September 30, 2019
Long Term Costs of TBIs
By Jonathan Damashek
A violent blow or other trauma to the brain can cause injuries so severe that the costs of treatment are often expressed in millions of dollars. According to researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, patients who suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could incur up to $3 million in expenses for medical care over their lifetimes. However, each victim’s circumstances are different. This massive figure doesn’t account for how a TBI affects you and your family personally. You may expect such immediate expenses as surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation, as well as wage loss that could last several months. Uncertainty and doubt may cloud your situation if you look further into the future.
Even when your outlook seems grim, it’s some relief to know that you may have legal options after a TBI. Our team at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can explain your rights and remedies, including filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the party responsible for causing your injuries. Please contact us to set up a free consultation with a New York brain injuries lawyer who can explain the basics. In addition, while it isn’t possible to provide a fully accurate figure, you can at least review some general information about the potential long-term costs of traumatic brain injury.
Expenses for TBI Medical Complications
This category includes costs that are directly related to treating brain injuries over the victim’s lifetime. While it’s often possible to fully recover, many individuals aren’t able to return to full health after a TBI. Some will not be able to walk, drive, handle personal hygiene, or live independently due to physical disabilities stemming from TBI. Plus, they may suffer additional complications related to:
- Diminished cognitive abilities, including attention span and memory;
- Decreased sensation, especially pertaining to hearing and vision;
- Declining motor function, weakness in the extremities, issues with balance, and lack of coordination;
- Emotional distress, including mood swings, depression, and anger;
- Behavioral effects, with frequent aggressive outbursts and the inability to control emotions; and,
- Diminished social and occupational skills.
All of these long-term brain injury complications require ongoing, regular medical and psychological treatment. Even though not all victims will need 24-hour care, doctor’s appointments will be far more frequent. Plus, it’s very likely that a person will be treated by health care providers in a wide range of practice areas. These costs add up to astronomical bills directly related to medical care from physicians.
In addition, many traumatic brain injury victims will incur expenses for life care costs, which cover both services and products. Examples include:
- Physical and rehabilitative therapy;
- Expenses for qualified in-home care, if necessary;
- Costs for assistance with non-medical tasks, such as cleaning, bathing, meal preparation, and other help with daily activities;
- Medical equipment, including a specialized bed, wheelchair, adjustments to vehicles, and other assistive devices;
- Medications; and,
- Many more.
Other Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury Affect Your Future
When you’re focused on the direct medical costs related to TBI, it can be easy to overlook some of the associated expenses and implications. Because such an injury disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, the victim is at greater risk of slips, falls and other accidents.
TBI-Associated Medical Conditions: The trauma to the brain may also increase the threat of the person developing medical conditions unrelated to TBI, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders;
- Pneumonia; and,
On their own, many of these ailments will require medical care, so they must be included when looking at the long-term costs of traumatic brain injury.
Non-Medical Implications: Of course, there are also consequences that are not directly related to medical care. The victim may never be able to work again or can only work with limitations, based upon the effects of the injury. Individuals will also suffer decreased quality of life when they cannot engage in favorite activities and must rely on others for care. On this point, you should note that family members will often step into the role of caregiver for their loved one. The loss of that person’s income is another indirect cost that affects the family and household.
Contact a New York Brain Injuries Attorney to Discuss Your Legal Remedies
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI, your losses can be devastating in both the short- and long-term. Fortunately, there are strategies to recoup some of your costs and alleviate the stress that often accompanies them. With a proven track record of serving clients throughout New York City and the surrounding region, our lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. are ready to pursue all available legal remedies. Please contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation today to learn more about your rights. Call us at 212-490-5700 or use our online contact form.