Insurance and payment for brain injuries

In New Jersey, advocates for those who have suffered brain injuries are watching after a 20-year-old woman rammed her head into a tree during a skiing trip in January. Doctors told her it would take about 18 months for her cognitive skills to return; however, only four months after the accident and traumatic brain injury, she was denied further treatment at a specialized facility. Her family has taken her home to St. Paul and is working on fundraisers to help pay for her care.

About 1.7 million people in this nation suffer from traumatic brain injuries annually; 90,000 of those cases result in long-term disability. Insurance companies don't pay for all the necessary treatment, such as cognitive therapy that helps patients relearn lost skills. In some cases, insurance runs out just when the patient has the most breakthroughs. One study by the U.S. Institute of Medicine summarized that people with brain injuries often don't receive the treatment they need because of insurance limits.

While publicized cases, such as Gabrielle Giffords, show the progress that people can make with treatment and intervention, she was given a level of care that most people can't afford. In the young woman's case, she remained in a coma for days and then in state of suspended consciousness until April. Doctors are encouraging her to pursue inpatient treatment. Although she is attending group therapy in Minnesota, her parents want her to go back to the Quality Living, Inc. facility in Nebraska, one of the best of its kind in the nation for traumatic brain injuries.

When someone suffers from a brain injury, they could face costly long-term rehabilitation. A Woodbridge personal injury attorney might be able to help clients pursue a lawsuit so they can seek payment for therapy.

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