When an individual suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), their family members are likely already struggling with the loss of their loved one's quality of life. Physical abilities, personality traits, and cognitive function can be significantly impaired. For the surviving family members, this represents a unique challenge during what is already a difficult time.
During the weeks and months following a TBI, family members may begin to consider designating a guardianship for their loved one. While this decision can be a painful one, it can also offer family members peace of mind and relief. A guardian can help protect the interest of the TBI survivor and see that their needs are met. Individuals considered for this role should know what is expected of them, and have a comprehensive knowledge of the condition, limitations and needs of the TBI survivor.
Every state has different laws regarding guardianships. If a person is incompetent or incapacitated, they should have one. In the case of a TBI survivor, they have suffered a catastrophic injury that has severely impacted their ability to receive and understand information and communicate decisions. A guardian is assigned to these individuals to receive information on their behalf and make decisions in their best interests.
Family members are usually appointed as guardians. They should be responsible and prepared to make tough decisions regarding their loved one's health, medical care, and well-being. Once the TBI survivor has been assigned a guardian, they can begin to work with others to arrange benefits, seek injury compensation, and secure finances.
When a person suffers a traumatic brain injury and is unable to care for themselves, it is in the family's best interests to have a guardian appointed. Appointing a guardian to a loved one is a big decision that should be discussed with family members and an attorney.