Effects of Traumatic Accidents: Cognitive Impairments and Altered Communication

In language, all words have meanings. We grow up learning the meaning of words, and it is through cognition that we are able to retain such an extensive vocabulary—making it possible to communicate. Unfortunately, people who experience traumatic injuries, such as those who suffer head trauma and brain injuries in serious car accidents, may suffer from cognitive difficulties. When this happens, it generally leads to communication problems because people who are affected in this way find it hard to remember certain words or understand what someone else is trying to tell them.

When people endure cognitive and communication problems following serious accidents, they will have trouble with the following:

  • Recalling memories. When victims suffer in this way, they may forget certain things that they have learned and retained. Sadly, part of their knowledge base—whether short-term or long-term memory retention—can be negatively impacted.  
  • Thinking and reasoning. Some victims have trouble evaluating, analyzing, and making comparisons. This cognitive skill that helps people find solutions to problems is affected.
  • Perceiving and understanding. Victims suffering from this disability can have difficulties interpreting what they are hearing, touching, or smelling. They can also have trouble understanding cause and effect.
  • Talking. Victims may have trouble getting their thoughts into words and verbalizing those words. Not only may they find it hard to find the right word, but they may have trouble understanding what others are saying and following conversations. Additionally, they might not understand sarcasm and jokes or someone else’s non-verbal communication. Therefore, they may have a hard time with language and communication in general.
  • Concentrating and paying attention. Some victims lack the ability to concentrate on a certain idea or object. Consequently, they may find it hard to deal with competing demands in their environment and carrying out long conversations or completing projects.

The Seriousness of Cognitive and Communication Difficulties

These mental abilities help people accomplish both simple and complicated tasks that involve memory, perception, decision making, and communication. When people suffer in this way, they need to seek professional help and be compensated accordingly. Because cognition helps people understand the world around them, it is a serious issue when cognitive skills are affected.

In addition, people need to be able to communicate in order to function in the world. If they are having difficulty understanding and expressing information and their own thoughts, they may be unable to have a conversation or respond appropriately to another person. When people have trouble following conversations, finding the correct words to complete their thoughts, or expressing their ideas and feelings in an organized way, they will need professional help to improve their language and communication skills.

Life After Suffering Cognitive and Communication Problems

Although there are therapies that can help people restore their cognitive and communication skills, people who lack the ability to think, reason, and communicate normally may never fully improve or be the same again. Sadly, the change in someone’s cognitive and communication skills will undoubtedly impact one’s work and personal relationships. However, it is possible—with the help of a speech therapist—that communication can continue to improve even a long time after an injury.

Because speech therapy and medical treatment is expensive, it is critical that victims of serious accidents and injuries get a fair financial recovery. At Shevlin Smith, our lawyers don’t just focus on obtaining compensation for our clients’ immediate necessities, but we also look down the road. This way our clients get a just recovery for their future therapies and medical needs.

If you or a loved one is enduring cognitive and communication difficulties following a traumatic event, you may be entitled to compensation. To talk about your potential injury claim, call (703) 591-0067 for a complimentary consultation or connect with us online.