Brain Injuries and Medical Bills
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained in an accident can have very serious and sometimes permanent consequences associated with them. These injuries may also require a tremendous amount of medical treatment in order to correct or reduce. Statistics show that approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from traumatic brain injuries . This equates to one traumatic brain injury every 21 seconds. In most cases, the TBI victim is not even aware of the seriousness of the injury until long after sustaining it.
Medical treatment for these injuries is also extensive, and the resulting medical bills can be astronomical in traumatic brain injury cases. In fact, the total cost of in the United States comes to almost $49 billion every year. Of this $49 billion, hospitalization costs approximately $32 billion. The other $17 billion goes to costs associated with traumatic-brain-injury-related fatalities, including funeral expenses and similar costs.
In the most serious traumatic brain injury cases, the patient may require around-the-clock supervision at a nursing home or assisted living facility. The costs of caring for survivors of these severe can range anywhere from $600,000 to upwards of $1.9 million.
Traumatic brain injuries often result in long-term – and sometimes around-the-clock – medical care. Depending upon the severity of the traumatic brain injury, a patient’s recovery time can range anywhere from 6 months to 2 years following the date of the accident. When it comes to achieving a full recovery, the first 6 months following the initial head injury are the most important.
People sustain traumatic brain injuries under a variety of circumstances, including motor vehicle, motorcycle, boating, pedestrian, slip and fall, sporting, and on-the-job accidents.
Some people are also more prone to traumatic brain injuries than others. For example, individuals who play contact sports, such as football, are more likely to suffer a TBI than others. Likewise, elderly patients are more likely to sustain a serious traumatic brain injury from a slip-and-fall accident than is a younger person.
The sad fact is that many of these accidents and the injuries that result are entirely preventable if people choose to act with care. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be able to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries and damages. The Tampa Bay, Florida traumatic brain injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group may be able to pursue legal action on your behalf and work towards obtaining the monetary compensation you need and deserve.
Determining What Constitutes a Traumatic Brain Injury
TBIs occur when a large amount of force is applied to the accident victim’s head. This can occur when something strikes the accident victim’s head – as in a car accident – or when the accident victim strikes his or her head on the ground. The large degree of force causes the accident victim’s head to contact the front or back of the skull, potentially damaging the brain’s internal hardware and preventing it from functioning correctly. While mild traumatic brain injuries can result in confusion, short-term memory losses, lightheadedness, blurred vision, and mild disorientation, more serious TBIs can leave an accident victim totally and completely incapacitated. In the worst cases, the accident victim may even end up in a permanent coma or vegetative state.
Emergency Room Bills and Imaging Studies
The first medical bill that an accident victim will likely receive is the emergency room bill – including bills for follow-up MRI’s, brain scans, or other imagining studies. Despite the potentially high costs or co-pays associated with this treatment, if you suspect that you have sustained a TBI in an accident, you should immediately follow up at a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room. This is important because many times, TBIs do not manifest themselves immediately. At the emergency room or urgent care facility, the proper tests can be done to ensure that you were not seriously injured in the accident. If you did sustain a TBI, the medical staff can take the necessary actions to ensure that your condition does not worsen. The hospital or urgent care facility may also be able to make a recommendation for future care, if necessary.
Other Costs Associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries
In addition to the hospital emergency room or urgent care bill, individuals who sustain traumatic brain injuries may also have to endure other serious medical costs. These costs can include:
- Hospital bills
- Neurologist bills
- Clinician bills
- Prescription medication costs
- Costs of psychological or psychiatric evaluations and care
- Physical therapy costs
- Costs of MRI’s, brain scans, and other imaging studies
- Costs of retaining home-care nurses or caregivers
- Nursing home or assisted living costs
- Costs of vocational rehabilitation or training
In addition to recovering the medical costs associated with treating severe traumatic brain injuries, other potential damages may include reimbursement for lost wages for time missed from work. In the most serious of cases, an accident victim may also be compensated for loss of earning capacity when, as a result of the traumatic brain injury or injuries, he or she cannot work at all or cannot work at the same job or in the same profession.
In addition to the economic damages resulting from TBIs, accident victims may also be able to recover monetary compensation for their pain and suffering, loss of quality and enjoyment of life, and lack of companionship.
An important step to proving damages is for a health care provider to testify that the accident victim had no cognitive difficulties before the accident, but that all of the difficulties started after the accident.
Call a Tampa Bay TBI Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case in Confidence
Traumatic brain injuries can have a significant and long-standing impact on the rest of a person’s life. The Tampa Bay traumatic brain injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can help you decide on the best course of action to take and can fight for your right to monetary compensation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765