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Long-term cognitive impacts of a severe TBI

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Brain Injury |

Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which often may occur as a result of car wrecks, can lead to many different types of effects. Some of these have to do with cognitive abilities, which can negatively affect a victim’s life.

Many people don’t realize just how much cognitive function plays a role in their daily lives. These functions impact everything from memory and attention to concentration and information processing. A decline in these functions can, among other things, reduce a person’s ability to financially provide for themselves and their family members.

Memory and attention can suffer

One of the most common long-term effects of TBIs is the impact on memory. Individuals may experience difficulties with short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory issues can make it hard to remember new information. Long-term memory problems can affect the recall of past events or learned skills.

Attention deficits are also prevalent. These can lead to difficulty focusing, being easily distracted or struggling to complete tasks that require sustained concentration. These challenges can significantly interfere with daily activities and responsibilities, including work tasks, decreasing productivity and performance.

Earning capacity may be reduced

The cognitive changes following a traumatic brain injury can severely affect a person’s ability to earn an income. Jobs often require complex cognitive functions, including problem-solving, multitasking, planning and decision-making. Impairments in these areas can make it challenging for individuals to return to their previous employment or to find new work that accommodates their limitations.

Professions that demand high concentration levels, strategic thinking or memory recall can become particularly difficult. As a result, individuals with TBIs may face job loss, reduced earning capacity and a reliance on disability benefits or financial assistance from family and social services.

Rehabilitation may help but isn’t guaranteed

The recovery process from a TBI can be lengthy and unpredictable. Some individuals experience improvements in cognitive functions over time, while others may see little to no change. Rehabilitation services, including cognitive therapy and vocational training, can help improve functionality, but the costs associated with such services add a financial burden. With this in mind, victims of severe TBIs may be in a position to pursue a compensation claim from any negligent party that caused their harm.