Homelessness and Traumatic Brain Injury

May 7th, 2014 | by RON BELL

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur in a blink of an eye.  One minute you’re driving to work with the radio on, and the next a car crashes into you and causes you to go unconscious.  After paramedics transport you to the hospital, an emergency room doctor diagnoses you with a TBI.  What happens next?  Many TBI victims will have family or friends to help them out the first few weeks during recovery.  However, those people will have their own lives to attend to and most will be unable to assist on a long-term basis.  The end result of those severe TBI victims who have no family or friends is homelessness.  They cannot work or take care of themselves as they once did.

Homelessness is an epidemic around the world.  A research project was conducted by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada who discovered half of their study participants had sustained at least one TBI in their lifetime.  Of those participants, 87 percent of the TBI’s occurred before the men lost their homes and began living on the streets of Toronto.  Of those traumatic brain injuries 60 percent were sustained after being assaulted, while others were the result of motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and sports injuries.

Family and friends of TBI victims need to watch for dangerous symptoms of a worsening TBI condition, such as: aggressiveness; depression; memory; mood changes; extreme behavioral changes; and impaired analytical, cognitive and decision-making abilities.  Though most TBI victims will be able to live a normal, productive life, there will be those who continue to suffer throughout their lives.  Those who seem to never fully recover need proper legal compensation for TBI damages to assist with long-term, permanent disability needs.  Contact a personal injury lawyer who is educated and skilled working with TBI victims.  Together the family, TBI victim, and TBI attorney will work together to ensure the rights are protected of the TBI victim, and they receive proper long-term medical treatment.

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