Generally, the car injuries that people fear the most are the physical ones. In a general context, mental health is often put aside, ignored or not prioritized. This applies to automobile injuries as well.
However, many car accidents result in mental injuries as well, and it’s important to discuss them.
TBIs and Neuropsychological Damage
TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) are some of the most common injuries suffered by car accident victims. These injuries often have long-term consequences and affect the patient’s everyday life. In some of the worst cases, TBIs can permanently impair the victim. Besides serious physical damage, traumatic brain injury can also affect one’s emotional balance.
Studies show that emotional distress and other psychological and neurological symptoms can make the patient’s adaptation to their new life harder. This is why emotional impairment must be addressed, as part of the treatment plan.
Personality Changes in TBI Patients
Our personalities are so deeply internalized in our identity that it’s very hard to imagine them changing, especially as a result of a car accident. Sometimes, car accident victims report noticing changes in their behavior and attitudes after suffering head injuries in a car crash. These changes are not easy to notice and it’s very challenging to diagnose them.
Some of the ways your personality can change after head trauma are:
- Losing your social filter, especially seen in patients that suffered frontal-lobe TBIs. Their reactions are comparable to someone who had a few beers, and this can trigger responses that aren’t thought through. Losing emotional control can affect someone’s daily life, relationships, career, etc.
- Mood swings are also seen in TBI patients. Individuals who previously had a calm attitude can notice sudden shifts in their moods. Anger fits, panic attacks, or even the lack of responsiveness can be symptoms of brain injury.
- Patients score less in extraversion and openness, which can affect their relationships and contribute to the loss of enjoyment of life.
Legal Actions to Take if You’re a Car Accident Victim
It’s very important to cover all the possible aspects of your life that were changed by the accident during your negotiations with the insurance company or during your personal injury trial. Take a moment to self-evaluate in terms of personality changes.
Did you notice any unusual emotional responses after the accident?
Did family members or friends say that you are “acting weird” or “not being yourself”?
Are you worried that your brain injuries affected your personality in any way?
If you have any suspicion that you’re experiencing personality changes as a result of the car crash, talk to your St. Louis auto accident attorney about it and see a medical specialist to get evaluated. Such major changes in your life should be included in your claim, as they make recovery and adaptation more challenging.
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