional – that affected her career, her ability as a parent, her social connections, and her self-esteem.
Anne emphasized in her story that the contradictions are difficult to deal with. As a TBI patient, you had a high-energy life which has now been slowed and is frustrating. You can be bright and aware, but it is hard to “get out of your paralysis.” She said it took three years and slow progress for her life to improve. She indicated that in addition to the symptoms, your life is “compromised.” It is easy to blame yourself instead of the injury, plus there is a lot of uncertainty, which can make it difficult to cope.
The people who posted their stories had many different types of life-changing incidents and injuries:
- One young woman fell off a retaining wall;
- Another victim fell from his seven-foot loft bed;
- A man suffered a TBI after a head-on collision;
- Many TBI victims telling their stories were in car wrecks, and many of these crashes were head-on crashes;
- A TBI victim was in a truck accident followed by being in a coma for six months.
Many of the victims discuss their experiences online and write articles and books to help others with TBI injuries.
The lawyers at Harris Lowry Manton LLP are experienced personal injury lawyers. We represent victims who have catastrophic and permanent injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and amputations. We work with your doctors and therapists to understand and verify all the medical care you should need – for the rest of your life.
We demand that all liable parties cover your medical expenses (past and future), your income loss if you can’t work or become disabled, and any other applicable damages such as punitive damage. We explain each phase of the litigation process, to support you with care at every stage.
Call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or fill out our contact page to schedule an appointment with our experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers. We’ve obtained many high-figure awards for our clients and have a passion for fighting on behalf of TBI victims.
One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
Read more about Jeffrey R. Harris here.