What is the cost of a traumatic brain injury?

Everything we do stems from our brain, making it the most complex organ in the human body. Because the brain controls so much, victims of traumatic brain injuries often need to factor in how their injury will affect their entire life when considering the potential cost of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Common Costs of a TBI

While a brain injury may have many unique costs, many TBIs will incur the following costs.

Medical Treatment

Medical expenses are by far some of the highest expenses you will pay as a victim of a TBI. The average costs of a brain injury are significant, but vary greatly depending on the severity of your injury.

Costs may include time in the ER, Intensive Care Unit, or Trauma Unit as well as prolonged care and rehabilitation.

Make sure you consider that a victim of a TBI may incur costs for his entire lifetime.


While it is not always necessary in mild cases of TBI, most victims of moderate or severe TBIs must seek rehabilitation. Physical therapists are essential to the rehabilitation process and can help a patient with TBI through everything from standing up to memory improvement.

Though it has proven to be extremely beneficial, it is also very expensive. For example, in a four-year span, average medical costs for those who opted for rehabilitation were around $196,000, while those who chose not to receive rehab services spent roughly $18,000.

Further, acute rehabilitation cost for a TBI patient is approximately $1,000 per day and the average stay is 55 days, according to AboutBrainInjury.org.

Lost Wages

Even if a TBI survivor makes a full recovery with no noticeable cognitive impairments, the victim will still need to take time off of work to recover and attend doctor’s appointments and rehabilitation sessions.

What are other unexpected expenses associated with TBI?

While most people consider the expenses listed above, most do not consider how the injury will affect their daily life for years to come.

Home Modifications

Disabled TBI survivors or their loved ones may have to pay for home modifications to accommodate for their disability. For example, if a TBI has made it difficult or impossible for your loved one to walk, you may have to make your home wheelchair-friendly by installing ramps and ceiling lifts as well as widening doors.

In-home Care

If you are unable to care for your loved one by yourself, you may have to hire an in-home caretaker.

Loss of Future Earning Capacity

If your loved one is unable to return to work or must take a lower-paying job, you must consider how this loss will affect your livelihood.

Lost Quality of Life

Things such as inability to enjoy leisure activities, restrictions on exercise, diet changes, and changes in relationships are all important aspects you should evaluate when making this assessment. This makes it extremely difficult to put a dollar amount to the quality of our lives.

Fortunately, the Quality of Life after Brain Injury (QOLIBRI) instrument helps in this department. QOLIBRI is a short, 37-question questionnaire created for use in clinical studies and is free for research and non-profit use.

How can I pay for these costs?

Now that you know the potential costs of a TBI, you are probably wondering how you could possibly pay for it all. Well, you may have options. If your loved one’s TBI was a result of someone’s negligence, you may be eligible to file an injury claim for compensation. A traumatic brain injury lawyer from Bressman Law can help.