March is Brain Injury Awareness Month – Long Term Care Needs of Brain Injury Victims is Very Expensive: Who Pays?


March is Brain Injury Awareness Month – Long Term Care Needs of Brain Injury Victims is Very Expensive: Who Pays?

Serious personal injury can happen in all sorts of ways: on the job work accidents; car crashes; falls down stairs or from scaffolds; sport concussions; truck accidents; and many more. Unfortunately, despite the cause of the injury, many severe personal injury claims often involve serious traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries and permanent brain damage happens from all sorts of hits and jars and stressors on the head and neck, resulting in harm to the brain which can mean death or a life-altering disability.

The Brain Injury Association of America reports that:

  • An estimated 2.4 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and another 795,000 individuals sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) from non-traumatic causes each year.
  • Currently more than 5.3 million children and adults in the U.S. live with a lifelong disability as a result of TBI and an estimated 1.1 million have a disability due to stroke.

March 2014 is National Brain Injury Awareness Month

Every year across the country, many organizations and individuals work together during the month of March to try and increase public awareness of brain injuries and the need to be aware not only of the symptoms of brain injury (concussions, for example, may not be readily apparent) as well as the long-term impact of brain injury upon its victims.

TBI victims will have lifestyle needs and concerns that others do not. For instance, there may be a problem with anger management and families need to be aware of the higher risk of domestic violence if the TBI victim’s special needs for not addressed. Employment and job support may be needed as well: TBI victims will have issues with headaches and memory issues which may mandate special and specific work rehabilitation programs. Many severe brain injury victims may require a transitioning from hospital care to outpatient and day treatment as they recover from their brain injury accident.

Brain Injury Damages and Long Term Care Needs Can Be Expensive and Needed for Months or Years

Serious traumatic brain injury may require emergency treatment including multiple surgeries; post-acute medical care; post-hospitalization therapeutic rehabilitation; as well as neurobehavioral care; assisted living environments; and more.

Sadly, many TBI victims will need personalized treatment programs as they adapt to their new reality and recover to reach their goal of a normal life style. The families of brain injury victims will need education and training, too.

All these needs are costly and in accident claims, those responsible need to be responsible for these damages and covering these needs. In personal injury claims based upon motor vehicle accidents or on the job work accidents, sporting injuries, school accidents, or other liability bases, it is important to calculate with accuracy the expected long-term financial care needs of the brain injury victim.

From the Brain Injury Association of America:

• Average hospital-based acute rehab is about $8,000 per day
• Range for post-acute residential is about $850 to $2,500 per day
• Day treatment programs (e.g., 4 hours of therapy) are about $600 to $1,000 with no room/board
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S., direct medical costs and indirect costs of TBI, such as lost productivity, totaled an estimated $76.3 billion each year.

 

“Since anyone can sustain a brain injury at any time, it is important for everyone to have access to comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management. Doing so eases medical complications, permanent disability, family dysfunction, job loss, homelessness, impoverishment, medical indigence, suicide and involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system. Access to early, comprehensive treatment for brain injury also alleviates the burden of long term care that is transferred to tax payers at the federal state and local levels.”

– Dr. Brent Masel, National Medical Director for the Brain Injury Association of America

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