What Are the Long-Term Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Over 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Cases of traumatic brain injuries range from a concussion sustained during a football game to a catastrophic vehicle accident requires years of recovery. As more people become aware of the scope of traumatic brain injuries, questions arise about the cost of hospitalization, recovery, and aftercare.

Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Regardless of the severity of a traumatic brain injury, the effects may have lasting results. Those who have a mild traumatic brain injury like a concussion recover from their initial injuries but could experience lasting effects. Individuals who have suffered severe or open traumatic brain injuries likely face years of recovery and care. Open TBIs refer to brain injuries where the skull breaks or fractures, whereas closed TBIs occur when an outside force impacts the head. Traumatic brain injuries often result in at least one hospital visit, but patients could easily have to cope with a lifetime of aftereffects.

Long-term and short-term issues related to TBI include:

  • Cognitive function: memory and attention
  • Motor function: weakness in the extremities, impaired coordination, and balance
  • Sensation: hearing, vision, touch, and impaired perception
  • Behavior: emotion regulation, depression, anxiety, lack of behavioral control, aggression, and personality changes

Extremely severe traumatic brain injuries may lead to coma, amnesia, or death. Traumatic brain injuries often affect a person’s ability to complete what used to be easy, everyday tasks like eating, speaking, and maintaining relationships. Individuals with significant disabilities from a TBI require constant care that is costly for families to sustain without financial support. Knowing what happens after a traumatic brain injury patient leaves the hospital is vital to understanding recovery costs.

Therapies, Assistive Devices, and Care

Many traumatic brain injury patients recover from their injuries and can live without extended therapies or care. For those who cannot recover to their previous level of function, therapy, assistive devices, home modifications, and at-home care may be necessary. The outcome of a TBI depends on the individual’s ability to recover and amount of money they can pay for care.

Traumatic brain injury patients may require speech, physical, and cognitive therapies as part of their recovery process. Physical therapy alone can range from $75-$350 per session out of pocket, which means that individuals who require treatment for months or years could pay tens of thousands of dollars when all is said and done. Assistive devices are often necessary as well and can drive up the cost of recovery.

Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the individual may require assistive devices to perform daily tasks. These devices can help the individual walk, talk, see, and/or write. Again, it depends on the patient's symptoms and circumstances as to what devices they need.

Assistive devices include any of the following:

  • Touch-faster grips for pens or utensils
  • Special telephones that help with speech and hearing impairments
  • Canes, walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs for mobility
  • Eye patches or prism glasses for vision impairments
  • Special beds to limit pressure sores and improve circulation

These devices can be for temporary or permanent assistance. The cost of assistive devices could be a few dollars for a pen grip to thousands of dollars for a medical-grade bed. For people with traumatic brain injuries, these devices are essential for daily functions.

The Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury

The Brain Injury Association of America promotes several studies that detail the potential cost of a traumatic brain injury. Their findings show that an exact amount for the cost of TBIs depends on the required level of care, duration, and insurance coverage. Estimated costs range from $85,000 to $3 million.

In recent years, many prescription medication costs skyrocketed to amounts few Americans can afford. People with TBIs may require prescription medications they have to pay for out of pocket. And while many individuals with traumatic brain injuries can afford prescription costs, some cannot. For individuals who have a traumatic brain injury from an accident or negligence, legal recourse may be the best way to recover the costs of compensation.

Recovering Your Quality of Life

Traumatic brain injuries are devastating both emotionally and financially for victims and their families. Many Americans do not have adequate healthcare insurance to cover the mountain of costs associated with TBI recovery.

If you feel hopeless and overwhelmed by the cost of traumatic brain injury recovery, and you believe you may be entitled to compensation, choose a legal team you can trust at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. Our team of compassionate attorneys makes our clients our number one priority. We provide personalized strategies to fit the unique needs of our clients.

Call us at (800) 462-7160 or visit us online for a consultation today.