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Things not to say to people with brain injuries

When someone you love, work with or are otherwise acquainted is injured in a terrible car accident, a workplace mishap or through violent crime, it is often difficult to determine what to say or do to help him or her recover. For those who have suffered brain injuries, life may be forever changed, and achieving as full a recovery as possible can be extremely challenging. In Florida and beyond, thousands of people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year, many of which were the result of others' negligence.

If you have personally struggled to recover from an injury to your brain, you obviously understand how stressful, frustrating and challenging it can be. Perhaps you recall friends visiting you in the hospital or your spouse or children sending flowers or a card of get well wishes. Sometimes, because people don't know what to say, they wind up saying the wrong thing, even though their intentions are good.

Phrases that might be best left unspoken

When people learn someone close to them has suffered a brain injury, their desire to comfort, encourage and support is often strong. However, saying the following might do more harm than good:

  • "You're lucky to have survived."
  • "You could have been killed."
  • "Things can always be worse."
  • "At least you'll recover."

From an injured victim's perspective, the only thing that really matters at the time is that life will never be the same. Hearing things that are obviously true, but difficult to process under the circumstances, might not provide the type of building up and support so desperately needed to make significant progress in recovery.

Adjusting to changes

There are obvious physical differences before and after a traumatic brain injury. However, you might also face abrupt changes in other areas of life as well, if you have suffered this type of injury. Perhaps you've lost your job or have suffered tremendous financial setbacks due to medical bills and other expenses related to your situation. Marriage and family life often undergo serious trials as family members rally together to help a loved one.

Whether you are the one who was injured or you are doing your best to help your spouse or other family member recover, there might be times you feel as though you're riding an emotional rollercoaster. An injury caused by another person's negligence adds yet another factor to the recovery equation. When questions arise regarding who should be responsible for damages, assistance can be sought through consultation with a personal injury attorney.

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