You were hit by a car while riding your bicycle to work two weeks ago. Now, after treatment for a broken collarbone and wrist, you're trying to return to your regular schedule. However, you keep experiencing unexpected emotional outbursts.
These outbursts include fits of anger, crying, sadness, depression, and even extreme happiness. The people around you are confused, and they don't know what to make of it. You've made some of them angry - including your wife and boss. However, the person who's most confused is you. What's going on here?
Traumatic brain injury and emotional lability
You may have suffered an undiagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI) in your bicycle crash. The thing about TBIs, like concussions and more severe injuries to the brain, is they may not be outwardly visible, and the condition could go undiagnosed. Later, when the accident victim experiences chronic headaches, memory loss, vision problems or emotional difficulties, a doctor might consider taking a second look at the possibility of TBI.
Approximately 50 percent of brain injury victims suffer from depression up to a year following their accidents. Intense mood swings - where the person cries, laughs or becomes angry and even violent for no apparent reason - are also common. These emotions can come and go in a flash without any provocation. Doctors call this instability 'emotional lability.'
Fortunately, emotional instability caused by TBI is usually temporary and resolves itself over time. However, until the victim recovers, the social and career-related consequences of emotional lability can be severe.
Emotional lability and personal injury claims
Brooklyn accident victims who have emotional lability from TBI could lose their jobs, or experience strain in their marriages and other relationships. These translate to real damages that plaintiffs should incorporate into their personal injury claims. If or a loved one has suffered TBI and emotional lability as a result of an accident, be sure to talk to your personal injury lawyer about these symptoms and how they have negatively affected your employment income and quality of life.