On behalf of The Weitz Firm, LLC on Thursday, September 13, 2018 Posted in Brain Injury.
If a beloved family member was in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the entire family is affected by the aftermath. For many families, the loving relationships they shared with the injured person are irrevocably altered.
A TBI can disrupt a marriage and even lead to a divorce. Such may be the case whether the victim is one of the spouses or the parent of an injured child.
Not all can accept the “new normal”
Some individuals are naturally more resilient than others. They may be able to recover psychologically and emotionally from life-changing events that their spouses or other family members struggle mightily to accept.
When a family’s wage-earner suffers a TBI, the whole family may immediately be thrust into economic chaos. The uninjured spouse may have previously fulfilled the role of homemaker and/or a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps he or she home-schooled the kids and kept the household running smoothly.
But now, with no money coming in, this spouse may be forced to work outside of the home simply to get some income generated. There may be a lack of applicable skills and other issues that make the person a poor candidate for well-paying jobs. Having to enter the workforce unwillingly can cause resentment and anger to boil over into the family’s relationships.
Patient caregivers experience burnout
Spouses who assume the role of primary caregiver may now have to assist their injured loved one with intimate personal hygiene tasks. Not all marriages are able to withstand this level of intimacy, and it can affect the durability of the marital vows.
Even when it’s not the main wage-earner with the TBI, the working spouse may discover that having to return home at the end of the day and begin tackling the daily household chores is demoralizing.
TBI patients challenged by mood changes
Traumatic brain injuries can have devastating emotional consequences for the patients. They can become extremely emotionally labile and cycle through many moods during the day.
Some of their reactions and mood changes may not be socially appropriate in some settings. They may laugh at sad news or grow frustrated and angry at family members, including the kids. It can be difficult for those living with the TBI patient to reconcile these emotional consequences.
Seeking justice is one option
Families who are struggling to adjust after a loved one suffers a TBI should learn what options they have to seek financial redress for the losses and damages they experience after an accident derails their lives.
In some cases, spouses and/or dependents may be able to pursue claims of loss of consortium in addition to any claims made by or on behalf of the TBI patient.