Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious type of injury a person can sustain and often require significant medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million people sustain TBIs in the United States each year, and many of these victims are left with substantial medical expenses. In severe cases, these costs could total well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the more common expenses associated with TBIs include the following:
- Initial treatment and hospitalization
- Diagnostic tests
- Ongoing observation and treatment
- Long-term care
You Expenses may be Covered
If your TBI was your own fault and you carry health insurance, your policy will likely cover your medical expenses up to your policy limits.
Under California law, if you can show that your TBI was caused by the negligence of another person, you may be able to get these and other losses covered by filing a personal injury claim. Generally speaking, however, in order for these losses to actually be collectible, you will likely need to pursue a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance. Some of the more common types of insurance from which TBI expenses can be recovered include are detailed below.
If the accident that caused your TBI occurs on someone else’s residential property, there is a good chance that you will be able to recover compensation from the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Examples of accidents that could occur on residential property that could easily lead to a TBI include slip and falls and dog bites.
The CDC reports that motor vehicle and traffic accidents account for 14.3 percent of all TBIs. Because all 50 states require motorists to cover liability insurance which will pay victim’s injuries, if you sustained your TBI in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. If the at-fault motorist does not carry insurance, you may be able to turn to your own insurance if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not, you may still file a lawsuit against the other driver, but it may be difficult to collect, as many drivers who do not carry insurance do not have collectible assets, so you may be facing an uphill battle.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
If your TBI occurred on commercial property, like a shopping mall or grocery store, for example, you will likely be able to recover compensation from the business’s commercial general liability insurance. There are many types of accidents that could potentially lead to a TBI on commercial property, some of which are similar to those that may occur on residential property, like slip and falls. There are often other premises liability concerns at a commercial property, however, that tend not to exist on residential property. If, for example, you sustained a TBI in a car accident that was caused by the fact that a store parking lot did not have a stop sign at the end of an aisle, you may be able to recover from the business’s insurance rather than the insurance of the other driver.
Talk to an Attorney to Determine Your Options
Recovering compensation after a TBI can be a complicated issue. Because TBI victims often incur significant losses that can have a direct impact on their quality of life, it is critical to do everything you can to protect your rights after a sustaining a traumatic brain injury. As a result, if you have sustained TBI, you should speak to an attorney right away.