What Is a TBI?

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
What Is a TBI?

Accidents can be especially life-changing, particularly when injuries are severe as is the case with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Recovery from a TBI may be a long, hard road. It's also expensive – from compounding medical bills to probable income loss, and emotional and physical pain. In this article, we'll discuss traumatic brain injuries, the damages that come with them, and potential legal options for victims. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury, such as a TBI, call our TBI lawyers in Arizona to discuss your legal options based on the specific facts of your case. You can set up a free consultation by calling 602-345-1818 or filling out our online contact form here

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define traumatic brain injury as an injury that affects the way the brain functions. When someone suffers a TBI, they've suffered a bump, jolt, blow, or penetration to the head. This may be the result of a car accident, a slip and fall, or a gunshot wound. The CDC breaks up TBIs into three categories based on severity: mild TBI or concussion, moderate TBI, and severe TBI.

How Common Are TBIs?

In a 1999 report to congress, the CDC estimated that about 50,000 TBI-related deaths happen each year. The organization also estimated that nearly 1.5 million TBIs are diagnosed annually. As a result of these severe injuries, 230,000 were hospitalized and survived and 80,000 to 90,000 people experienced long-term or life-long disabilities. In 2020, the CDC reported 64,362 TBI-related deaths. In 2014, the CDC reported that 2.8 million Americans suffer a TBI yearly. 

In the same report, the CDC stated that TBIs are a leading cause of death for American children and young adults. The report also identifies one of the leading causes of TBIs as car accidents.

The Financial Burden of TBIs

The long-term financial impact of TBIs is significant for victims and their families. According to a study cited by the CDC, the annual economic burden in the United States was approximately $37.8 billion in 1985. While the rates of TBI-related death have declined since the 1980s, the number of incidents and financial implications certainly have not. It's estimated that the current cost of TBIs is $48.3 billion annually. About $31.7 billion of that is spent on hospitalization costs. The other $16.6 billion goes toward costs associated with fatalities.

The lifetime expenses for a person suffering from a brain injury may be anywhere from $600,000 and $1,875,000. 

Calculating the Costs of a TBI

Why are TBI costs so high for victims? As the leading cause of disability in the United States, TBIs come with lifelong medical concerns and treatment as well as income concerns. Brain injuries may also have a significant impact on other personal situations for victims, including relationships and psychological issues. 

Continued Medical Expenses include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Therapeutic injections, such as steroid shots
  • Home health care
  • Speech therapy
  • Alternative therapies, such as massage and acupuncture
  • Additional surgical procedures
  • Medications costs
  • TBI specialist care
  • Case management or social work
  • Mental health counseling

In addition to these costs, TBI patients may have income concerns meaning they and their families are stuck with growing medical bills and no way to pay them. It's estimated that 60% of average head injury victims remain unemployed two years after their injury. Some may never return to work. Other economic considerations for TBI sufferers include modifications for home and cars, home health, and other transportation costs. 

Non-Monetary Concerns

In addition to the numerous financial concerns, TBI patients have a greater likelihood of suffering from psychological issues as well as a higher risk of future conditions, such as dementia and substance abuse. 

All of these concerns make maximum medical recovery (MMR) essential. Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) in a personal injury case means that the claimant has either recovered completely from their injuries or that their condition has become stable enough to get a clear idea of what future costs, treatment, and rehabilitation of their injuries look like. There are so many future costs that may be expected for TBI patients that if not calculated properly, victims and families can find themselves in a lot of trouble. Consult a TBI lawyer to understand the extent of your damages so that you come to the most accurate calculation possible. 

To get an idea of how much an accident settlement may be worth, check out our online settlement calculator.

Consult a TBI Lawyer Today  

If you or a loved one has been injured and suffered a traumatic brain injury or another severe injury, contact our accident lawyers today for a free consultation and case review. There is too much at stake to delay reaching out to an attorney. Don't wait until it's too late – start your recovery process today and let our experienced and trusted lawyers protect your right to recover. Call or text 602-345-1818. You may also fill out this simple online form to contact us

Please know that neither Google nor our online content should be used as substitutes for actual legal advice from an attorney. This blog is intended to be for general information purposes only. For specific information regarding your case, consult our car accident lawyers. 

Our TBI attorneys are located in Arizona and New Mexico. We serve car accident clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa, and the entire state of Arizona. We also serve clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, Farmington, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and the entire state of New Mexico.