A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be devastating, robbing a victim of the ability to perform the everyday tasks other people take for granted. Things like making their own meal, tying their own shoes, or even bathing themselves can be impossible. You could easily argue that a TBI could very well be the most catastrophic injury that someone can suffer. As you might expect, treating a TBI is typically incredibly expensive. How much does a TBI cost?
That will depend on several factors, as you’ll learn in this article. That’s why you’ll need to get in touch with an attorney with the Jones Law Group as soon as possible if you or a loved one has suffered a TBI in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. We have a lot of experience in personal injury cases, and we know how to obtain maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
Factors that Determine the Cost of Your TBI
A lot goes into determining the eventual cost of treating a TBI. The main factor is the severity of the injury. Before we get into the numbers, here’s a look at what is considered to be a mild, moderate and severe TBI.
- A mild TBI is often referred to as a concussion. Someone with this injury can feel dazed for a few seconds, and possibly even lose consciousness. They could also pass out for 30 minutes or even longer. If a concussion victim has memory loss, or experiences confusion more than 24 hours after the injury, they should immediately see a medical professional for further treatment.
- Moderate TBI usually occurs after a hard impact, such as after a slip and fall accident. They can lose consciousness for more than 30 minutes, and will typically have to rest for at least a week.
- When someone is assessed with a severe TBI, that means they’ve experienced an incredibly strong impact to the head. It could be due to a car accident, a workplace mishap, or a deliberate attack. Severe TBI will usually result in unconsciousness for 24 hours or longer. And it may leave someone unable to work for months, or possibly even years.
Average Total Cost
Every TBI is different, so there’s no set-in-stone “price tag,” so to speak, regarding how much treatment will cost. According to one study, the cost of a TBI-related hospital stay can range from a little more than $2,100 all the way to more than $400,000 – again, depending on the severity.
But these figures are just for the hospital stay. Someone who has to miss work could lose tens of thousands more in lost wages. Also, if a TBI is severe, the victim may need special accommodations just to be able to get around their home. They may also need speech therapy, physical therapy, and other forms of ongoing care for the rest of their lives. It’s not at all a stretch to say that, in some instances, the costs of TBI care can reach into the millions of dollars.
Damages that Can be Recovered
Any financial losses stemming from an accident caused by another’s negligence are referred to as “damages” in legal terms. The following are a few examples of the damages an injury victim may be able to recover by taking legal action.
Economic damages are those that can be easily calculated. Your attorney can look at your medical bills, for example, to determine your current expenses, as well as how much any ongoing treatment may cost. They can also obtain your pay stubs to determine the total of your lost wages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective. Suppose someone is in a truck accident and suffers a severe TBI. Not only are they experiencing an incredible amount of pain, they’re also experiencing emotional distress. They can’t even make a sandwich, much less enjoy the activities they once loved. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see how incredibly frustrating that can be, and how angry a TBI victim could get. A skilled attorney will be able to calculate non-economic damages, and demand that amount from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
These are damages that, as the name implies, are meant to punish the negligent party so heavily that they never commit that type of negligence ever again. Punitive damages are also designed to dissuade anyone else from doing the same thing. While punitive damages can be significantly higher, they’re very rarely awarded.
Someone would typically have to commit an act of gross negligence for a jury to even consider awarding punitive damages. One example is a person getting behind the wheel of a car even though they know they’re so drunk they can’t possibly drive safely. Or, a manufacturer could willingly produce a defective product, knowing it could cause a severe injury or a death.
What if My Settlement is Lower than the Money I Owe?
If that’s the case, just don’t accept the settlement. That seems obvious on the surface, but it can be very hard to actually do. If you’re worried because you haven’t been able to work in six months, if an insurance company offers to write you a check for $200,000, it could be very tempting to take it.
Unfortunately, there are law firms known as “settlement mills.” They’re called this because they encourage clients to accept a settlement, not caring that it won’t come close to covering that client’s expenses. These firms just want to make their money as quickly as possible, and take on as many cases as possible.
But accepting an insufficient settlement will be one of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make. What if your medical bills eventually total $1 million or more? You’ll be responsible for coming up with the other $800,000. Never, ever accept any sort of settlement offer without talking to a legitimate attorney first.
How Can Jones Law Group Help Me?
The attorneys with the Jones Law Group have a long track record of success helping clients who have suffered TBI through no fault of their own. We’ll work very hard to do the same for you. Schedule a free consultation by calling (727) 571-1333 or contacting us online.