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Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injuries – Assessment and Treatment

By: Heath C. Murphy +Personal Injury

Car and motorcycle accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Many traumatic brain injuries go unreported by the injured person. Many of these injured people are displaying personality changes that are only noticed by the family and close friends of the accident victim. Unfortunately the client rarely reports or is unaware the true extent of the injuries suffered. In the case of head injuries, it is almost always a phone call from the significant other that will alert me to the possibility of personality changes after a car or motorcycle accident.

Personality Changes After a Head Injury

The accident victim will, in many cases, not be completely aware of any personality changes between pre-accident and post accident. It will generally be the family members that will notice these differences. Some common changes that family members might notice include[1]:

1. General Personality Changes – These changes can be subtle or striking. The individual may have been outgoing and energetic before the accident and may seem more reserved after the motorcycle accident.

2. Aggressive Behavior – After a motorcycle accident the victim of a head injury may become more aggressive or confrontational.

3. Self Centered Behavior – The family may notice that the victim appears apathetic or self centered.

4. Changes in Sexual Behavior – These changes can be demonstrated by either less interest or more interest in sexual activities following an accident.

5. Mood Swings – After a motorcycle accident, loved ones may notice that the accident victim displays volatile mood swings.

6. Poor Memory – Many concussion victims complain of and loved ones notice that the victim has a very poor memory. The memory deficits can be minor such as constantly losing items to very significant memory deficiencies such as being unable to find one’s way home without a GPS.

7. Lack of Awareness of Deficits – In many cases, the biker with the traumatic brain injury will be unaware of many of the personality changes.

Assessment of the Traumatic Brain Injury
It is imperative that the accident victim seek medical treatment if the any of the above personality changes are noticed. The victim will may not notice the personality changes, but if he/she is suffering any of the more common physical symptoms it is important to be evaluated by qualified medical provider. These symptom include:

1. Headaches;
2. Nausea or vomiting;
3. Fatigue or drowsiness;
4. Difficulty sleeping;
5. Dizziness;
6. Convulsions or seizures;
7. Dilation of one or both pupils;
8. Loss of coordination;
9. Confusion;
10. Memory loss;
11. Slurred speech;
12. Irritability; and
13. Depression.

The treating physician will likely order some imaging of the brain. This may include an MRI or a CT Scan. Furthermore, the physician may want to have a neuropsychological evaluation. In many instances a neuropsychologist will use a Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery. The Halstead-Reitan will test the victims cognitive functions.


Currently, the treatment for the psychiatric disorders stemming from a head injury are no different than treatment for the psychiatric disorder itself. That does not mean that it is not important to quickly report symptoms of head injuries, as some symptoms such as prolonged nausea and dizziness can be representative of medical conditions that require immediate treatment. The good news is that, because of the publicity of concussions provided by the NFL, studies and treatment trials are being started daily. Hopefully, we can reach a point where timely diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries can prevent some of the long term psychiatric disorders.

In addition to treating the injured person, it is generally recommended that the family members attend therapy. The goal of this therapy is to assist the family members in coping with the brain injuries to their loved one and to teach the family how to coexist with injured person. Traumatic brain injuries, especially ones that are more severe have far reaching effects on family and friends of the injured person.

Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer at Jones Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car or motorcycle accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg car and motorcycle accident attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707



[1] https://caregiver.org/coping-behavior-problems-after-head-injury

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio