Throughout the course of a typical day, an individual relies on his or her ability to take in and process information quickly and respond accordingly almost constantly. Additionally, one must be able to concentrate and pay attention to what’s going on and conversations one has and then be able to recall details from recent events and conversations almost instantaneously.

While these processes may sound complex, most of us don’t even think about what we’re doing. Our brains know what to do and these processes just come naturally. However, for an individual who has suffered a brain injury, these and many other normal brain functions may be slowed and inhibited.

A 52-year-old woman recently retold her harrowing story of what it’s like to live with a traumatic brain injury in front of a judge as she sought to ensure that the drunk driver who caused her injury received the maximum punishment.

The woman and her 58-year-old husband were hit by a drunk driver whose blood alcohol content level measured five times the legal limit. After the accident, the woman was initially diagnosed at the hospital as having suffered a concussion and sprained thumb. However, upon visiting another doctor, she learned her injuries were much more serious and that the impact of the crash fractured her skull and left her with a TBI.

In the immediate wake of the accident, the woman relayed to the judge that she suffered splitting headaches, double vision and extreme sensitivity to lights and sound. Today, she contends that her “short-term memory is pretty much gone,” and that she must rely on a ream of post-It notes to remember who she saw, details of conversations and what she did.

After roughly nine months, the woman was able to return to work as a teacher, but she claims her “injuries have jeopardized her career.” What’s more, costs associated with medical bills, rehabilitation treatments and lost wages have left the woman and her retired husband struggling to pay their monthly bills.

These are the sobering and stark realities of what it’s like to live with a brain injury. For New York City residents who have suffered a brain injury due to a medical error or involvement in a motor vehicle accident, an attorney can provide legal advice and may be able to assist in the recovery of compensation.

Source: Berkeley Patch, “Saturday Read: Life After The Crash — A New Normal For Couple Hit By Drunk Driver,” Patricia A. Miller, July 11, 2015