The Massive Medical Costs of a Brain Injury
Each year, an estimated 2.8 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are a contributing factor to a third (30%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States.
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that the total economic cost of traumatic brain injuries, including direct and indirect medical costs, was approximately $76.5 billion. The cost of fatal TBIs and those requiring hospitalization accounted for approximately 90% of the total TBI medical costs.
Given the massive societal costs of TBIs, it is easy to understand how the medical costs for an individual suffering from a TBI can be devastating. Medical expenses for brain injuries include emergency department visits, hospitalization, rehabilitation and even ongoing medical care.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model System estimates the lifetime health care costs associated with treating an individual’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from $85,000 to more than $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury. This is obviously more than what most families have saved for an unforeseen medical emergency.
The cost of brain injury treatment and recovery can be an overwhelming worry for those who are already coping with a life-changing injury. As a result, it is critical to identify all potential insurance policies that may cover the present and future medical costs associated with a brain injury and to use legal means to enforce such policies if necessary.
Insurance Coverage for Traumatic Brain Injury
There are several types of insurance coverage that may pay for medical expenses and damages incurred from a brain injury. Such coverage may come from the insurance of TBI victim or his or her family or from the insurance of the person or company responsible. To determine what coverage may apply, you need to evaluate the circumstances that caused the brain injury and insurance policies of the parties involved.
Many times, insurance companies for the party that caused the brain injury refuse to pay a sufficient amount for the injury. For this reason, you should consider consulting with a brain injury lawyer who can help you both identify all potential insurance policies and recover the maximum compensation available under the law. Our Kansas City brain injury lawyer is experienced in finding insurance policies that may be available to cover your medical costs and can help hold the parties accountable to ensure a maximum recovery on your behalf.
Health & Accident Insurance
Health and accident insurance polices differ greatly, and you need to review the language in these policies carefully to ensure you receive the benefits allowed. Some health and accident policies only cover severe events, and others provide complete coverage, such as annual check-ups, routine doctor visits, as well as coverage for accidents, injuries and necessary hospitalization. In cases where a TBI occurred from an accident at a home, the homeowner’s insurance policy may provide some coverage.
Here are some questions that you will want to ask when you review these policies:
- What are the lifetime benefit limits?
- What is the deductible?
- Are there exclusions that apply?
- What benefits are included? Pay special attention to how care is coordinated and whether rehabilitation is covered.
- Is there an umbrella or excess liability policy available?
In the event of an automobile accident, your insurance coverage or that of the driver who caused the accident should pay part of the damages. However, this largely depends on the policies purchased by those involved in the accident and state law.
Kansas and Missouri both require drivers to carry a minimum level of car insurance, and in both states, this amount includes liability coverage. Liability coverage will pay for an injury that a driver is at-fault for causing another party. Kansas drivers are also required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages to the party carrying the policy.
If the accident was caused by a driver with no car insurance (or with insufficient car insurance), you may be able to obtain compensation under your own auto insurance company if you had uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you call your own insurance carrier, they will be able to provide you with a declaration page of your car insurance policy, which will tell you if you have this coverage.
This sort of coverage is for workers who suffer injuries at the workplace. Most employers – but not all –are mandated to have such insurance coverage for their workers.
Short-and Long-Term Disability
Although Short-and Long-Term Disability policies are not mandatory by law, an increasing amount of employers offer short and long-term disability policies for their workers. You can consult the brain injury victim’s employer after the accident to see if this benefit is available.
After an accident that results in a brain injury, it can be difficult to know what insurance policies or benefits may be available to help cover both your present and future medical costs. Insurance policies can be complex and difficult to navigate in the stressful times that follow a brain injury.
Contact our Kansas City Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member are recovering from a traumatic brain injury and wondering what rights you may have, our Kansas City brain injury lawyer is ready to help. Please contact our law firm using the form below or by calling 816-203-0143, for a free, no obligation consultation of your brain injury case, or to speak with a member of our law firm. We would be honored to help.