In 2010, the national cost of direct and indirect medical expenses related to severe traumatic brain injury totaled approximately $76.5 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On an individual level, the numbers are still staggering. Someone in Montana, for example, who has suffered asevere TBI may face lifetime expenses of up to $3 million, Research America reports.
Why so expensive? In order to understand the costs associated with a brain injury, it is imperative to know what happens when someone experiences the trauma. The CDC points out that the effects of a brain injury can include the following:
- Loss or impairment of sensations such as touch, perception, hearing and vision
- Issues with motor functions, such as suffering weakness in certain body parts
- Problems with memory or attention spans
- Emotional struggles, including aggression, anxiety and depression
Each of these challenges may require medical and other forms of treatment. A severe injury, for example, could result in a long hospital stay, surgery and constant surveillance. Even after returning home, many people require in-home care, sometimes around-the-clock. Medications, rehabilitation and emotional therapy all come with a cost. One USA Today report stated that certain rehab programs can cost upward of $8,000 a day.
There is help available for people who have suffered a brain injury. The Brain Injury Alliance of Montana hosts a free support phone line through which specialists can help the injured transition to life at home. Montana also permits people with brain injuries to seek compensation from the parties whose negligence results in the condition. The state mandates that anyone wishing to file a personal injury law suit should do so within three years of the incident.