How Traumatic Brain Injuries May Impact Future Employment

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury, what are the prospects for your future? With certain injuries, medical specialists can offer a reasonable prognosis, but when an injury affects the nervous system, the victim’s potential for recovery is often cloudy at best. Most mysterious are traumatic injuries to the brain. But, researchers at the Kessler Foundation are determined to get a better understanding of how victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may rebound, particularly when it comes to future employability.

Four co-authors recently published the results of their study of 42 patients who suffered moderate to severe TBI more than a year ago. Entitled “Impact of frontal neurobehavioral symptoms on employment in individuals with TBI”, the article, according to the website EurekAlert, may “have implications for strategies aimed at improving employment outcomes in this population.”

The study’s subjects underwent neuropsychological evaluation and researchers evaluated them for depression and fatigue. Researchers used the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale questionnaire to elicit information on subjects’ neurobehavioral symptoms, such as disinhibition, apathy, and executive dysfunction, a term used for a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. The subjects’ “caregivers also provided their assessment of the participants’ behaviors pre- and post-TBI.”

Researchers did not detect differences between employed and unemployed subjects on tests of neurocognition. “There were, however, significant differences between the groups on neurobehavioral tests.” Thus, there seems to be a link between behavioral symptoms and employment outcomes.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Erica Weber says the results “indicate that frontal neurobehavioral symptoms may be predictive of the ability to achieve and maintain employment after TBI.” It is hoped that “Developing rehabilitative strategies that address these behaviors could improve employment outcomes and reduce the burden of care on caregivers and society.”

At Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, we look at the study with a slightly different perspective. Certainly, we appreciate the importance of crafting strategies that improve the employment prospects of TBI patients. But, as personal injury attorneys, our job is to secure full and fair compensation for our client’s losses, including future earnings lost because of an inability to maintain employment. If TBI studies such as this can reasonably indicate future employability based on a victim’s symptoms, we might have a useful tool for securing adequate compensation for our clients.

Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers represents victims of traumatic brain injury in personal injury lawsuits arising from a variety of accident scenarios. To learn how we can help you or a loved one, call us at 973-364-8300 or contact our office online.


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