Escondido Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
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Escondido Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
After a traumatic brain injury, the devastating effects set in—some right away, while other symptoms develop with time. Individuals with any severity of brain injury may lose consciousness at the time of the accident, or they may not. They may feel disoriented, upset, and anxious. They may struggle to remember what led to their injuries, or they may show signs of confusion or upset.
Unfortunately, these symptoms represent only the beginning of the process. Many individuals with traumatic brain injury suffer for the rest of their lives with the symptoms and impacts of those injuries. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you need to move forward with your life and get the treatment you need for your injuries. Contact a California brain injury lawyer today at (619) 237-3490 to schedule your free consultation.
The Financial Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury
Many people immediately see the physical impact of traumatic brain injury and how it transforms the victim’s life. The financial impact, on the other hand, usually remains private, even invisible. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injury can have a substantial financial impact on the victim and the victim’s family. A severe brain injury can cost millions of dollars, both during the immediate aftermath of the accident and during the recovery process.
Immediately after the traumatic brain injury, the victim may go to the hospital—often in an ambulance. That ambulance ride represents the first of many medical expenses associated with the traumatic brain injury. In some cases, including prolonged coma, the victim may remain hospitalized for several days, weeks, or even months after the accident. During that hospitalization and the weeks to come, the victim will undergo scans of their head and body to help identify any injuries, including further tissue damage.
However, many scanning technologies cannot reveal the injuries because the damage to the brain may be microscopic. In this case, other medical specialists and diagnostic tests may be necessary.
All of those tests add up.
Even once traumatic brain injury victims no longer need hospitalization, they may struggle with other problems that require medical intervention. Some traumatic brain injury victims, for example, note a significant increase in headaches or migraines, which may require medication to manage.
The longer the victim remains hospitalized and the more severe the victim’s symptoms, the more the cost of medical care mounts. In many cases, other injuries accompany traumatic brain injuries, requiring increased care and treatment. Many people have copays and deductibles associated with their health insurance policies. Others may lack adequate health insurance, especially insurance adequate for so severe an injury. Unfortunately, those medical costs often add up more than anticipated, leaving the victims of traumatic brain injury struggling to pay their medical bills.
Trained Care Providers
After initial medical care following traumatic brain injury, some victims can go home, but require skilled care to support them. Others may need to spend time in a care facility before transitioning back home, especially if they need ongoing occupational therapy to help support them. Even when they go home, many victims of traumatic brain injury require ongoing support from nurses or other care providers. They may not have the capacity to be at home alone during the recovery process. Some victims of traumatic brain injury can never return home permanently because they lost the ability to care for themselves. Others may need to remain in a care facility for months or years.
Unfortunately, skilled nursing facilities or care facilities typically have significant costs. Not all insurance policies will pay for those long-term stays in care facilities, especially if the traumatic brain injury victim needs to remain in those facilities for the rest of his life. Other insurance policies do not cover in-home care.
Many victims of traumatic brain injury struggle with emotional regulation following the injury. They may burst out of control in anger or suffer extreme anxiety, especially when presented with specific triggers. Others may suffer from PTSD, having flashbacks about the accident or becoming distressed when presented with any reminder of the accident itself. Many suffer from anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorder. Psychological therapy can help many traumatic brain injury victims deal with the trauma and maintain a more effective emotional equilibrium.
Not only do many victims of traumatic brain injury need ongoing psychological therapy to help manage triggers associated with the accident or with increased sensory sensitivity, many also require occupational therapy, speech language pathologists, cognitive rehab specialists, and physical therapists to learn how to function within their new limitations. Traumatic brain injury often causes cognitive difficulties. These specialists can help many traumatic brain injury victims deal with some of the cognitive problems associated with their injuries, including:
- Speech difficulties. Many victims of traumatic brain injury struggle to process language the same way they did before the accident. Some may speak too rapidly or slur their words. Others struggle to form speech at all. Still others may struggle to understand spoken language. Therapy can make it easier to communicate, even when normal processing does not return.
- Problems with written language. Even when spoken language remains clear, some traumatic brain injury victims struggle with written language. Handwriting may become illegible, or the victim may not read as well as they could before the accident. With therapy, the brain can often relearn how to process written language.
- Memory problems. Some victims of traumatic brain injury suffer from long-term memory issues, from failing to remember the past to fighting to keep things in short-term memory. Cognitive rehab and ccupational therapy can offer coping mechanisms that make it easier for victims of traumatic brain injury to deal with many of those challenges.
- Sensory difficulties. Following traumatic brain injury, many victims find that they process sensory input very differently from the way they did before the accident. Victims may, for example, no longer have the same perception of hot and cold. They might find tastes have changed drastically, or that sounds no longer appear the same as they once did. Occupational therapy can make it easier to deal with many of these sensory challenges.
All of these therapies add up quickly—and many victims of traumatic brain injury need more than one type of therapy, often on an ongoing basis, as they struggle to recover from their injuries. Not only that, the other members of a brain injury victim’s family may need psychological therapy to help them adapt to their loved one’s new challenges. The family of the victim may receive less attention than the victim, but the family’s needs are no less real—and come along with their own set of expenses.
During the recovery period following a traumatic brain injury, many victims need to make alterations to their lives—and some of those alterations come along with a significant price tag. Consider:
- Victims may need to find new methods of transportation. Some victims of traumatic brain injury can no longer drive, especially if they lose their sense of direction due to their injuries or can no longer remember their destination after they get in the car. Dizziness and vertigo or seizures can also prevent a traumatic brain injury victim from driving.
- Victims may need to rearrange their homes. Some victims of traumatic brain injury may find that labeling their cabinets offers enough support to know what they have in them. Others may need to remove items from their homes that cause unnecessary confusion or distress. In some cases, family members may need to add special locks to outside doors, stoves, or cabinets that contain dangerous items to prevent the victim from hurting himself or wandering off.
- Victims may change the activities they participate in. In some cases, the activities victims use to move past traumatic brain injury may have a higher financial cost than previous hobbies and activities. These changes can leave the family of the victim struggling to keep up with the cost.
Paying for Tasks Once Completed by the Victim
Most people lead full lives filled with many important activities and responsibilities. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injury victims, depending on the extent of their injuries and whether the impact causes physical, cognitive, or social damage, may struggle to take care of the same responsibilities they once took on. Many families must then pay for someone else to complete basic tasks that the victim once took care of, including:
- Childcare. When the victim took on primary responsibility for childcare before the accident, after the accident, the family may need to turn to professional childcare options to ensure that children get the care they need. Children who once stayed at home with mom or dad, for example, may suddenly need to go to daycare every day. Older children may require after school care, rather than coming home with the parent.
- House cleaning. Every member of the family probably bears some responsibility for keeping the house clean. If the traumatic brain injury victim took care of the majority of house cleaning tasks, however, the family may need to bring in a house cleaning service or cleaner to take care of those regular tasks. Many families may not have the ability to reassign those tasks, especially if the family must also provide ongoing care for the traumatic brain injury victim.
- Care for aging relatives. Sometimes, the traumatic brain injury victim may have provided care or assistance to aging loved ones, including aging parents. Unfortunately, after the accident, that individual may struggle to provide that care. The family may need to hire someone to take care of transporting elderly loved ones to the doctor, taking care of shopping, or even sitting with that individual during the day.
- Outdoor maintenance. Did the traumatic injury victim once take care of mowing the yard or keeping up with outdoor maintenance? From gardening to trimming back trees and shrubs, outdoor maintenance can quickly become a serious issue. When the family wants to keep the home looking nice, they may need to hire someone to come in and take care of those outdoor maintenance tasks.
Sometimes, families may see much of their time and energy going to the victim of traumatic brain injury. As a result, the family may need to hire someone else to take care of some tasks that other family members considered their responsibility, even if the TBI victim did not bear responsibility for that task.
Inability to Work
All of the expenses associated with traumatic brain injury add up fast. Many families find themselves financially stretched in the days and weeks immediately following the accident.
Then comes the next blow: the TBI victim cannot return to work.
In some cases, the victim may have an intellect-driven job that requires high executive functioning skills. In others, the victim may lack the emotional regulation necessary to deal with customers or management at the workplace. Still others may have physical deficits associated with the brain injury, preventing them from taking on physical tasks in the workplace.
Some traumatic brain injury victims need weeks or months off work to recover from their injuries. Others may never return to work in their former capacity. As a result, not only do expenses add up fast, the family may not have the same level of income coming in to help pay for their normal expenses. If the traumatic brain injury victim had the primary breadwinning responsibility for the family, the family may not have any income coming in at all. Then it becomes vital to speak to a California personal injury attorney about your situation.
An Escondido Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, not only do you struggle with life-altering changes to that individual, you may find your finances completely out of control.
While no compensation can return what your loved one has lost, a personal injury claim can help you recover the funds you need for treatment, to help the traumatic injury victim, and to help your entire family move on with their lives. If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (866) 395-6792. We can help file your personal injury claim and fight for the compensation your family deserves.
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