Traumatic brain injuries have received a great deal more attention in the past few years thanks to high profile sports-related lawsuits centering on traumatic brain injuries sustained as a part of being involved in professional athletic competitions. With the increase in attention, and with new developments in identifying and treating traumatic brain injuries at early stages, medical insurance claims for traumatic brain injury treatments have increased. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the most recent available data suggests that nearly 2.5 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries on an annual basis in this country. However, in many cases the cost of treating a traumatic brain injury is not confined to an initial visit to an emergency room after the injury has occurred. Individuals with traumatic brain injuries are more likely to require hospitalization after initial treatment, which has a huge impact on the cost of treating such injuries. The CDC says traumatic brain injuries are also a contributing factor for around 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States, making prolonged treatment and hospitalization crucial in ensuring a person’s successful recovery in many situations.
Cost of Treatment
The true cost of treating a traumatic brain injury can be hard to establish and depends greatly on the individual victim’s circumstances. Not only are mounting medical bills a concern, but the injury may also require significant financial sacrifices from family members. Costs to treat traumatic brain injuries may reach well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for an individual victim, especially in circumstances where rehabilitation or continued medical care is required. In many cases, victims may not have insurance or may not have adequate enough insurance coverage to pay for required treatment and follow-up medical care. Sometimes, a caregiver needs to take an extended leave from work in order to help meet a victim’s needs, which further drains a family’s financial resources.
According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries have a direct and indirect annual economic cost of $76.5 billion dollars. Around 90 percent of these costs are directly related to medical treatment costs for severe traumatic brain injuries that result in death and/or hospitalization. The CDC also reports that almost half of all patients hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury have a related disability one year after the injury. Such long-term side effects may mean:
- Increased out-of-pocket medical costs;
- Increased periods of missed work for the victim and family; and
- Many other related financial concerns, like the inability to afford mortgage payments or other necessities.
When combined, these costs can be overwhelming for a victim and their family. While new treatment options may significantly decrease the cost of treatment and the need for extensive follow-up medical care, initial and related medical costs can cripple a victim’s financial ability or that of their family.
Assistance with Compensation
Traumatic brain injuries can occur because of a car accident; a construction accident; a slip and fall; product or construction defects; medical malpractice; or in numerous other ways. When a traumatic brain injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, the victim may be entitled to receive compensation to help offset the cost of treating the injury. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s actions, or if a traumatic brain injury has been misdiagnosed by medical professionals, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney that has experience handling cases related to brain injuries. Contact the personal injury legal team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation where you will have an opportunity to talk to a legal professional about the circumstances surrounding a traumatic brain injury, and whether or not you might be eligible for compensation.