Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when the head or body sustains a violent blow or jolt, or an object penetrates the skull, disrupting the brain's normal functions. Considering the conditions that result in a TBI, it's easy to see how car accidents became a leading cause of these very serious brain injuries.
In fact, motor vehicle accidents account for the largest percentage of fatal TBIs—31.8 percent—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accident victims fortunate enough to survive a TBI may face temporary, long-term, or even permanent physical, cognitive, motor, sensory, behavioral, and emotional impairments. Depending on the severity of the TBI, these impairments can negatively affect a victim's ability to drive, hold a job, perform daily tasks, and maintain appropriate relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. As a result, TBI victims can incur an astonishing amount of debt during their lifetime.
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI in a car accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, you may be entitled to much-needed compensation. Here's what you should know before taking legal action.
Types of TBIs
There are three main types of TBIs: concussions, moderate TBIs, and severe TBIs. Concussions, which are the mildest type of brain injury, often heal on their own with plenty of time and rest, while moderate and severe TBIs usually require extensive medical intervention—both immediately after the accident and in the days, weeks, and months that follow.
Doctors and medical records may also refer to a TBI as being either “open” or “closed.” An “open” TBI is one caused by an object that penetrates the skull, whereas a “closed” TBI is more likely to have been caused by a strong blow or jolt.
Costs Associated With TBIs
Medical expenses may seem like the most obvious costs associated with a TBI, but they are not the only costs people living with a TBI face. Here are just a few of the many expenses incurred by TBI victims:
- Medical expenses, including doctors visits, hospitalizations, surgical procedures, visits with specialists, prescription drugs and other treatments, and accident-related medical transportation and travel expenses
- Rehabilitative therapy, such as physical and occupational therapies
- In-home or on-site nursing care
- Modifications to make their home handicap-accessible
- Handicap-accessible vehicle or other transportation costs
- Assistive equipment and devices, such as canes, leg or back braces, and wheelchairs
TBI Cost Statistics
According to the CDC, there are approximately 5.3 million Americans living with a TBI-related disability. Further research has revealed just how expensive living with a TBI can be. Consider these alarming statistics:
- In addition to their impact on victims and their families, TBIs also have a significant societal and economic cost—to the tune of an estimated $76.5 billion per year (CDC).
- The lifetime costs associated with a patient's treatment for TBI range from approximately $85,000 to more than $3 million, according to Chandi Edmonds, an assistant professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
- Victims with mild head injuries may face lifetime costs of up to $85,000, while victims with moderate TBIs face costs of nearly $950,000, and victims with severe TBIs face costs of $3 million or more.
- TBI patients who require acute in-facility rehabilitation can incur costs averaging $1,000 per day; the average stay for TBI patients in such a facility is 55 days.
Do You Need Help Handling a California Car Crash Claim or Lawsuit?
If you or someone you love suffered a TBI in a California car accident, you may find yourself drowning in unexpected debt. However, if the accident in which the injury occurred was caused by another driver's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Rancho Cucamonga personal injury attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can review your case, and help you explore your legal options. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.