While physically painful, with time, injuries like tissue damage and broken bones do heal. The same, however, is not true for an individual who suffers a traumatic brain injury who may continue to experience negative side effects for weeks, months or years. That’s because damage suffered to the brain is permanent and while some side effects of an injury may improve or dissipate over time, others may never go away. For individuals and their loved ones, coping with the many and often significant resulting changes to one’s personal and professional life can be extremely challenging.

For TBI sufferers symptoms of so-called “invisible indicators” like confusion, disordered thinking, difficulty processing information, memory loss and a short attention span are common and can interfere with an individual’s ability to work and live a happy and fulfilling life. What’s more, the severity of these symptoms is often exacerbated by feelings of frustration, anxiety and depression.

For some TBI sufferers, emotional and behavioral changes are also apparent and can adversely impact an individual’s relationships with family members, friends and co-workers. When the portion of the brain that controls impulses is damaged, an individual may say or do things that seem inappropriate and out-of-character. For example, a previously sensitive and open-minded individual may say hurtful and insensitive things without even realizing that he or she is doing so.

Everything changes after a TBI and for individuals who are either directly or indirectly impacted, life is never the same. In cases where an individual’s injuries were caused due to negligence, legal action may be taken to recover compensation. While nothing can undo the damage that’s been done, compensatory damages may be awarded to aid in easing financial burdens associated with medical treatments, rehabilitation, lost wages and disability.

Source: Brainline.org, “Cognitive Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury,” Dawn Neumann, PhD and Anthony Lequerica, PhD, June 25, 2015