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Calculating the long-term cost of brain injury

The human brain has been called the most amazing structure in the universe.

It is capable of processes that the most powerful supercomputers cannot perform -- controlling movement, interpreting the senses, fashioning a personality, generating emotional responses, dreaming, learning, speech, reading, breathing, even managing our heartbeat.

How doed one value such a loss?

Where a leg broken in a car crash may be compensated for as little as $25,000, a traumatized brain may require millions in compensation. Many expenses, many of them very long-term, must be calculated. Depending on prognosis, victims may need to pay for:

  • Medical expenses: treatment and medical technology
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Training for a different kind of work
  • A lifetime of lost pay and living expenses
  • The cost of ongoing care, including an attendant
  • Counseling and therapy for psychological issues

Every case is different, of course. A brain-damaged child needs support spanning many decades. A senior with the same kind of injury will not need as much.

Not all brain injuries are permanently disabling. Victims of mild brain damage often can continue to work in their previous positions. Many can continue to function well with minor deficits.

The brain is resilient to many insults, and it knows how to recover from certain injuries. But there are injuries that it cannot recover from. Traumatic brain injuries are with us for a lifetime. They affect every aspect of our lives, not least of all our finances.

Attorney Scott J. Corwin is familiar with the process of attaching a number to a catastrophic injury. He knows that brain injury compensation is a major issue both to the injured and to the insurance companies who are just learning how life costs are skyrocketing.

His advice: Hope for the best, and plan for the worst.

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