Financial Considerations of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The financial burden of a traumatic brain injury is substantial. Whether someone sustains this injury in an auto accident, a slip and fall accident, or even while playing sports, the burden on their family, friends, and society as a whole can be overwhelming. A few sources of these costs include:
- Medical care which might include a stay in the intensive care unit or a trip to the operating room.
- Property damage that might be related to the accident such as a totaled car.
- Long-term medical care which can include multiple visits to medical specialists, medications, and possible experimental treatments or repeat hospital stays.
- A loss of income as a result of an extended missed time from work.
- A drop in the overall productivity of the economy related to traumatic brain injuries.
It can be difficult to quantify just how much a traumatic brain injury costs; however, it is still important to think about the financial considerations of a TBI. This information can be used to target future medical research related to head and brain injuries.
A Study: The True Financial Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury
A study that was published in the Clinicoeconomic Outcomes Research Journal reviewed the potential health and economic burdens related to traumatic brain injuries that resulted in early death. The researchers studied all TBIs that took place between 2001 and 2005 which ultimately resulted in premature death not due to natural causes. The four leading causes of TBIs in this study included:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Firearm injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Motorcycle crashes
The researchers looked at when these individuals died and compared this to their life expectancy before the injury. Then, they calculated the total number of years of life lost and used this to calculate both direct and indirect costs related to the injury. The direct costs were calculated using medical records. The indirect costs were estimated as lost productivity and overall damage to the United States economy. In this study, the researchers calculated that the total cost of TBIs to society, per year, was $1.1 billion.
This study is helpful in that it places a number on the costs related to deaths due to TBIs; however, there is a flaw in the study. The researchers did not calculate the costs associated with those who survive their TBIs. The cost of brain injuries in survivors cannot be ignored because these individuals continue to build up medical costs and indirect costs that impact not only themselves but their families. Furthermore, just because someone survives a TBI does not mean that they return to work. Therefore, the true annual cost of a TBI is likely significantly higher.
The Goal: Reducing the Financial Burden of TBIs on Families and Societies
If the goal is to reduce the costs of traumatic brain injuries and the burden that they place on families and society, the goal must be prevention. Prevention will reduce the frequency of these injuries and, therefore, will reduce the medical costs and lost productivity as well. A few tips people should remember include:
- Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle.
- Use caution when walking up and down stairs or while walking on a slippery sidewalk.
- Wear proper head protection while playing contact sports.
- Wear a seatbelt in the car every time.
For families who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is essential to seek medical care as quickly as possible.
Watch YouTube Video: Identifying mTBI 6: The Personal and Societal Cost of TBI. This video features informative graphics and discussions on the personal and societal cost of a traumatic brain injury.
Contacting an Injury Attorney
Dealing with a traumatic brain injury can be difficult for a family to bear. There are multiple doctor’s visits, logistical issues, and medical bills to face. Furthermore, there could be a loved one who is completely dependent on the family for care. No family should ever have to shoulder this alone. This is why speaking with a San Francisco TBI Lawyer can be helpful. Some of the resources that an injury lawyer may share include:
- Assistance in pursuing damages related to the head injury, any of its complications, and even emotional distress.
- Serving as an objective presence who can help a family weigh every decision and make choices that can aid in the recovery.
- Negotiating with financial institutions to ensure that benefits are awarded quickly and appropriately.
- Transitioning a case to trial when needed.
Families need to know that help is always available. They do not have to face this tough situation alone. Meet with a TBI lawyer in San Francisco today. You could be owed a financial award.