Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most serious types of injuries that motorcyclists can suffer in collisions. Wearing a helmet can certainly minimize the severity of a brain injury. However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), helmets are only approximately 67 percent effective in preventing these injuries and just 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities.
A TBI can impact virtually every part of a person's life. Sometimes these impacts are short-term, while many are long-term. The long-term effects of a TBI can vary significantly from one person to the next based in part on the severity of the injury. Long-term TBI symptoms can be divided into the following categories:
Physical effects: This can include paralysis, spasticity, chronic pain, seizures, fatigue, sleep disorders and even hormonal changes.
Language and speech effects: These include aphasia (difficulty speaking and understanding, as well as reading and writing), slurred speech and changes in the speed of speech.
Cognitive effects: These can include memory problems, impulsiveness, confusion and distractibility.
Sensory effects: A person's vision, hearing, sense of taste, touch and smell can be impacted. They may have difficulty distinguishing between everyday objects, perceiving temperature, recognizing where their limbs are and judging distance. They may become intolerant to light (photophobia).
Behavioral effects: People who suffer a TBI may become aggressive, irritable and emotional. They may suffer from depression.
These are just some examples of the ways that a TBI can impact a person. People experiencing even a few of these effects over a long period can have difficulty holding any kind of job. Their relationships may suffer and they may have a difficult time functioning in society.
Therefore, it's essential that they get the medical and psychological care and therapy that they need to return to as normal a life as possible. If a TBI was caused by another person, such as an at-fault driver, it's essential that victims and their families work to seek the compensation needed for this care, as well as cover lost wages while the victim is unable to work.