Treating traumatic brain injuries from car accidents

Approximately 1.7 million people in the United States suffer traumatic brain injury every year. Many of these accidents occur from vehicle crashes, construction accidents, assaults, falls, and gun-incidents. About 50,000 of these patients die, 230,000 are hospitalized, and up to 90,000 survive with long-term disabilities from their injuries.

Individuals who suffer brain injuries in car accidents typically have the additional challenge of proving their injury in court to obtain compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced family law attorney will consult with a medical professional to help determine the long-term prognosis of a car accident victim's brain injury.

One of the most famous recent cases of traumatic brain injury is Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a brain injury when she was shot in the head while speaking with her constituents. Giffords miraculously survived her injury and has undergone extensive rehabilitation.

Giffords' legislative aid told USA Today that the only reason that Giffords has access to unlimited state-of-the-art rehabilitation care is because she was a Congresswoman who was injured on the job. This made Giffords eligible for generous coverage under the federal Workmen's Compensation Act. Gifford's office recently asked the Obama administration to provide all brain-injury sufferers with the full range of rehabilitation services that were available to Giffords through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The costs of rehabilitation were acknowledged by Giffords' office, but the director of neuropsychology at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute said that studies indicate that appropriate rehabilitation care is cheaper than letting a patient languish in a nursing home or providing 24-hour home care to the patient.

Source: USA Today, "Gabrielle Giffords' office puts focus on brain-injury care," Steve Sternberg, 4/8/11

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