How much a brain injury costs in dollars depends on its severity. The financial cost of a mild concussion will be less than that of a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) that requires extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. A serious injury can reach into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars. Estimates show that the average lifetime medical cost per person for a serious brain injury ranges from $85,000 to $3 million. Nationally, brain injuries cost the economy over $76 billion annually in medical costs, lost productivity, and other losses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Many costs of brain injuries are not easy to measure in dollar figures. It’s hard to put a price on physical pain, emotional suffering, and the effects that brain injuries have on relationships and quality of life. But these are all very real costs of brain injuries, too. They have to be considered when asking the question, “How much does a brain injury cost?”
Hospital Costs for a Serious Brain Injury
CDC data shows that hospital costs account for 90% of medical expenses of a TBI. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, what extent of services you’ll need while in the hospital depends on the severity of your injuries. The worse you were injured, the more care you’ll need and the more it will cost.
Here are types of medical care and services from emergency room doctors, surgeons, nurses, therapists, radiologists, and other medical professionals that you may need while hospitalized after a traumatic brain injury:
- Emergency medical care (EMS)
- Intensive care (ICU) treatment
- CT scans and other tests
- Surgeries for brain and skull injuries
- Prescription medications
- Hospital recovery
- In-patient rehabilitation.
What is the Cost of Brain Injury Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is an important part of recovery following a serious traumatic brain injury. It treats physical and mental problems and may help you regain abilities you had before you were hurt. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, brain injury sufferers may need rehabilitative treatments that include some or all of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Physical medicine
- Psychiatric care
- Psychological care
- Social support
What is the cost of brain injury rehabilitation? Stays at rehabilitation facilities can cost into the thousands per day. One study described by the Brain Injury Association of America on its website looked at average daily charges for 84 inpatients in a rehabilitation facility. The average per day charge per person was $1,600, with an average total cost of $46,000 for the complete stay. While the main costs were for rehabilitative treatments, room and board was included that couldn’t be directly billed to medical insurers.
Even with rehabilitative care, some people with brain injuries never regain their previous abilities. They may be permanently disabled and require continuing and costly care for the rest of their lives.
Other Costs of a Serious Brain Injury
Lifelong problems that people with serious brain injuries may have include difficulty thinking and remembering, issues with walking and talking, a decreased ability to keep a job, and many other issues that interfere with normal daily life. Some people who are severely disabled may need 24-hour skilled nursing care. Sometimes people need paid caregivers just to help with basic tasks. And in some situations, family members must take on this role, further changing and straining relationships.
Getting Help with the Costs of a Serious Brain Injury
You can see that the cost of brain injuries can be astronomical over a lifetime, in both dollars and less tangible costs. If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury, it can be worth considering whether negligence by another party contributed to the car accident, fall, or other incident that caused the injury. If negligence was involved, you could potentially get money through a legal claim to help pay for past, current, and future expenses related to the injury. Compensation could be significant, depending upon the circumstances and severity of your injuries. While it won’t change the injury, compensation may reduce financial and other stress on your family.
How Does a Legal Claim Work?
If you believe the accident in which you or your loved one was injured was caused by another person or party, you may be able to bring a legal claim against them. In a legal claim, your attorney will look at all of the evidence involved to determine and establish negligence. They will then try to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If, for example, your brain injury was due to a car accident, your attorney will try to negotiate a fair settlement with the driver’s insurer. Usually, claims where fault is clearly established settle outside of the courtroom. But in some cases, if fair settlements can’t be reached, lawsuits may have to go to trial to be decided before juries.
Compensation in Serious Brain Injury Claims
Depending on the circumstances, compensation for costs of a serious brain injury can include payment for:
- Cost of doctors, hospitalization, therapy, rehabilitation, and other medical expenses
- Skilled nursing home or other long-term care
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Lost income for time missed at work
- Lost earning capacity when you can’t work anymore or work ability is reduced
- Pain and suffering for physical pain and emotional trauma
- Caregiver assistance to help with the basic tasks of daily life.
Every case is different when it comes to compensation. An experienced brain injury attorney can advise you about what your case may be worth.
Reach Out to a Skilled Houston Brain Injury Lawyer
At the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant in Houston, we understand the devastation brain injuries can cause. Serious TBIs can wipe out families financially, in addition to the physical and emotional effects they cause. We provide legal guidance to clients who are dealing with brain injuries, either themselves or within their families. To schedule a free consultation about your case and get well-informed answers to your questions about your legal options, call our law firm at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 today.