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A car crash, long-term effects of TBI and learning to cope

After falls, vehicle crashes represent the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.

Even a concussion, a mild form of TBI, can have lingering effects. A more severe case of brain damage can require lifelong care and the patient must learn how to cope with certain limitations.

Understanding TBI

There are two forms of traumatic brain injury. The open form refers to an injury whereby a foreign object penetrates the skull and lodges in the brain. The much more common closed form occurs because of a bump to the head. After suffering TBI, brain cells or neurons begin trying to repair themselves. The brain goes to work creating pathways among undamaged brain cells and some parts of the brain take over the work of injured neurons.

Going into rehabilitation

Keep in mind that the damage to the brain may cut off access to certain information accumulated during a lifetime. The information is still there, but the brain needs help retrieving it. To do so, most of those who suffer TBI, including victims of vehicle crashes, will enter rehabilitation programs. Many must relearn basic skills such as walking, eating or dressing.

Seeking a normal lifestyle

With dedication and persistence, the TBI patient can eventually return to a more normal lifestyle. Some level of impairment will remain, but through rehabilitation, the patient can learn how to cope and work around the issues. Treatment for a traumatic brain injury, especially when needed for the long term, can be tremendously expensive. However, the injured victim of a vehicle crash has the right to expect financial compensation to cover current as well as future medical costs and more.

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