You're a small business owner, and you're proud of what you've built. Perhaps you're in your 40s, but you have a business that has been your sole source of income for a decade. You plan to help it grow even more and pass it on to your kids. You've put everything you have into the company, emotionally and financially.
Then you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Maybe you slip and fall on some else's property. Maybe you're involved in a car accident. Maybe a defective product injures you.
No matter how the accident happens, the impact to you is both quick and drastic. Your symptoms are severe, and they may never fully heal. This can derail your plans, make it impossible for you to run your business, and lead not only to lost wages, but to the loss of everything you've spent years building. Though TBIs are different for everyone, you could see symptoms like:
1. Personality changes
You were always kind and generous before. You went out of your way to make sure your customers were happy. Now you always feel angry, agitated and short-tempered. Your relationships with your clients may deteriorate.
2. Memory loss
As a business owner, forgetting even the smallest thing can ruin a sale, set production back and cost the company. You used to have a mind like a steel trap, but now you're constantly forgetting when orders are due, when shipments have to go out and a host of other details.
Clinical depression sets in. You no longer have the drive to work that you once did. You feel apathetic. You worked so hard to build your company, and now you find it hard to care as it all unravels.
4. Sensory issues
Sounds are too loud and lights are too bright. Venturing out of the house is not just a chore, but something painful and traumatic. Your sensory issues mean you have to cut your hours short and you often have to go lie down, rather than working the long, dedicated days that you once enjoyed.
5. Physical ailments
You haven't entirely lost motor skills, but they're not what they once were. Your coordination isn't nearly as good. You sometimes have trouble walking. If your business is built around fine motor skills - if you do hand lettering for advertisers and wedding invitations, for instance - easy jobs become completely impossible. You may even have occasional seizures, so you're always worried that one is going to strike.
These are just a handful of possible TBI symptoms, but you can see how any of them could have a drastic impact on your life and your company. The amount of money you stand to lose is tremendous, going well beyond medical bills. You must know all of your rights to financial compensation.