Say you were driving from Louisville to Elizabethtown when you became the victim of a rear-end collision. You struck your head on the steering wheel, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

How is the TBI going to change your life? Will rehabilitation help? How will you deal with ongoing costs?

How the brain responds

Following a serious injury such as a TBI, your brain will begin the healing process once the medical staff stabilizes your condition. The neurons, or brain cells, can repair themselves. Meanwhile, your brain grows new pathways among the neurons that are still healthy. Furthermore, the healthy parts of your brain will take over some of the functions that the injured parts used to perform.

How you can help

The brain cannot do all the healing itself. You can move things along by participating in a rehabilitation program. You might begin with inpatient therapy and graduate to an outpatient program. For example, depending on the severity of your injury, you may be unable to access certain information that is stored in your brain because severed connections are blocking access. Therapists can teach you how to relearn forgotten skills since much of what you have learned throughout your life is still present.

A lifelong commitment

No matter how well you progress in your rehabilitative efforts, you will likely have some level of impairment for the rest of your life, and rehabilitation will have to continue in some form. It may be best to delay filing a claim for compensation until the medical team can judge the extent of the rehabilitation you will need and can estimate the potential costs. You may be able to receive a full and fair settlement to cover your medical costs, pain and suffering and other damages.