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Evaluating the costs of traumatic brain injuries


Brain injuries can have lasting consequences and can be costly to treat. Brain injuries include blows and jolts to the head, as well as a penetration of the head, that damages the brain. The severity of a traumatic brain injury and symptoms can vary. Traumatic brain injuries can result in physical, financial and emotional losses for victims and their families. The cost of treating traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be high and can depend on the nature of the medical treatment needed and any rehabilitative care that is necessary.

Annually, the direct and indirect costs associated with TBIs have been estimated at $48.3 billion. The lifetime costs of a severe TBI can reach $4 million. An average estimate of medical and non-medical costs per traumatic brain injury survivor is $151,587. Rehabilitation costs average around $1,000 a day and the average rehabilitative stay is 55 days. Average costs increase significantly for those who are receiving rehabilitative care. One study reported that 4 years after the brain injury, the average costs associated with medical care and long-term care averaged $196,460 for victims of TBI receiving rehabilitative care compared to $17,893 for victims of TBI not receiving rehabilitative care.

Unfortunately, not all victims of TBI survive and the medical care costs for those that to not survive a TBI are the highest. Helping to get TBI victims back to work can also be costly and one study reported that the average cost for the first year of service was $10,198. Victims of TBI can suffer physical, cognitive and emotional impairments that can be ongoing. Families may suffer long-lasting pain associated with caring for a loved one that has been a victim of a TBI or the loss of a loved one due to TBI. A traumatic brain injury, unfortunately, is an injury that can commonly be suffered in car accidents.

Because of the significant impact of a TBI injury, victims and their families may be able to recover compensation for their damages through a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages, if the harm was negligently caused. As a result, it is important for victims and their families to be familiar with the resources available to help them with the present and future challenges associated with a traumatic brain injury.

Source: About Brain Injury, "Financial Costs of Brain Injuries," Accessed Sept. 28, 2016

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