Traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) affect over 1.4 million Americans each year, while over 3.17 million people in the U.S. are permanently disabled as a result of a TBI. Monetarily, this equates to $60 billion annually, a strain on our society underpinned by erratic medical care and lost wages. ¹
Brain injuries are more common than most people think. By way of comparison to the 1.4 million individuals annually sustaining a TBI, 200,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and less than 400,000 are diagnosed with autism.
Alarmingly, even though an individual is insured, he or she likely is not covered. Brain injuries require vast amounts of care, and the fact is – most Americans do not have adequate coverage.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to an increasing category of TBI victims; soldiers and veterans. Luckily, screening for brain injuries has become more routine in our military. Given the nature of symptoms, and their capacity to show up months after initial injury, long-term screening is suggested.
The current dilemma in America with regard to brain damaged patients is that adequate health care entails a continuum of treatment and care, with certain phases chronologically corresponding to differing treatments. Currently, most private insurers do not cover the entire spectrum of care.
The Brain Injury Association of America is advocating reforms that include requirements which cover the full spectrum of adequate treatment.
A traumatic brain injury does not discriminate amongst victims; TBI’s may be caused by accidents, falls, assaults, domestic violence, sports injuries, and negligence. The common denominator of all victims, however, is that each and every patient deserves the full spectrum of treatment options. Initial treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing disease management are all pertinent.
Depending upon the severity of the condition, victims may require life-long care which often places a financial strain on family members and loved ones. As a result of the potentially incapacitating nature of head trauma, it is imperative for the victim and their family that they are represented by the most competent and well established attorneys available. The Virginia brain injury lawyers at our firm have experience working with doctors across the United States, enforcing the legal rights of trauma victims, as they strive to be the voice of the victim.
Traumatic brain injuries can range from being “mild” in nature to “severe,” so it is important not to dismiss noticeable symptoms (such as impairment in cognition, memory, and behavior) as “normal.”
¹Finkelstein E, Corso P, Miller T and associates. The Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.