We know more now about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) than ever before — but it’s still not enough. We know a serious blow to the head is more than just “getting our bell rung” and walking it off is no longer an option. We know to take care, take time and be patient with recovery. But we are still learning about the full impact of these injuries.
Regardless of the information we have yet to learn, another important lesson in recent years is the steep cost that comes with treating TBIs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that TBIs present a serious economic burden. A recent report by Northwestern University that dug into the matter found the cost range is large because the injuries can be so different for each victim. The range reported by the researchers ran from $85,000 to $3 million per case. Even the low end of the estimate is far more than most families can afford.
What are my options to pay for TBI treatment?
If the injury is the result of an accident, the first step is to look to liability. If the accident was the result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, that party should help cover the cost of treatment. It is more than common sense; it is the law. Civil law in our country allows victims the ability to hold responsible parties accountable for these costs through a personal injury lawsuit. In an earlier piece, available here, we discussed the importance of taking all possible injuries into account to help better ensure the victim gets the funds they are entitled to by law.
How do personal injury lawsuits work in these cases?
Whether a car accident, serious fall, or other type of accident, these cases often hinge on the legal theory of negligence. To establish that the other party was negligent, the victim generally needs to start with showing that the other party had a duty to the victim. In the example of a car accident, the duty is met because every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely.
Next, it must be shown that the other party breached the duty. If the driver was speeding or driving recklessly, they breached that duty. If a property owner knew of a dangerous condition and did not take action to make it safe, they likely breached this duty. After the breach is established, the victim would show that the breach caused the injury in question. Medical records can help meet this requirement.
These are just a few examples of how to build a personal injury case to get the funds needed to cover the high cost of treating a TBI. An attorney experienced in this area of law can review your case and discuss your options.