The effects of a brain injury can last long after the injury itself has healed. For example, the costs of ongoing care for brain injury victims can be financially devastating.
In fact, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (UAB-TBIMS), the lifetime health care costs associated with treating a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from $85,000 to more than $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury. Obviously, this amount is far
greater than what the average household has squirreled away for medical expenses.
However, for those who sustained their brain injury in an accident caused by another person's negligence, there may be a way out. Accident victims can file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue compensation for their injuries in civil court. Read on to learn more about the costs of treating a brain injury, and how an experienced injury lawyer can help victims explore their legal options.
Immediately after sustaining a brain injury, the victim is rushed to the nearest emergency room for life-saving medical care. ER trauma doctors work to stabilize the patient's vital signs, minimize secondary symptoms, and prevent additional head or neck injuries.
Excessive swelling of the brain can be deadly or lead to dangerous secondary symptoms, so doctors will often give diuretics, or other prescription medications, to reduce pressure on the brain. Because head injuries can cause seizures, patients may also receive anti-seizure medications for several weeks. In extreme cases, doctors may even be required to induce a coma and wait for the swelling to go down; or drill a hole in the skull to relieve pressure, drain pooling cerebral spinal fluid or simply to give the swollen brain tissue more space.
The cost of the initial emergency care, including hospitalization and related surgical procedures, may reach up to $100,000 and can be even higher in the most serious cases.
Brain injuries can cause a wide variety of long-lasting physical, cognitive, communicative, and emotional impairments that can make it difficult, if not impossible, for brain injury victims to function normally in their daily lives. In some cases, a team of rehabilitative specialists can help patients overcome some injury-related deficits and relearn basic life skills over time. These specialists can include:
- Speech and language pathologists
- Rehabilitation nurses
- TBI nurse specialists
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Vocational counselors
- Social workers and case managers
- Recreational therapists
Having access to these and other rehabilitative services may be the best chance some brain injury patients have for recovery. However, the costs can be prohibitive, putting both patients and their loving families between a rock and a hard place.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity
Not only can the costs of treating a brain injury be astronomical, but due to related physical and cognitive impairments, many brain injury patients may be unable to work and short a much-needed income. Facing mounting medical costs when out of work can feel like a living nightmare. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or a loved one is facing significant medical debt related to a brain injury, you may wonder if you'll ever be able to get your life—and your finances—back in control. Fortunately, if your injury was the result of another person's negligent actions, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to pursue compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you fight for a fair financial award that covers past and future medical expenses related to your injury, applicable property damage, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.
Call Sevenish Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your potential brain injury case.