Without ever having looked at the settlement for a multi-million dollar personal injury claim, most people could tell you that suffering a brain injury is not only incredibly serious, but costly as well. From lengthy hospital stays, multiple surgeries, prescriptions to long-term rehabilitation, brain injuries can end up costing someone hundreds of thousands of dollars -- even millions -- over the course of their lifetime.
Beyond the dollar signs of these expenses, however, lies the hidden costs of a brain injury. While these costs cannot be easily quantified, their impact on a person's life can be just as great as the financial costs. A look at these four costs can help us understand the true cost of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an accident.
1. Cognitive disruptions
In many brain injury cases, people experience some cognitive disruptions that can include, but are not limited to memory loss, difficulty with reasoning, and speech difficulties. All of these disruptions can not only make day to day activities a challenge, they may also make it difficult to return to work or hold down another job.
2. Loss of senses
Depending on where the brain injury occurs, some TBIs have been known to interfere with a person's senses, causing them to lose things like the ability to see. Some brain injuries can even affect a person's balance, making movement a challenge.
3. Changes in mental state
Emotional and personality changes have been noted in some patients with TBIs. In some extreme cases, brain injuries have altered people's personalities so much that relationships with family and friends have suffered. These emotional changes can also affect one's ability to maintain certain types of work.
4. Risk of other disorders
As the Centers for Disease Control explains, repeated TBIs can eventually lead to a potentially deadly condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as wells as other conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. As these conditions progress, patients often become unable to do more and more things without assistance. In the end, many living with these diseases become disabled and require long-term care.