The Colossal Long-Term Costs of a Severe TBI
At The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond, severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most devastating cases that we see. With a bad TBI, many patients are unable to ever fully recover lost cognitive function and mobility, rendering them in need of long-term help. The costs for this help are astronomical, and few people have the resources to pay for it on their own. We are proud of our work fighting for compensation for our clients, and we will gladly use our skills to fight for you. To schedule a free case evaluation with a Bronx personal injury lawyer, call The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond today or contact us online.
Repercussions of a Severe TBI
Each year, about 1.5 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury. About 200,000 of them will need to be hospitalized and more than 52,000 people will die of their injuries. Even if a TBI victim survives, she can face serious complications, such as:
- Impaired mobility. The patient might be unable to walk or move her arms. Patients also lose coordination and balance, which can make it difficult to stand and keep their head up.
- Decreased ability to communicate. A TBI patient might be unable to speak or understand language, whether oral or in print. Speech impediments can be particularly frustrating for patients, who want to be heard.
- Impaired cognition and memory. A severe TBI can hamper memory as well as the ability to think logically and solve problems. As a result, some TBI patients engage in riskier behavior because they cannot understand the consequences of their actions.
- Mood or personality changes. A TBI patient’s personality might change. Many victims suffer from severe depression and other mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Even when no mental health disorder appears, many TBI patients suffer from irritability.
- Coma. Most people with a severe TBI initially slip into a coma, at least after the initial blow to the head or body. Many will come out of it, in stages, over a period of weeks or months. However, some TBI patients never come out of the coma and will need permanent hospitalization so that they can be fed and monitored.
TBIs can be every bit as devastating as spinal cord injuries that render their victims paralyzed. Severe TBIs can also be particularly stressful on family members, who are suddenly thrust into a caretaking role that they never imagined having to occupy so early in life. As a result, family members suffer their own losses and frequently need counseling and group therapy.
With a severe traumatic brain injury, many patients need surgery to remove skull fragments or stop internal bleeding. This type of surgery is not only expensive but carries with it the complications that all surgeries have, such as a risk of infection or even death.
Once a patient is stabilized, most treatment will focus on trying to regain whatever functioning was lost or learning new ways to perform old tasks. The process can be very slow, especially after a severe TBI. For example, it might be months before your loved one can learn how to follow simple one- or two-step commands.
As your loved one improves, she might undergo any of the following long-term rehabilitation:
- Speech therapy, to help them learn how to talk and how to understand language.
- Physical therapy, to regain movement and improve coordination.
- Occupational therapy, to relearn ways of taking care of themselves, such as relearning how to get dressed, bathe, and cook meals.
- Behavioral therapy to help TBI patients manage intensely negative emotions and personality changes.
Rehabilitation can be very expensive—costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, therapy might not be entirely successful at regaining functioning, though many people with a severe TBI are able to make partial improvements. As a general rule, the sooner your loved one starts rehabilitation, the more improvement they will see.
However, the reality is that many TBI patients will need additional help in the future. For example, they might need an at-home attendant to help with bathing, dressing, and other household chores. They might need an aide who can help them buy food and pay bills, especially if they do not regain the ability to communicate. When a severe TBI strikes at a young age, patients need additional help for 40 years or more. Unsurprisingly, the costs of someone who survives a severe TBI can approach $4 million.
Severe TBIs cause more than sky-high medical bills. If the patient was injured during her prime working years, then the amount of lost income can also be substantial. Someone with a severe TBI might not be able to return to any job and can become permanently disabled. As a result, she might lose out on several decades of income.
Depending on her skill, education, and experience, someone who suffers a severe TBI at age 30 might lose out on millions of dollars of lost income and benefits over a lifetime. This economic loss is just as serious for the TBI patient and her family as mounting medical expenses.
Compensation Is Available
Our clients who have severe TBIs come to us seeking financial help. Their lifetime costs of medical care, coupled with the inability to work, leave them in tough financial situations. Even if their health insurance pays for some treatment and rehabilitation, the patient is worried about losing their insurance especially when it is tied to a job. Because the patient cannot work, finances are stretched.
Fortunately, if our clients can show that someone else is to blame for the injury, then they might be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical care
- Future medical care
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The amount our clients can receive is limited by several factors, including the defendant’s resources. If the person who injured you does not have many assets or insurance policies, then the amount you can receive could be minimal.
Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer in New York City
In the immediate aftermath of a severe traumatic brain injury, patients and their family members need to focus on recovery. However, they also need to protect their rights to compensation. The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond have helped many TBI patients receive compensation and are here to help you. To schedule your free case evaluation, please call (718) 588-2000 or write to Ivan Diamond online.