If asked to define a “catastrophic injury,” you might think such an incident to be something that severely impairs one to the point of them remaining either comatose, immobilized or dependent on round-the-clock care for the rest of their lives. Yet you may have a loved one suffer a catastrophic injury and appear to return to their pre-accident physical form. That does not necessarily mean, however, that they are not in need of continued assistance.

This is especially true if they suffer a traumatic brain injury, as such injuries are often accompanied by a cognitive impairment. To comprehend the assistance your loved one might need in dealing with such an issue, you first need to understand how important cognition is to daily functions.

Defining “cognition”

Per the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, cognition includes the following:

  • The ability to stay attentive to, retain and process information
  • The ability to recall and adequately communicate thoughts and feelings
  • The ability to plan out tasks and organize available resources
  • The ability to reason, solve problems and make sound judgments
  • The ability to control impulsive behavior

While many might refer to these things as being “skills,” they are basic necessities when it comes to retaining a job, forming lasting relationships and even managing the tasks of day-to-day living.

Dealing with a cognitive impairment

Cognitive impairments are commonly associated with TBIs. Thus, while your loved one might appear to have “recovered,” they still may have difficulty in resuming their lives. Additional assistance such as counseling or vocational rehab might help in overcoming this issue, yet these benefits can be costly. Covering these costs is often the sole reason why one might consider seeking compensation immediately following a catastrophic accident.