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Brain Injury Awareness Month: 5 Health Complications Caused by Truck Accident TBIs

Complications of Truck Wreck TBIs Can Impact Nearly Every Part of Life. Here’s How.

Serious tractor-trailer crashes often result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). When that happens, victims may experience several health complications that can:

  • Arise immediately after the brain injury and/or develop over time
  • Affect them on a physical, cognitive, and psychological level
  • Greatly alter or degrade their quality of life

Shedding more light on these changes and risks, the following highlights some of the most common TBI complications that truck accident victims can experience.

Top 5 Health Complications of 18-Wheeler Accident TBIs

The specific TBI-related impairments that develop after a truck accident will depend on several factors, including:

  1. The area of the brain that was damaged
  2. The severity of the brain damage
  3. When and what treatments are provided for the TBI

Keep in mind too that more serious cases of TBIs can mean victims experience multiple complications simultaneously.

1. Behavioral & Emotional TBI Complications

The psychological impacts of traumatic brain injury can change victims’ behaviors and emotional states in many ways, typically making both more erratic and volatile.

Behavioral TBI Complications

Emotional TBI Complications

Impulse & self-control problems

Reduced awareness of one’s abilities

Anti-social behavior

Verbal and/or physical outbursts

Risky behavior




Mood swings


Lack of empathy


Lower self-esteem


2. Communication Complications of TBIs

Articulating thoughts, understanding what others say, and properly responding in conversation can all be incredibly challenging for those with traumatic brain injury. Specifically, the communication problems associated with TBIs can include (and are not limited to) difficulties or an inability to:

  • Understand spoken or written words: Those with TBIs can experience intense frustration, anger, and/or irritation trying to communicate due to these misunderstandings.

  • Communicate via writing or speech: In some cases, TBIs can limit or impair the ability to control the muscles used to articulate words.

  • Organize ideas: This can make it challenging for those with TBIs to express their thoughts, as well as engage in or end conversations.

  • Participate in and follow conversations: Traumatic brain injury can degrade the ability to understand cues, subtle changes in tone, and even slight differences in attitudes or the meanings of words.

3. TBI Cognition & Perception Complications

When it comes to thought and perception, truck crash survivors with TBIs can experience a range of impairments. Some of these correspond with other TBI complications, giving rise to certain behavioral, emotional, and/or communication issues.

Cognitive TBI Complications

TBI Perception Complications

Memory & concentration problems

Reasoning & judgment problems

Learning difficulties

Difficulties planning & multitasking

Problems with organization

Decision-making impairments

Difficulties starting or finishing tasks


Double or blurry vision

Persistent ringing in the ears

Bad tastes and/or bad smells

Itchiness or tingling skin

Impaired hand-eye coordination

Problems recognizing objects


4. Physical TBI Complications

On a physical level, the complications of traumatic brain injury can be painful and debilitating. In some cases, the physical impacts of TBIs can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Some of the most common physical complications associated with TBIs include:

  • Frequent, persistent headaches: Although it may take a couple of days to a week for headaches to arise after a truck accident TBI, this physical complication can linger for months or longer.

  • Damaged blood vessels: Depending on the nature and extent of this damage, TBIs could end up increasing the risk of blood clots, stroke, and other potentially deadly complications.

  • Brain infection: When the brain’s protective layers are damaged, the risks of bacterial brain infections and meningitis can skyrocket, especially if brain injuries go undiagnosed and untreated.

  • Seizures: Epilepsy can develop immediately after a TBI or years later, depending on the type of brain damage and the treatments received.

5. Other Severe TBI Complications

Tragically, the psychological, cognitive, and physical complications of TBIs are not the only impacts truck wreck victims may suffer. In fact, in cases of severe traumatic brain injury, victims may experience additional complications, including (but not limited to):

  • A heightened risk of degenerative brain disease: Though not definitively established by research, many experts suspect there’s a link between TBIs and the development of degenerative brain disease later in life, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  • Reduced or limited consciousness: Vegetative states and coma can result when TBIs involve widespread brain damage.

  • Death: At least 166 people in the U.S. die every day from TBI complications.

Truck Accident TBI Complications: The Bottom Line

No matter what types of TBI complications truck wreck survivors experience, the impacts can be as pervasive as they may be devastating — both for the individual who suffers the traumatic brain injury and for that person’s loved ones.

The best way to address these complications and start to physically recover from TBIs is with early medical interventions and consistent medical treatment. While modern medicine offers one route to recovery, truck wreck victims can also turn to an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer when it’s time to assert their rights and seek the financial recovery they may deserve.