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Brain Injuries and Personality Changes

How Traumatic Brain Injury Can Change Your Personality

Personality changes are very common after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), because brain injury affects how people understand and process information. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a person who has suffered a TBI is just not the same person they once were.

Below, our experienced brain attorneys will discuss the way that a brain injury may affect a victim’s personality. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, you may be entitled to compensation. West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about TBI.

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Personality Changes

After a TBI, personality changes typically originate from either:

  1. Specific and tangible changes to the way a victim’s brain expresses, understands, and experiences emotions. This makes it very hard for brain injury victims to ever live a normal emotional life.
  2. Emotional changes brought on as a response to unwanted changes caused by a victim’s brain injury.

A TBI causes marked personality changes because it has damaged important connections going from the cerebral cortex to the limbic system. The cerebral cortex plays an important role in awareness, memory, attention, cognition, and perception. The limbic system is important because it supports motivation, behavior, and emotions

Emotional Responses

The brain is very delicate. It goes without saying that a serious brain injury will have the unfortunate effect of disrupting connections inside the brain, which help people with emotional awareness, as well as being able to react accordingly to certain emotional situations.

Once these connections are disrupted, a victim’s emotional responses will become much different than what they were prior to their injury. For obvious reasons, these sudden changes to a loved one’s personality will cause serious challenges for both the individual and their loved ones. A brain injury victim cannot control what is happening to them and may, in fact, become unrecognizable. It is especially heartbreaking for a brain injury victim’s loved ones to try to adapt to these dramatic changes in personality.

A brain injury is very emotionally traumatic for a victim. It is common for brain injury victims to feel depressed, angry, frustrated, scared, and anxious about how their lives are no longer the same. It is perfectly normal to feel this way, and in fact, it is healthy to express these emotions as you adapt to your new personality and way of life.

To further add to the stressful changes a victim typically undergoes after such an injury is the fact that a brain injury victim’s brain sometimes will get stuck in a permanent state of fight or flight. This makes it especially challenging for an individual to ever truly enter a state of relaxation because his or her brain is constantly attempting to “survive” the injury and process what has even happened.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Contact Us 

If your loved one has suffered a brain injury due to the negligent actions of another individual, West Coast Trial Lawyers has brain injury attorneys that focus on complex litigation, including catastrophic injuries to the brain. Our attorneys will provide you with legal advice, guidance, and handle every aspect of your case

No fees are paid until we win your case. Contact us today by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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