According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, which is a common occurrence in car and truck accidents.
Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the leading causes of TBI to be:
• motor vehicle and pedestrian-related accidents,
• collision-related (being struck by or against) events,
• violent assaults.
• Sport-related injuries and explosive blasts/military combat injuries are other leading causes of TBI.
Acquiring a brain injury may predispose an individual to additional brain injuries before the symptoms of the first one have resolved completely.
A significant number of traumatic brain injuries are caused by the negligence of another party.
While a price can’t be put on the cost of the emotional and physical issues that arise as a result of a brain injury, a price can be put on the financial burden that results from a brain injury. The monetary cost of brain injuries varies significantly and depends on the medical care, rehabilitation, and special services costs.
The direct and indirect costs of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. have been estimated to be $48.3 billion annually. Lifetime costs for one person surviving a severe TBI can reach $4 million. An estimate of medical and non-medical per TBI survivor averages $151,587. Acute rehabilitation costs for survivors of a severe TBI have been shown to average about $1,000 a day and the average stay is about 55 days. Medical costs are highest for those who do not survive.
Average costs rise dramatically for those individuals who undergo rehabilitation. In one study, after a 4-year followup, average costs for medical and long-term care services averaged $196,460 for survivors receiving rehabilitation services compared to $17,893 for those receiving no rehabilitation. One study showed that supported employment for helping TBI survivors return to work costs an average of $10,198 for the first year of service.
When a TBI happens the cost associated with the injury can cause difficulties immediately as families struggle to pay medical bills, as lost income impairs the ability to service debt and in the long term cognitive problems may affect financial management altogether. The patient and his or her family quickly can find themselves in a financial struggle as medical expenses continue to climb and wages are drastically altered.
Work may or may not be an option post-injury, further damaging the financial outcome. Medical expenses may be required for the duration of the person’s life post injury creating a further spiral in finances.
While costs vary from individual to individual, the cost of brain injury is, for the most part, staggering. Because the overwhelming cost of brain injury can result in severe financial hardship for the survivor and his or her family, it is important that all sources of funding are evaluated. Because some sources of funding, specifically negligent parties, insurance companies, and governmental benefits, can be complex and difficult to navigate, those facing long-term financial responsibilities related to brain injury will benefit by securing experienced legal counsel.
An experienced lawyer can help you maximize insurance and governmental benefits, and can also ensure that you receive any compensation due to you.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, call me today. I will evaluate your case and help you determine the best course for seeking financial compensation from your own insurance company, and from the responsible parties. You deserve nothing less.