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Life After Traumatic Brain Injury: The Real Cost of Rehabilitation

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most expensive types of injuries that a person can suffer.

The medical costs can be staggering. A person with TBI may also lose a tremendous amount of money due to the inability to work. Of course, pain and suffering must be taken into account as well.

Given this reality, the real cost of rehabilitation from traumatic brain injury can be devastating for victims and their families. Let’s take a closer look at these costs:

Medical Costs

The medical costs associated with TBI alone can be enough to throw a person into financial ruin. The exact costs that a person will incur for TBI treatment and rehabilitation therapy will depend on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury
  • The types of services rendered
  • Where treatment is provided.

In the aftermath of a TBI, types of medical services which may be costly include:

  • Physical therapy – A person who suffers TBI may experience an impairment of some of their normal physical functions. In some cases, it can take months of work to reacquire these functions and return to normal. A physical therapist may be needed to help a patient relearn how to follow commands, prescribe exercises for muscle and joint flexibility and assist with balance, coordination, strength, energy and more. Physical therapy is not cheap. Depending on the duration and extent to which physical therapy is needed, costs can quickly add up.
  • In-home rehabilitative care – Brain injury rehabilitation may be in the form of in-home care or combined out-of-home and in-home care. According to, types of brain injury rehabilitation can include:
    • Cognitive therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Vocational rehabilitation
    • Speech and language therapy.

In some cases, a live-in nurse may be necessary to help the patient in everyday tasks if the brain injury is severe.

  • Services for psychological health – A brain injury commonly results in psychological and emotional changes. A brain injury victim and his or her family often must pay for psychological evaluations and treatment. Behavior therapy, cognitive therapy and more – including the use of prescription medications – may all be recommended.
  • Supported living services – Sometimes, a brain injury is so serious that a victim simply cannot continue to remain living in his or her own home. Doing so is either too dangerous for the patient (because of the need for constant medical attention) or too much for others in the home to handle on their own. As a result, a victim may need supportive living services – often in the form of supported group home living, a nursing care facility or assisted apartment living. All of these options can be incredibly expensive. According to AARP, the average cost of a nursing home can be significant.

The above medical costs provide just a glimpse into the expenses that many brain injury victims and their families must face.

Loss of Income

One of the things that a working person who experiences TBI will have to cope with in the aftermath of that injury is the potential loss of income that victim and his or her family will face.

Of course, how much income is lost depends on the individual and the extent of the brain injury. Some people will miss only work during the time period immediately following the injury. Others may be out of commission for months or years.

The loss of wages can be a huge financial blow to a family, particularly when the victim is the primary income earner. For families that have no other source of income – or no other source of income that is sufficient to cover cost-of-living expenses – this can be devastating.

Loss of Support, Guidance, Consortium and More

Another cost of a brain injury that many do not think about until they are experiencing one includes the emotional costs of loss of guidance, support, consortium, parenting and more.

For those who are the family members of the brain injury victim, knowing how to cope with these changes can be very difficult. Family members may develop depression or other emotional changes themselves.

The spouse of a TBI victim may find it difficult to take over household duties like child rearing on their own, especially if there is also an obligation to earn an income. Many people feel as though they have lost their loved ones – even when the victim is still alive.

The victim and his or her family may also experience emotional anguish and suffering as a direct result of the injury.

Help with Insurance Billing and Recovering Lost Costs

Rehabilitation therapy and the dozens of other associated costs of a brain injury can quickly add up. When they do, a family will likely not know how to pay these bills. Possible ways of recovering costs and paying future bills include:

  • Seeking a settlement through the at-fault party’s liability insurance (such as auto insurance coverage)
  • Filing a claim with your own insurance company if you have coverage that applies (such as medical payments coverage or uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage)
  • Filing a lawsuit and going to court if a settlement cannot be reached.

Our Illinois Brain Injury Attorneys Are Ready to Serve You

The experienced Illinois brain injury attorneys at the law offices of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., understand how devastating a traumatic brain injury can be for your family.

We realize that bills associated with TBI rehabilitation and therapy can quickly add up. We want to help you to explore your options for paying these bills and recovering compensation for your losses.

When you are ready to learn more about how we can help you and take legal action, contact our law offices in Chicago or Waukegan for a free consultation.

Patrick A. Salvi

Patrick A. Salvi concentrates his legal practice in several limited areas primarily involving a trial practice in cases concerning serious personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and mass torts. Mr. Salvi has achieved record-breaking jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients, including serving as lead counsel in obtaining an Illinois record-high $148 million jury verdict and a Lake County record $33 million jury verdict.

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