Why are traumatic brain injuries so expensive?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Compared with other catastrophic injuries, like spinal cord injuries and amputations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may not seem so severe at first. After all, there is a range of symptoms possible when someone hurts their brain, and even those with the same basic symptoms may have vastly different daily experiences based on their other health issues and the severity of their brain injury.

TBIs are some of the most expensive injuries that can occur in motor vehicle collisions. Obviously, when a brain injury proves fatal, it will carry a massive price tag. Why will a brain injury that someone survives cause financial hardship?

Care for brain injuries will be beyond what insurance will pay

Unless the brain injury is very mild and the insurance of the driver at fault for the crash is particularly generous, there’s a very good chance that someone will have health care costs that go far beyond what insurance will pay.

Researchers estimate that the average brain injury in the United States can cost anywhere from $85,000 to $3 million in lifetime treatment requirements. From initial trauma care to ongoing occupational therapy, there are many costs that may stem from someone’s TBI.

Brain injuries often affect careers and daily life

Workers including blue-collar employees and educated professionals may struggle to retain their careers after TBIs. The consequences of a brain injury might include issues with motor function and balance, which could affect the job performance of blue-collar workers and even retail professionals.

Brain injuries can also affect memory and information processing, which could make work more challenging for those in intellectual careers. Many people with TBIs eventually need to change their profession to something less risky and less demanding or stop working altogether.

People with brain injuries may also struggle to continue performing the same role they once did for their families. They may not be able to provide childcare or even drive themselves to their own medical appointments. The need to bring in professional help or for an adult to take over their responsibilities can place additional strain on a household’s resources when someone has a TBI.

It can be quite difficult for the average person to estimate the lifetime impact of a TBI because they aren’t fully aware of what the consequences will be nor how to value those changes to their household. Car insurance alone may not be enough to pay for even medical treatment, let alone someone’s lost income and other expenses. Learning more about your options after a car crash results in a brain injury can help you better cover the treatment costs generated by the crash.