A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most life-altering and significant injuries that you can sustain during an accident. Although they range in severity from mild concussions to permanent comas, most TBIs leave victims with lasting side effects, and can even alter the victim’s personality traits, cognitive abilities, and memories. This is possible even if the TBI is considered to be “mild,” as recent research has suggested that even a small concussion can alter brain functioning after an accident.
One recent study on the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury noted that over 10 million people are affected by TBIs annually – and the authors also hypothesized that it will become one of the leading causes of death and disability by the year 2020. But what are the real long-term repercussions of this injury, and how much does it usually cost victims in terms of their lifetime wages and earning potential?
The Long-Term Effects of a Brain Injury
According to the CDC, there are approximately 2.5 million TBI-related ER visits every year in the United States, with up to 57,000 deaths occurring annually as a direct result of these injuries. Those that do survive a TBI may struggle to readjust in the aftermath, and deal with many lingering symptoms and conditions.
Here are a few of the most common long-term side effects of a TBI:
- Memory loss
- Loss of ability to form new memories
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Paralysis or spasticity
- Depression & other mood disorders
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Slurred speech
- Loss of reading and speaking comprehension
- Visual impairment
- Loss of motivation or interest in old activities
Because TBIs can cause emotional, behavioral, and mental changes as well as physical ones, it may be difficult for those with moderate or severe cases to find or keep jobs, or even work within their same industry. From re-learning speech patterns to regaining fine motor skills, it can take many years of therapy for injury victims to come to terms with their new reality.
The long-term effects are even more pronounced when the TBI victim is also a child. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who suffer from a TBI face severely heightened risks of depression, headaches, and mental disorders for the 5 years after the event. Up to 39% of the children in their sample study experienced these kinds of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
What Are the Costs of a TBI?
Between medical costs, unemployment benefits, and workers’ compensation programs, it costs our country about $76.5 billion to accommodate for those affected by traumatic brain injuries each year. While these costs may seem significant, the unfortunate truth is that many individuals with TBIs still struggle to pay for their basic living costs and sustain themselves through periods of unemployment or financial trouble.
In fact, one study found that over half of all homeless men had sustained at least one TBI during their lifetimes, with at least 87% of these injuries happening before they lost their homes. In other words, TBIs don’t just have the potential to result in short term costs: This condition can impact every aspect of our society, and required dedicated care and assistance to improve outcomes.
Dedicated Counsel for Your Brain Injury Claim
Thanks to the civil justice system, some TBI victims may be able to pursue legal action against the negligent individual or organization that caused their injuries. By seeking damages, victims may be able to receive appropriate financial assistance for their long-term needs and costs, and continue to get care while they adjust to life after their accident.
Damages are intended to help the plaintiff become “whole,” and that’s exactly what we’ll seek on your behalf here at Habbas & Associates. Passionate about our work, we truly fight for our clients and aim to maximize their results in every case – because we know how difficult it can be to manage a TBI without aid.
Call (888) 387-4053 today for more information about our legal services, or fill out our online contact form.