You suffered several serious injuries in your motorcycle crash several weeks ago, but you did not think a brain injury was one. You were wearing a helmet and there were no indications of brain damage in your follow-up exams. Now, however, you are having some trouble coming up with the right words when you are having a conversation. You’ve made people laugh unintentionally by using the wrong words for things. You are starting to wonder if this may be an effect of the crash. While most common with stroke victims, it is possible that you are suffering the effects of aphasia.
What Is Aphasia?
Aphasia is a communication disorder that can be caused by a traumatic brain injury if the parts of the brain that contain language have been affected. Depending on which area of the brain has been damaged, the victim may have trouble speaking, listening, reading and writing. Victims will need to be assessed by a speech and language pathologist to determine the severity of the disorder, but the following communication functions may be affected:
- Producing language. The victim may struggle to come up with words in conversation or may replace words with other words that make no sense. He or she may also use made-up words or switch sounds in a word without realizing it.
- Understanding language. A person with aphasia may misunderstand what others are saying or may be unable to get jokes or figurative language.
- Reading and writing. Difficulty reading, spelling, constructing written sentences and understanding math concepts may all be effects of aphasia.
Recovering From Aphasia
Obviously, struggling to communicate will affect the victim’s ability to work and earn a living as well as his or her ability to have meaningful personal relationships. While there are intensive speech therapy programs designed to help people with aphasia overcome communication challenges, these programs take time and cost a lot of money. If you are suffering from aphasia caused by a traumatic brain injury suffered in an accident that was not your fault, you need to consider these long-term costs when seeking a settlement.