Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – an injury that disrupts normal brain function – is suffered by approximately 2.5 million Americans each year, including many in Rhode Island. More than 5 million people live with TBI-related disability, at great cost to themselves and society. Annually, TBIs cost Americans $76.5 billion in medical care, rehabilitation and lost work.
The Real Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI-related hospital stays are the most expensive type of injury-related hospitalization. The costs of TBI, however, don’t always end once a patient is discharged. Prescription medication, physical therapy, professional caregiving and other long term care costs can steadily mount. These costs along with temporary or permanent absence from work are the recipe for serious financial problems.
While only around 10 percent of TBIs are classified as severe, even a mild brain injury can have disabling lifelong effects.
Help Covering The Lifetime Cost Of A TBI
If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic brain injury, you likely have questions about who might be responsible for paying the costs. Because TBI medical bills can reach several hundred thousand dollars or more, it’s important for victims to explore all possible avenues of compensation.
To find out whether you may have a claim, contact the experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush today. During your free initial consultation we’ll explain your legal rights and options, as well as all the ways we can help you during this difficult time.
- $1.25 Million Total Recovery – Recovered on behalf of an adolescent who sustained a TBI and orthopedic injuries when hit by a drunk driver who had been negligently served alcohol in a local bar.
- $1 Million Recovery – Secured for a client who sustained a TBI in a fall from a second-floor window.
- $358,750 Total Recovery – Recovered from the negligent driver and her uninsured motorist protection on behalf of a woman who sustained a TBI after being struck by a motor vehicle while riding her bicycle.
- $275,000 Settlement – Recovery for a victim of a nightclub assault and fall that caused a TBI.
Causes Of TBI
TBI can be caused by blunt trauma (a bump, blow or jolt to the head) or a penetrating injury (such as a gunshot). Over a recent four-year period the leading causes of TBI were:
- Falls (40.5 percent).
- Struck by or against an object (15.5 percent).
- Motor vehicle accidents (14.3 percent).
- Assaults (10.7 percent).
These statistics are based on TBIs that result in an emergency room visit, hospitalization or death. As the website Brainline.org points out, focusing on moderate to severe TBI (by looking at admissions to neuro-intensive care units) puts car accidents (60 percent) atop the list of TBI causes.
Long-Term Effects Of TBI
About 10 percent of TBI victims suffer persistent symptoms. While these symptoms vary from patient to patient depending on the area of the brain damaged and the extent of the injury, three general types of problems occur with TBI:
- Physical problems such as reduced coordination, weakness and problems with balance.
- Cognitive problems including trouble paying attention, concentrating, remembering new information, solving problems, and speech and language problems.
- Emotional problems such as increased restlessness and dependence on others, mood swings, irritability, aggression, lack of motivation and lack of self-awareness.
Cost Of TBI Treatment
Treating, rehabilitating, and caring for TBI victims costs the U.S. around $30 billion each year. The average lifetime costs for an individual with TBI, which the CDC says is difficult to estimate, range from $85,000 to $3 million or more.
- The Rand Corporation estimates that the one-year cost of a mild TBI ranges from $27,260 to $32,760 or more per case. For moderate to severe TBI, costs per case run from $268,900 to $408,520 or more.
- Research published in the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care estimates that the direct medical cost for severe TBI (converted from 2002 dollars to 2014 dollars by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is $85,600—an average cost of $5,650 per day of hospitalization.
- A case study from 1997 found that the direct costs of TBI per patient (adjusted for inflation) ranged from $98,745 to $167,098.
These figures do not include the substantial costs related to lost earnings, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium and other losses. These often make up the largest part of a TBI victim’s compensation claim.
Discuss Your Case With An Experienced Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney
It’s not uncommon for the victims of traumatic brain injury to take on substantial medical debt. Financial relief through a personal injury lawsuit may be possible, but these actions require a skilled attorney to secure maximum compensation.
Speaking with a lawyer about your TBI will help you make an informed decision about the type of claim you may be eligible to file. For a free consultation with Marasco & Nesselbush call or contact us online now.
- Research America – Traumatic Brain Injury
- The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care – Using a Cost-Benefit Analysis to Estimate Outcomes of a Clinical Treatment Guideline: Testing the Brain Trauma Foundation Guidelines for the Treatment of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
- Brainline.org – Introduction to Brain Injury
- University of Alabama at Birmingham – Understanding TBI: Brain injury impact on individuals functioning
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet
- Report to Congress on Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States
- Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury The Rand Corporation – Invisible Wounds
- Journal of ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research – The costs of traumatic brain injury: a literature review