A traumatic brain injury disrupts learning, development and career plans
Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating and unpredictable. In a split second, life shifts, and it may never be the same. For teens who are injured in car accidents, sports-related incidents and hundred other ways, the impact of this change can be dramatic. The injury can derail a teen's plans and cut off connections with peers. It's important to know about these changes - both for teens and their family members - to prepare to address them moving forward.
Below are three examples of challenges to anticipate for youths with TBI:
One young woman, who could barely even remember the accident in which she was injured, said she initially thought she'd heal quickly and head back to college to finish her program. The plan was always to get an education, graduate, and move on to a career. However, because of her injury, previously simple tasks became difficult. Her memory got so bad that she had to write notes to herself and bring them everywhere so she wouldn't forget what she was doing.
Even when physical damage heals, those with a brain injury may have a long path to real recovery. Sometimes life after TBI means education has to be significantly delayed or even halted completely.
Years of Rehab
Even "mild" brain injuries can lead to years of rehabilitation. One woman was hurt in a car accident, but she didn't realize it until well after the crash, when her symptoms wouldn't go away. The doctors told her it'd be a few months and she'd be fine. However, she ended up going to rehab for nearly a decade.
A TBI can alter your plans for your life, and it's very hard for doctors to predict how long this will last. Brain injuries are so different from one person to the next that the doctor may not even try.
The Loss of a Future Career
For teens, much of late high school is all about planning for a career. Yes, a college degree is often needed to start it, but many teens try to figure out what they want to do well before enrolling so that they can pick the right college and the right program. They're beginning to plan for the future and taking the proper steps to get everything in order.
Some careers may be impossible after a TBI. In the example above, the young woman worked in the economic field, and her career was done after she was hurt. She had to completely rethink where she wanted her life to go and what she wanted to do. For a teen, this could mean all of that planning was for nothing and new goals have to be set. That, in turn, could mean reevaluating colleges, programs, degree options and much more.
Compensation After Severe Injuries
Serious accident injuries, like TBIs, change your life in so many ways. The impact can go well beyond your physical healing, and the cost can be much more than just hospital bills. Always be sure you know your potential rights to compensation.