How Service Animals Can Help Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury After Car and Truck Accidents

PALM SPRINGS, California. According to the Centers for Disease Control, traumatic brain injury is the top cause of death and disability in the U.S. Motor vehicle accidents were the third leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the U.S., resulting in 14% of all TBI hospitalizations, ER visits, and deaths. Traumatic brain injury can affect a person for days, weeks, months, and in some cases, for life. Treating traumatic brain injury can be quite costly. In addition to emergency room costs, some individuals may require emergency surgery to treat blood clots and repair fractures to the skull. Individuals may be prescribed sometimes costly medications that they may need to take for weeks, months, or for life. Some individuals may require rehabilitation and therapy to re-learn life skills. There are a range of therapies available and the kinds required will depend on the severity of injury. Patients who receive early and quality care after a traumatic brain injury are more likely to recover and experience better outcomes. But all of this can be costly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, the Palm Springs, California truck accident lawyers at the Ledger Law Firm can assist families in seeking a recovery to cover the rehabilitation and care they deserve.

In addition to traditional therapies, alternative therapies are being used that have been shown to significantly improve the lives of those living with traumatic brain injury or anxiety from post-traumatic stress disorder. The New York Times recently reported on a program that trains service dogs for veterans. But as veterans see the benefits of using service dogs, the larger medical and rehabilitative community may also want to consider the benefits of service dogs for others who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or from traumatic brain injury. Service dogs can sense when their companion is agitated and can send their owners a signal when they need to take a break to breathe or step away from a triggering situation.

Any dog owner can tell you that their pet can sense their emotions, but researchers have been looking more closely into the ways that animals can help individuals experiencing stress and distress due to injuries. In fact, dogs have been found to release cortisol when they hear babies cry, evidence that they may experience low-level stress when exposed to a crying infant. This suggests that animals may have similar empathy centers to humans.

Service animals can help injured individuals cope with pain, stress, and anger. When coupled with mindfulness practices, service animals can help individuals live full and healthy lives, while also helping them become more aware of the triggers in their everyday lives.

As medical professionals gain more understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, more treatment options have become available. Service dogs are just one option. Other options, such as physical therapy, counseling, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive therapy can also help. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident in Palm Springs, California, visit to learn more about how we can help you and your family get the recovery you may deserve to seek the care you need.

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