The true cost of a brain injury goes far beyond initial hospital bills. There are various costs to consider, including rehabilitation, disability, and long-term care. Moreover, no two patients experience the same effects from a brain injury, so the costs vary widely from case to case.
Above and beyond the financial costs associated with a brain injury, there are also the intangible losses to consider. A brain injury can skew the feelings and future of both the patient and his entire family, something you cannot tally on a bill or budget.
Below, we discuss some of the costs to consider when planning your future after you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury. If you have not already, you will want to look into all possible funding sources to help you pay for your needs.
If another party caused or contributed to the injury, e.g., in a car accident or a medical mistake, talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. You might be entitled to recover damages, including those for actual expenses, future expenses, and pain and suffering.
For a free consult with a brain injury lawyer in Gwinnett County, call Brauns Law at 404-418-8244 and schedule a consult.
What are some of the expenses involved with a brain injury?
When trying to decipher the true cost of a brain injury, you will quickly notice that emergency care and the initial hospital stay are just the tip of the iceberg. There are both direct and indirect costs to consider. Direct costs include the treatments, therapies, and services necessary; indirect costs include things such as lost productivity, strained marriages, and job loss.
Below is a list of some of the needs a brain injury patient may have, many of which prove extremely costly. Actual costs depend on the severity of the patient’s injury. The more items on the list the patient requires, obviously, the higher the overall expenses will be.
According to the CDC, hospitalization is responsible for almost 90 percent of the medical costs from a TBI. Some of the medical services and treatments for TBI patients include:
- Intensive care
- Acute rehabilitation in a hospital setting
- Subacute rehabilitation for long-term intensive rehab in a specialized facility
- Postacute rehab in a residential rehabilitation facility
- Outpatient therapies
- In-home nursing and other health services
- Community re-entry programs
- Vocational evaluations and retraining
- Assisted living programs and housing
- Counseling, including individual, family, and group
- Suicide intervention (Brain injuries can exacerbate depression and pain; up to a quarter of TBI patients suffer from suicidal thoughts, according to Research America.)
- Medications (e.g., analgesics, anti-anxiety medications, anti-coagulants, anti-convulsants, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, sedatives, anti-psychotics, and stimulants)
Another factor to consider is the costs of the care team. Many patients with moderate to severe brain injuries require a team of professionals to help them devise and carry out their treatment plan. Brain injury team professionals work together to provide you with the best possible, well-rounded care. You will not receive bills from only one doctor and one surgeon; rather, you may receive different bills for each professional/service. Team members can include:
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Speech therapists
- Social workers
- Rehabilitation nurses
- Recreational therapists
The residual and incidental expenses for a brain injury patient can be truly staggering. Many brain injury patients sustain such significant cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments that it impairs their ability to work or even maintain relationships. Some can undergo retraining and hold jobs that can accommodate their disabilities (but usually with less pay than they were making prior to the injury), while others cannot work in any capacity. Other incidentals may include:
- Renovating your home or car to accommodate your disability, e.g., wheelchair ramps, widening doors
- Assistive technologies, e.g., voice recorders for reminder messages, voice activated calendars, virtual assistant microcomputers, kitchen alarms for cooking reminders, etc.
- Hiring people to help you perform daily tasks, e.g., shopping, driving, cleaning, etc.
How much can I expect to pay for my needs?
As aforementioned, the costs of a brain injury vary considerably from patient to patient. One person may have only mild injuries and require only short-term, limited assistance, whereas another with a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may need complete, round-the-clock care and long-term assistance. So clearly, the projected total cost of treatments, rehabilitation, and indirect costs are highly variable.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model System estimates that the average lifetime healthcare costs for someone with a TBI range from $85,000 to $3 million.
How can I meet my injury-related financial needs?
There are several resources that you may have available to you to help you pay for or at least offset your expenses.
- Auto insurance – If you sustained your injury in a car accident (a leading cause of brain injuries), you may be able to recover some of your costs with the appropriate insurance company.
- Other insurance – If you have a health savings account, personal health insurance, or disability insurance, this would be the time to cash in on it.
- Disability benefits – If you are unable to work, you may qualify for Social security disability benefits, too.
- Public assistance – You can also look into any public assistance programs you may qualify for, including Medicare, food and nutrition assistance, and counseling services. You might also call your church and inquire about outreach programs.
- Personal injury settlement – If your injury was the result of another’s negligence, you most likely qualify to file a personal injury claim or suit to seek financial recovery. You can recover a wide range of damages in a personal injury case, including those for monetary and non-monetary losses. In fact, a personal injury case affords you the best opportunity to secure funds for your current and future needs.
Who can I call to discuss my brain injury legal options?
To speak to a personal injury attorney that has a background in successful settlements of brain injury cases, call Brauns Law in Georgia. We can review your case, explain your options, and then begin taking the necessary steps to fight for the compensation you and your family need. Contact us today at 404-418-8244.