Relationships after Accidents: How a Head Injury Claim Lawyer can Help

By Flux
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Relationships after Accidents: How a Head Injury Claim Lawyer can Help

The seminal sci-fi film Blade Runner takes place in a dystopian future, where interplanetary travel is routine and uncannily human-like robots known as Replicants roam the streets at will. The film opens with Deckard, the hero, employing the Voight-Kampff test, a fictional psychological questionnaire that differentiates Replicants from humans by exposing their lack of implicit empathy. In our universe, when it comes to all too common traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), Deckard and his Voight-Kampff might be useful. As any head injury claim lawyer knows, TBIs affect not just your finances and physical well-being but your emotional abilities too. After a serious head injury, a Toronto personal injury lawyer can get you the help you need, regardless of your symptoms.


Maintaining Relationships after a TBI


Because the brain is such a crucial, multipurpose organ, brain injuries often present multi-pronged symptoms. Along with the physical and cognitive disabilities that brain injury treatment addresses, many victims and their families will be forced to deal with treatment for emotional disorders. But while the former are relatively well understood both in terms of causes and treatments, the latter remains elusive. Fortunately, recent research has helped head injury claim lawyers and Toronto personal injury lawyers to quantify victims’ struggles and secure compensatory damages.


Emotional Tolls of TBIs


Medical practitioners had long known that TBIs impact victims’ emotional states, but it wasn’t until recently that this anecdotal evidence was formalized in a study. Researchers from the University of Swansea in Wales, having heard reports of family members exhibiting a “lack of warmth or love as a post-accident development that placed a burden on their relationship”, undertook a clinical study of empathy.


Loss of Empathy


In neurology, empathy falls into three categories.

  • Cognitive empathy: knowing/recognizing what another person is feeling.
  • Emotional empathy: feeling the same as another person in response to their affect.
  • Compassionate empathy: behaving appropriately (i.e. compassionately) with regard to another person’s emotions.


After pinpointing that TBI sufferers display a deficiency in emotional empathy, the researchers put together a questionnaire to place empathy levels on a continuum: in other words, a non-fiction Voight-Kampff test. Through this test, they found that TBI sufferers are twice as likely to score low on the emotional empathy scale when compared to non-sufferers. These results were compounded by the researchers’ findings on alexithymia, a trait in which people are unable to recognize and describe their own emotional states. They found that an incredible 60 percent of TBI victims had alexithymia, compared to 11 percent in the general population.


Combining the results from these studies, we see injured people who have trouble both connecting with others’ emotions and identifying their own emotions when confronted. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that a large proportion of those with TBIs struggle with their families. Toronto personal injury law firms have dealt with these issues, and can direct you to the therapy you need. Don’t follow the path of Blade Runner; look for a free consultation with a head injury claim lawyer today if compensation can help you in your emotional recovery.