It is easy to hurt your brain in a car crash. You could hit your head or experience violent motions that lead to swelling and bleeding. In fact, motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States.
People often underestimate the severity of a brain injury right after a crash, and they may also underestimate how much the injury will cost. Identifying the biggest expenses families have to cover following brain injuries can help you decide the best way of offsetting those expenses.
Direct medical expenses
The medical care required to treat a traumatic brain injury is often very expensive. Each imaging test used to determine the location and scope of an injury, for example, could cost thousands of dollars.
The age of the individual and the severity of the injury determines the medical cost, but families may have to cover medical expenses ranging from $85,000 to more than $3 million. There will also be secondary medical expenses, like the cost of making a home wheelchair compatible or paying for life support equipment in severe cases.
The value of lost wages
Whether brain injuries cause physical symptoms like balance issues or a change to cognition or personality, a drop in earning potential is quite common following a TBI. Families may need to absorb decades of lost wages or a massive drop in income if someone can only work a minimum wage job.
Secondary household losses
The lost wages of the person with the injury aren’t the only income consequence your family may have. It is also common for other family members to need to provide more support.
The parents of a child with a brain injury may need to stop working or scale back their career to a part-time endeavor. Beyond that, there are the household services once provided by the injured party. Outsourcing those services to professionals could cost thousands of dollars a year.
The true costs of a TBI will often be more than what insurance will pay. Families may need to look into other options for compensation to adequately protect themselves. Recognizing the likely consequences of a traumatic brain injury can help you decide how to best pursue justice.