- February 02, 2023
- Personal Injury
When you suffer a brain injury, your life is often separated into before and after. There was your life before the brain injury and now your life after. Recovery may go beyond surgery. You may need long-term rehabilitative therapy, and you may need to adjust the way that you navigate your life as a whole.
There are costs of all kinds when it comes to brain surgery, but the financial cost is often cumbersome. When your brain injury is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, you may be entitled to compensation for some of those costs.But exactly how much does a brain injury cost?
How Much Do Brain Injuries Cost Each Year in the United States?
The cost of brain injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment used, but you can almost always count on it to be expensive. The CDC reports that the total annual healthcare cost of nonfatal traumatic brain injuries in America exceeds $40.6 million. That does not include the costs of fatal brain injuries, which could still fall upon you if a family member dies of a brain injury.
When we refer to brain injuries, we most often refer to a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. A TBI is a serious brain injury most often resulting from a violent blow to the head. These are often caused by car accidents, sports injuries, or falls. Although TBIs can be caused in an accident where no one is at fault, when someone else’s negligence causes a TBI, the victim and, in some instances, the victim’s family are likely entitled to compensation.
There are various financial costs that you may incur after a brain injury, including:
- Hospital costs
- Lost wages
- Long-term recovery such as therapy
The costs that will hit you first are the short-term costs. The CDC found that one-time emergency room costs for brain injuries are over $6,620 on average, with average lost wages totaling upwards of $1,600 for roughly 11 days of missed work. Then there are the long-term costs.
What Is the Cost of Brain Injury Rehabilitation?
In many cases, brain injuries require long-term recovery, including physical and cognitive rehabilitation. Depending on the extent of your brain injury, you may lose cognitive or motor function or even the ability to understand language. Sometimes brain injuries can also bring about emotional symptoms, as well, such as depressive episodes or changes in personality.
In any of these circumstances, therapy and rehabilitation are necessary to help you recover your standard of life. Rehabilitation can last for months or even years. This, of course, can be very expensive. The cost will vary depending on the types of therapy and rehabilitation that you might need.
For patients who need inpatient rehabilitation after a brain injury, the costs can become especially steep. One study found that patients paid on average $1,600 per day for inpatient rehabilitation, adding up to an average of $46,000 overall for an average length of inpatient rehabilitation. This includes room and board as well as the rehabilitation itself. Outpatient rehabilitation tends to be less expensive, but the costs can still add up significantly over time, depending upon how long it takes you to recover.
How Much Does It Cost to Treat a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is whipped back and forth and bounces around inside the skull. Concussions are considered mild brain injuries, and likely will not kill you. However, they can have serious effects such as:
- Memory problems
- Slowed motor skills
- Loss of consciousness
- Mood and personality changes
- Sound or light sensitivity
Concussions, even if mild, still need immediate and serious treatment. If you receive a concussion after an accident, you will likely have to go to the emergency room. In American football injuries, the average medical costs for treatment of a concussion was about $800. However, treatment for concussions can add up to thousands of dollars if you need an MRI or a CT scan.
You might also have to take time off work, which could lead to lost wages. The amount that you pay for your concussion, like everything else, will vary, but it is not a cost that you should have to pay after an accident due to someone else’s negligence.
Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The amount you may have to pay for treatment after your brain injury will often come down to the type of brain injury you suffer. TBIs are often broken down into two categories:
- Closed brain injuries – in which the brain suffers a violent, traumatic injury but the skull is not penetrated.
- Penetrating brain injuries – in which the injury breaks through the skull and penetrates brain matter.
There are also, as we discussed above, concussions. These are milder but should be taken seriously, as should all brain injuries.
Compensation You Can Receive After Your Brain Injury
The costs of treating brain injuries are high, but if your brain injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to certain damages in a legal settlement. The traditional damages are divided into economic and non-economic categories.
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs (in the event of a wrongful death)
- Lost wages
- Long term recovery costs
These are meant to compensate you for the nonmonetary impact that a brain injury causes, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship or society
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To prove the amount of your non-economic damages, you will likely need an evaluation from a doctor or mental health professional to attest to your distress. Economic damages are calculated based on the cost of your medical treatment, amount of past and future wage loss, and any out-of-pocket expenses that you had to pay as a result of your brain injury.
If You’ve Suffered from a Brain Injury that was Caused by Someone Else’s Negligence, a Washington Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Contact Montoya Hinckley today to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (509) 895-7373