Traumatic brain injuries are injuries that affect the way the brain functions. They are a leading cause of disability in the United States, and they result in staggering economic costs for victims, their families and society. This is in large part due to the fact that TBIs significantly increase individuals’ risks for unemployment.
Car and truck accidents are leading causes of traumatic brain injury in the United States. Individuals who sustain head injuries in accidents should consult with a lawyer right away regarding recovering compensation, as the costs of the injury can quickly add up.
Unemployment after TBI
Per findings published by the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, 98.6% of more than 64,000 working-age adults were still alive after sustaining a TBI. Of that 64,000, six in 10 — or 60.4% — were unemployed. Certain risk factors were present in more unemployed persons than in others, such as being black, female, previously married and having a lower level of education. Higher hospital stays at the time of injury were also associated with higher rates of unemployment. For comparison’s sake, the national unemployment average among working-age adults in the United States is 5.1%.
Of the adults who did hold employment two years following a TBI, a little more than one-third, or 35%, had part-time employment. Single females who did not have employment prior to sustaining a head injury had the greatest risk of obtaining part-time work rather than full-time employment.
The lifetime costs of treatment
Seeking and undergoing appropriate care following an accident can significantly reduce a person’s risk of unemployment post-TBI. However, according to a Northwestern Now article, the cost of treatment is high. The lifetime costs of a traumatic brain injury range from $85,000 to $3 million. Though receiving appropriate care is key to reducing a victim’s dependence on state and federal programs and minimizing the cycle of unemployment, estimates suggest that as much as 53% of the homeless population lives with a brain injury.
The lifetime costs and consequences of a traumatic brain injury can be staggering. Because of this, victims and their families should explore their legal options before the statute of limitations run out.