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A traumatic brain injury: What will it cost you?

From slip and falls on someone else's property to serious work related accidents, there are a range of instances in which you could suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While some TBIs can be mild and have only a minor impact on your life, more severe TBIs can have a devastating effect, particularly on one's finances and psychological state.

When considering the costs associated with TBIs, most people think about economic damages, which can include, but are not limited to:

  • Hospital bills
  • Prescription costs
  • Short-term and long-term care
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

The total cost can vary widely depending on the victim's situation, the severity of their injury and whether or not the TBI has left them permanently disabled. When considering this, it's not difficult to imagine that a TBI could end up costing someone hundreds of thousands of dollars -- if not millions -- over the course of their lifetime.

The costs you don't see

It's important to point out, however, that TBI victims don't just suffer economic damages. They can suffer noneconomic damages as well, including but not limited to:

  • Dependence on family for care
  • Loss of ability to work
  • Personality changes
  • Mood disorders
  • Loss of social independence
  • Loss of employment status
  • Cognitive impairment

As a 2013 paper for the National Center for Biotechnology explains, these psychosocial factors not only cause TBI sufferers immense stress, they can also impact relationships with family and friends as well as one's ability to retain work, or find new employment.

Despite not having a direct price tag associated with them, these psychosocial factors are still a cost of suffering a TBI, which is why they are often included in personal injury claims in addition to economic damages.

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